Sustaining an institutional first year experience strategy: a distributed leadership approach
- Jason Thomas Events Pty Ltd
- Publication Type:
- Conference Proceeding
- STARS Handbook and Proceedings, 2015, pp. 1 - 10
- Issue Date:
Sustainable first year experience (FYE) strategies require systematic approaches that engage academic and professional staff across the institution in improving the student experience. This paper describes a distributed leadership approach to implementing a FYE strategy aimed at improving student success and retention. The approach involves coordination at central and faculty levels, along with university-wide and faculty learning communities for academic and professional staff, first year grants and resource development. The paper outlines the range of activities and analyses them in terms of criteria for distributed leadership, including involvement of people, supportive processes, professional development and availability of resources, combined with the values of trust, a culture of respect, recognising a variety of change inputs and collaborative relationships (Jones et al., 2012). Evidence from coordinator reflections based on these criteria and values is used to illustrate the aspects of the strategy that are working well, and those that need attention.
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