Find what works, build upon that and fix what doesn’t work. In a nutshell, that is the philosophy behind Appreciative Inquiry, the energizing tool that will help shape Tidewater Community College’s strategic initiatives for the coming years.
The all-inclusive process invited each member of the college to offer input and work toward consensus in regard to TCC’s future. Sessions were held on each of the four campuses during March.
“This process is not business as usual,” said TCC President Edna Baehre-Kolovani.
Cynthia Heelan, a consultant from Minnesota who worked with Baehre-Kolovani in her previous position at Napa Valley College, facilitated each of the sessions along with David Morrison, who worked with the president at Harrisburg Area Community College.
“This is not the president’s plan. This is your plan,” Heelan said. “There are not many presidents like Edna Baehre-Kolovani, who would bring groups together like this. What you say at this planning event is going to happen.”
Participants were divided into groups. Each session started with group members focusing on what they have done well in their positions at TCC. Sharing accomplishments and collaborating led to each group brainstorming a wish list of ideas for the growth of the college. Several recommendations centered on uniting TCC as one college from several angles, including staff and faculty, students and processes.
Heelan and her team will prepare a report for the college’s review. The planning committee will select five 5-year initiatives from the ones put forth in these sessions.