Rio Salado College completed its Collegewide Planning Day on May 4th, a professional development day aimed at bringing together staff members for learning and growth. The event focused on the 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX), aligning with the college's mission and vision of delivering innovative and world-class experiences to its students. The event took place live in the college's conference center, with a Star Wars theme, "May the 4DX be with you."
The morning began with Rio Salado President Kate Smith, who set the tone for the event by gauging the college’s progress on its 2020 strategic plan goals. Special guests, MCCCD Board President Marie Sullivan and MCCCD Chancellor Dr. Steven Gonzales, joined the event in the morning to emphasize the District's commitment to continuous improvement and the significance of the 4DX methodology. Staff members engaged in sessions centered around the principles and practices of 4DX. The planning committee featured videos showcasing successful faculty and leadership 4DX huddles, providing real-world examples of the methodologies in action.
During the afternoon, departments took time to work on planning and developing their next Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) for the coming academic year through a SWOT analysis and rubric. This exercise allowed teams to identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, fostering a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and possibilities ahead.
“College planning day was full of fun, engaging activities that gave us great insight into its importance,” said Rio Salado’s Employee Senator Marissa Burke. “Within our department's 4DX discussion, we placed a strong emphasis on the importance of effective communication and collaborative goal-setting, highlighting their impact on team dynamics.”
“It was a valuable opportunity to gather the college community and learn about the diverse initiatives happening in other departments that align with our goals,” said Rio Salado employee Jason Reiche. “The theme and interactive elements effectively engaged employees and added a refreshing touch to break the monotony of long meetings.”
Teams were encouraged to align their WIGs with the college's strategic goal, on increasing student goal attainment, ensuring a unified approach toward achieving overall success.
“We chose four commitments that each of our chairs could each select that would best align with their department and what they wanted to accomplish,” Karen Docherty, co-coach of the Faculty 4DX effort, said in a highlighted video.
The faculty looked to another successful 4DX effort, out of Odessa, Texas, to help identify the leads, said Michelle Traveller, Docherty’s co-coach.
“I think that helped us to quickly establish our weekly commitments for our faculty,” she said.
Rio Salado College remains committed to its PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) process, which promotes continuous improvement. The college believes in the power of data-driven decision making and follows consistent annual planning cycles and milestones to ensure progress towards its mission and vision.
The Collegewide Professional Development Day was a significant milestone in Rio Salado College's journey toward excellence. By embracing the 4 Disciplines of Execution, fostering collaboration and innovation, and making data-informed decisions, the college continues to position itself to achieve identified strategic goals and deliver outstanding educational experiences to its students.