Board hears details of Leadership Institute

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Trustee suggests new technology promoting the leadership institute.

By Zachary-Taylor Wright

A leadership institute coordinator detailed the implementation of leadership materials in the student leadership institute, and two students described the impacts the program had at the committee-of-the-whole meeting Oct. 17 at Killen Center.

Rodell Asher, Student Leadership Institute coordinator for the district, said the Alamo Colleges were one of eight “beta test sites” after the FranklinCovey leadership material was developed.

In an interview Oct. 18, Asher said FranklinCovey asked the district if they would like to administer a beta test assessment to understand if students and employees thought the assessment was beneficial or challenging enough.

Asher said the district provided FranklinCovey with the results of the analyzed data, but the district did not receive any financial incentive for participating in the beta test.

“It’s similar to when you’re asked, “Hey, would you like to take a survey?” on a website or anywhere else,” Asher said.

Asher said the way that leadership initiatives and FranklinCovey materials are implemented vary at the academic level, saying the EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, at Northeast Lakeview College used to employ the “7 Habits of Highly Effective College Students.”

During the committee meeting Oct. 17, Asher said a committee of administrators, students and faculty was developed and charged with establishing a principle-centered leadership model and generating “advocacy for the implementation.”

The Alamo Colleges’ website states a leadership goal is to incorporate “personal and social responsibility, global citizenship, critical thinking and life-long learning” into the “culture and curriculum of the Alamo Colleges.”

The Alamo Colleges’ website defines principle-centered leadership as “a long-term, inside-out approach to developing people and organizations.”

In the Oct. 18 interview, Asher said the Student Leadership Institute used to come to each college campus during welcome week and career fairs to provide students with brochures and flyers about the leadership program, but the institute has recently opted to share information about the program only on OrgSync.

Ahsher said the institute also hosts a young leaders conference for more than 70 high schools for future college students who are interested in student leadership.

At the committee meeting Oct. 17, District 1 trustee Joe Alderete asked how the district could raise awareness and get more students involved in the leadership program.

Beraniz Ocura, former St. Philip’s College student and current Texas A&M-San Antonio student, said when she first saw the message in her emails, she wasn’t intrigued by it.

 “Finally, I said it must be good because I’m getting so many emails.”

She said the best way to get students to join the program is to have former students who completed the program create a video sharing their experiences.

Ocura said the institute needs to encourage students to understand these skills impact work ethics.

Alternate student trustee Angelina Jacobs, of St. Philip’s College, said the leadership program can help students without a focus.

“If you don’t know what you want to do, get started with your 7 habits,” Jacobs said. “It will lead and guide you where you need to go.”

Alderete said the district should look into installing devices around the colleges that students can approach to hear “testaments” from students who have completed the leadership program.

Two students who earned a Level 1 certificate in leadership through the student leadership institute shared their experiences with the board.

Beraniz Ocura, former St. Philip’s College student and current Texas A&M-San Antonio student, said she was unprepared for college when she first enrolled, saying she didn’t have any family member with college experience to prepare her.

“Frankly, I was a mess and just happy with passing my classes,” Ocura said.

She was the first person in her family to graduate from college and she credits the ability to earn her degree to the skills she learned in the leadership program.

She earned her associate degree from St. Philip’s College in December.

Ocura said she went on to lead a worship group at her parish with the skills she learned in the leadership program.

Daniella Chavarria, STEM advising center peer adviser at Palo Alto College, said the leadership program helped her become more organized, saying she came to the Alamo Colleges disorganized and a less effective student.

District 6 trustee Gene Sprague said everything at board meetings is recorded and HE would love to have what both girls said as a tool to show students the impact of the leadership programs.

He said it shows students should be studying the “7 Habits of Highly Effective College Students.”


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