As with planning and program design, implementation requires having a strong team engaged as well as dedicated staff time to ensure that things go smoothly.
For state-led efforts, you’ll need both a state-level implementation team and college-level implementation teams.
For college-led efforts, you’ll just need a college-level team.
State Implementation Team
As in the design phase, states should assemble a team comprised of community college system offices, state ABE leadership, data and finance departments, state agencies (such as Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services), employers, community college representatives, and other key stakeholders.
States must also ensure that there is dedicated staff to manage the initiative – some of the key responsibilities for a state coordinator include:
- Reviewing and approving pathways
- Holding regular check-in calls with colleges
- Monitoring fidelity to the model
- Coordinating professional development
You may also want to establish a policy or funding committee, an employer engagement committee, or other work groups.
College implementation team
Having the right people leading the work at the college has a major impact on the initiative’s success. Most Accelerating Opportunity colleges identified an AO Coordinator to manage implementation at the college; in some cases, colleges identified both a lead and coordinator, with the lead heading up more of the strategic planning and systems change aspects of implementation. Coordinators have a variety of roles throughout implementation, including (but not limited to):
- Selecting team teaching faculty
- Developing orientation and training materials for new faculty
- Building internal and external partnerships
- Fostering buy-in across the college
- Identifying funding options
- Coordinating professional development for faculty and staff
- Working with the registrar to get students enrolled in classes
- Student recruitment
There are also a lot of administrative tasks that coordinators manage, such as:
- Scheduling classrooms
- Creating student schedules
- Managing paperwork and data entry
- Scheduling team meetings
Coordinators often provide direct support to students as well, including managing intake, leading orientation, and referring students to support services.
Given all the roles that coordinators play, it’s important to ensure that they have adequate support from leadership, sufficient authority to do their jobs, and a strong team to help them. Suggested team members include representatives from:
- CTE deans/leadership
- ABE leadership
- Advising and student supports
- Institutional Research
- Financial Aid
- Business Office
Having the right people involved with both strategic leadership and day-to-day operations will make a tremendous difference in the success of your integrated pathways initiative.