Saturday, May 30, 2015

Link to 5/29/15 Presentation PowerPoint

The link to the PowerPoint presentation from the session is:

Thanks to all who participated.  We had 69 students, staff, faculty, and administrators participate on a beautiful Friday afternoon, and they represented a broad range of  the campus community.  The session was videotaped and will be available in the library.  See Claire Murata.

We appreciate and value the interest and look forward to continuing the discussion.

Bob and Ericka

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Presentation on May 29 - 1:00 to 3:00

We're planning to update the Shoreline Community College community on our work on May 29 from 1:00 to 3:00 in Room 2308.  This will be an interactive discussion where we'll be discussing the framework that we included in the April 12 posting below.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Planning the First Training


One of the tasks that we have is to develop training for the college.  We are developing one training module that we will host on campus, and another one that we will develop for online use.  Our training model is built on an action research model.  Action research is a way of addressing needs that builds on a cycle of inquiry (“research”), leading to action. 



The definition of “research”:  Taking formal steps of investigation to get answers to the college’s questions.  Examples of formal steps:
          Reviewing historical and current data and trends
          Looking for other groups who have had similar issues and learning from them
          Exploration of records and documents
          Interviewing people to hear their stories
          Surveying (typically through questionnaires)
What are “formal steps”?
          Using standard, and commonly accepted practices of research to ensure the an appropriate levels of rigorous and fair analysis
          Using multiple ways of knowing through systematic inquiry
  Do people need to become researchers?
          Yes:  People will systematically explore the issues and needs
          No:  People won’t need to take the statistics course that they’ve avoided
The definition of “action”:  Taking steps, based on what we know from the group’s research to address community needs.  Actions based on:
          What our research shows as need
          College engagement and consensus
          What’s possible
          The community “will” which includes energy, time, resources, enthusiasm, and pragmatics
Who takes action?
          The college community takes the action, but it may do so by empowering an agency, by hiring someone to do the work, or through some intermediary
What happens when the “action” component is finished?
          The community looks for new challenges
          Action research has defined outcomes that act as milestones, but it is not a process that ends
          Action research is a model of continuous change and evolution – it’s never “finished.”






Key Question for Work


This training begins with four key questions:


Key Question:  How can the college develop a shared vision of its students and their needs?


Key Question:  How can the college be more responsive to the needs of its students?


Key Question:  What are the characteristics of people who’ll help the college meet those needs?

Key Question:  How can the college engage its community and be reflective of that community?


This project begins with inquiry teams that review data and develop a response to specific questions to explore.  Then it will move to action teams that develop solutions.  This year represents the first steps in exploring these questions.  The action research model allows for continuous and iterative inquiry that focuses on these questions and develops new ones in future cycles of inquiry.


It is important that this work will be informed by and guided by the efforts concurrently being undertaken by the People, Place, and Purpose work group that is part of the college’s strategic planning.  That group will be forming overarching goals and directions for the college around the above four questions.  This project will focus on the human resource component of the above four questions, and its work will be informed by the People, Place, and Purpose  work group’s direction.  To ensure that this project aligns with the college’s larger strategic planning work, the consulting team will communicate all project efforts and finding to the People, Place, and Purpose work group.



Training Module Outline:


  1. Inquiry Activities
    1. Inquiry teams (make up to be determined in discussion with campus administration)

      1. Begin with recruitment to the teams and an orientation for the teams
      2. Divide into teams that conduct analyses or data produced by IR
      3. Will have questions to answer for the search conference that the teams will complete online and submit to the trainers in advance of the Search Conference
      4. Access data sets and reports from Institutional research office to understand current conditions and future trends

        1. Use data to identify what students’ needs are and will be in the years ahead
        2. Use data to conduct a SWOT analysis that will assist in an overall gap analysis

    1. Search conference (a meeting of all inquiry teams to discuss findings and next steps -- it is open to all campus to attend)

      1. Provide overview and background to participants
      2. Inquiry teams sit together and have time to prep the report out
      3. Report out from inquiry teams
      4. Given the student needs analysis and SWOT, discuss what next steps are
      5. Identify next steps
      6. Identify action groups
     2.  Action Steps

    1. Convene action groups to develop an action plan to address how to hire employees who will meet the current and future needs of the college
    2. Task action groups with responsibilities, deliverables and accountability
    3. Schedule follow up sessions for action groups for accountability and to update on progress
    4. Schedule a discovery conference at the end of the year where action groups report out to the campus


  1. Outcomes of the module
    1. Participants will develop a shared understanding of the current and future state of the college
    2. Participants will identify how the college can be responsive to the diverse needs of its students
    3. Participants will identify incongruences between what the college is and what it wants to be
    4. Participants will identify characteristics of new employees that will assist it in meeting the needs of its students
    5. Participants will develop an action plan for hiring employees who will meet the current and future needs of the college


    4.  Length of time

    1. Length of experience (from start to finish) - to be determined in discussions with campus leadership
    2. When activities happen - to be determined in discussions with campus leadership


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Outcomes of This Work

In conducting our work with Shoreline Community College, we have established the following outcomes to guide our work.  We want our work to proceed in ways which assure that:

Outcome 1.      The college will engage all stakeholders in creating and implementing a strategic goal for achieving institutional diversity and will as a result develop policies, practices and procedures needed to lead and sustain its efforts to achieve institutional diversity.
Outcome 2.      College faculty, staff and students will be aware of institutional directions around its diversity efforts with the expectation that their voices will be heard and that it will be safe to do so.

Outcome 3.      The college will generate common definitions for diversity, equity, and inclusion and create venues and processes for dialogues on race, gender, age, and other diversity topics as they relate to its operations and strategic goal.

Outcome 4.       The college will demonstrate and emphasize fairness and opportunity through its operational practices, communication, training and processes of participatory engagement.

Outcome 5.       The college will develop and institute training and hiring practices that ensure that the strategic goal of diversity is fully expressed in its hiring practices. 
These five outcomes are the results of our focus group discussions to date on campus, and our meetings with the campus leadership team.  Meeting these outcomes will guide our work to provide ongoing support to the college's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Bob Hughes and Ericka Turley

Monday, February 16, 2015


Dear colleague,

At the Jan. 23, Campus Community Update, I mentioned that Bob Hughes, from Seattle University, would be joining us in our ongoing efforts to serve, connect with and reflect our increasingly diverse communities. I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Hughes’ education, experience and sensitivity. Rather than have me tell you about Bob, let me share the letter he prepared to introduce himself and you can see for yourself.



Dear Shoreline Community College community member,

I’m Bob Hughes and the college has asked me to help you and the rest of the campus community explore the ways in which the college can continue to reflect the growing diversity of the communities served by the college. Over the past couple of months, I’ve begun talking with a few people on campus to get a sense of the perceptions on the diversity of your campus. In the months ahead, I will continue to meet with people to get to know the campus better.

For the past 25 years, I’ve been working in and researching the community colleges of Washington state. I am currently at Seattle University, where I am associate dean for the College of Education and an associate professor of Adult Education. I began in higher education as a faculty member at Highline Community College in 1990, and was named dean for transfer and basic skills there in 1997. I have also worked at South Seattle Community College as a dean. Since coming to Seattle University in 2007, I have maintained an active research and project agenda within our region’s community colleges. My work with Shoreline is one of three projects I am conducting within regional community colleges. More detailed descriptions of my history, are available at these two links:

I have been working with campus diversity since I began as a community college faculty member. This work stems from my understanding that a campus which establishes clear definitions, intentional goals, and strategic action around diversity can more effectively meet the needs of its students. I first saw the impacts of that as a faculty member and administrator at Highline as the student body underwent a demographic shift from 17 percent students of color in 1990 to more than 70 percent students of color today. During the intervening period, the college evolved programs and systems that supported that transition and has benefitted from those strategic changes.

I’ve recently conducted a two-year case study of Highline’s diversity that culminated in an article published in the January, 2015 issue of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice. That article is available at this link: The link has 50 free downloads available and is available to folks at Shoreline to access as we start this project. If the number of downloads exceeds 50, I’ll find another way to get out the article. Please let me know if you have difficulty accessing the article.

As you’ll see in the article and find in the work we’ll do over the next year, my research shows that a critical component of furthering diversity work is the ability to develop and maintain strong internal and external relationships. To that end, I’ll be using a participatory action research framework.

I believe that a facilitator should come to an organization with the realization that the solutions are already there. That’s what participatory action research does. It allows me to help you frame your work and to help you organize your work. I will bring my knowledge and expertise of the issues that your campus seeks to address; and I will help you shape and frame solutions. However, I don’t presume that I have a formula that I can give you to address your questions. For more information about participatory action research, try this link:

My task, then, is to help your college shape its strategic priority around diversity. Then I will be working with you to communicate that strategic priority and to develop materials that you can use to share those ideas widely on your campus. I will be joined in this work by Ericka Turley, a colleague with experience and expertise in workplace diversity. Over the year ahead, we will meet with teams from the campus as the work moves forward. To ensure that the campus community is kept abreast of this work, Ericka and I will maintain a blog where we’ll update the campus on the project. Look for a message soon that provides a link to that blog.

I look forward to meeting you and as many of the members of the Shoreline community as I can in the year ahead. Your college has been at the forefront of many significant initiatives over the years, so it’s a pleasure for me to be part of the next steps you’ll take.

Bob Hughes, Ed.D.
Bob Hughes and Associates