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Institutional Transformation Reflected

Title: Institutional Transformation Reflected: Administrators’ Perceptions of the Fifth Year of Developmental Education Reform in the Florida College System.
Name(s): Hu, Shouping, author
Mokher, Christine, author
Spencer, Hayley, author
Park-Gaghan, Toby, author
Hu, Xinye, author
Bertrand Jones, Tamara, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Research Report
Date Issued: 2019-06-20
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 1720 (SB 1720) in 2013, making three substantial changes to developmental education statewide. The first change was that the majority of students became exempt from placement testing and developmental education courses. Exempt students include those who entered 9th grade in a Florida public school in 2003/04 or thereafter and earned a standard Florida high school diploma, as well as active duty military personnel. The second change was that institutions in the Florida College System (FCS) became required to offer remaining developmental education courses using new instructional strategies which include compressed, co-requisite, contextualized, or modularized formats. The third change was the FCS institutions were required to develop a plan to offer enhanced advising and academic support services to improve student success.Researchers at the Center for Postsecondary Success (CPS) at FSU have been evaluating implementation and impacts of SB 1720 since the reform began in spring 2014. This is the sixth annual report using survey data from lead administrators at FCS institutions statewide to examine institutional progress under SB 1720. The current report focuses on reflections about institutional transformational processes from the initial planning of the reform to implementation up to date. We examine the types of challenges encountered by colleges during the planning process, ways in which colleges engaged in sensemaking and organizational learning, and perceptions of the institutional transformation processes and outcomes following the developmental education reform. Key findingsReflections on the Initial Planning Process • Prior to SB 1720 there were concerns among a broad range of stakeholders about potential harm to student outcomes, changes that were not in the best interest of the institution, and skepticism due to prior unsuccessful attempts at reforming developmental education. • Respondents from most institutions reported high levels of collaboration during the initial planning process, particularly related to communication among groups across campus and ongoing dialogue among administrators, faculty, and staff. • There was considerable variation across institutions in the extent to which administrators perceived that institutional staff took ownership of changes during the initial planning process relative to the changes being imposed by the state. Sensemaking and Organizational Learning During Implementation • Institutions engaged in a variety of sensemaking processes such as ongoing and widespread campus conversations about implementation, and the emergence of collaborative leadership among a broad range of stakeholders. • Most institutions engaged in several different organizational learning practices, particularly collecting data to inform decision making and acknowledging areas of low performance to campus stakeholders. Reflections on Institutional Transformation and Outcomes • Respondents reported changes at least to “a moderate extent” in advising practices, instructional practices in both developmental and gateway courses, curriculum in both developmental and gateway courses, and student support services. These changes tended to be “mostly” or “somewhat “due to SB 1720. • When comparing changes made in the most recent year relative to the initial planning process, there was a shift toward institutional staff taking ownership of changes rather than change being imposed by the state. • Respondents perceive that they are held more accountable to the Division of Florida Colleges and the state legislature, than to internal stakeholder groups like institutional staff, students, and the board of trustees. • Most respondents perceive that various stakeholder groups saw “better” or “somewhat better” performance on student outcomes relative to their initial expectations. They also believe that most stakeholder groups at least “somewhat” changed their perceptions about the most effective ways to help students who are academically underprepared.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1560393733_7010b37b (IID)
Keywords: Institutional transformation, developmental education, educational reform, student success, higher education, public policy
Preferred Citation: Hu, S., Mokher, C., Spencer, H., Park-Gaghan, T., Hu, X., & Bertrand Jones, T. (2019). Institutional transformation reflected: Administrators’ perceptions of the fifth year of developmental education reform in the Florida College System. Tallahassee, FL: Center for Postsecondary Success.
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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Hu, S., Mokher, C., Spencer, H., Park-Gaghan, T., Hu, X., & Bertrand Jones, T. (2019). Institutional Transformation Reflected: Administrators’ Perceptions of the Fifth Year of Developmental Education Reform in the Florida College System. Retrieved from