Monday, August 7, 2017

What's a Five Star Consortium?

by guest blogger, Jennifer Howard, Vice President of Administrative Services at EvCC
The Five Star Consortium group started in 2009/2010 as a way for nearby colleges to work efficiently together to support faculty, staff and students. All the colleges in the state formed some sort of efficiency group, and in North King and Snohomish Counties, five nearby colleges formed the 'Five Star' Consortium.  The senior leaders met with their peers at the other four institutions and talked about ways to work together. The Human Resource leaders met for breakfast, and as HR leaders are known to do, they talked. A LOT. And they kept meeting and talking each month to figure out ways to make their work more efficient, effective and impactful.

Over the years, we have hosted an annual diversity career fair, published joint advertising, explored uniformity and shared resources around background checks; we have also enjoyed benefits from cost sharing as well as many other efficiencies. Among the discussion topics was “How do we get and keep excellent associate (adjunct) faculty? Is there something we can do to help them be better prepared when they walk into the classroom that first day? That first week? That first quarter? What are the things the Colleges valued when it came to classroom practices?” Everyone at the table was mindful of the fact that the “Freeway Flyers” (as associate faculty are often called) needed a little extra attention. This was the beginning of the Best Practices conversation.

In September 2015, the Five Star Consortium began joint quarterly trainings for new associate faculty. Since so many faculty are shared among the colleges, we realized that we had common best practice information to share. Instruction took on the training, and HR hung around to make sure the policy information was covered.

The Five Star Colleges care about continuous improvement, so if you attend a Five Star event, be ready to provide your feedback. We want to grow and meet the needs of our colleges into the future.

Thanks to everyone at Shoreline, Cascadia, Edmonds, Everett and Lake Washington Tech. 

1 comment:

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