The Kentucky Leadership exChange

Building capacity for change among Kentucky’s student success champions.

Embracing change leadership strategies in higher education has the potential to profoundly enhance student success outcomes. The Kentucky Student Success Collaborative is launching a year-long change leadership program designed to provide participants with a comprehensive set of skills and tools to lead strategic change initiatives, foster innovation, and drive continuous improvement within their institutions of higher education.

Throughout the program, participants will be introduced to and apply various methodologies that center the student in the design and implementation of solutions to significantly improve student success outcomes. Participants will learn through guest speakers, case studies, workshops, hands-on activities, peer learning, collaboration, feedback and reflection.

Program Timeline

Program Duration: September 2024 – August 2025

Required Program Dates: TBD
September – In person (Frankfort, KY), Module 1: Foundations of Collaborative Action
– Virtual, Module 2: Design Thinking and Innovation
– Virtual, Module 3: From Journey Mapping to Blueprint Design
– Virtual, Module 4: Improvement Science
– Virtual, Module 5: Adaptive Leadership and Change Culture
– Virtual, Module 6: Integration and Capstone Project Kick-off
– In person (Frankfort, KY), Capstone Presentations and Graduation

Capstone Community of Practice Meetings (optional)
– Virtual
May – Virtual
June – Virtual
July – Virtual

Application Information

The first cohort of the Kentucky Leadership exChange will be individuals from diverse institutions, functional areas, and roles. Applicants should bring 3-5 years of experience leading teams and cross-functional groups toward a common goal. Applicants will be asked to provide a leadership statement as well as a letter of support from a Vice President or President at your institution.

Essay question prompts include:

1. Leadership Statement

Please provide a statement describing your collaborative leadership experience and approach to leading cross-functional groups toward a common goal and driving change on your campus (up to 500 words).

2. Personal/Professional Goals for the Program

Please share what you hope to gain from participation in this program and how you will use the skills gained to advance student success efforts on your campus (up to 500 words).

Click Here for the Leadership Exchange Application

The application deadline is April 30, 2024.

Individuals from Kentucky public universities, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and the Association for Independent Kentucky Colleges are welcome to apply.

Program Content
Module 1: Foundations of Collaborative Action

In the dynamic landscape of higher education, the pursuit of student success transcends individual departments to become a collective imperative for the entire institution. The essence of ‘Foundations of Collaborative Action’ lies in orchestrating a unified effort across diverse functional areas within the college or university.

This transformative approach to leadership involves mobilizing the whole institution towards a common goal or the resolution of shared challenges. Collaborative action is more than teamwork; it is a dynamic, inclusive methodology that capitalizes on the combined strengths and resources of diverse stakeholders. It is a journey where people come together, pool their expertise, and share responsibilities to achieve outcomes that benefit the entire community.

At its core, collaborative action is based on the premise that we can accomplish more together than any of us can achieve on our own. It is not merely a strategy; it is a philosophy that recognizes the inherent power in unity, guiding the institution towards impactful problem-solving and goal achievement. ‘Foundations of Collaborative Action’ becomes the cornerstone for cultivating a culture of success that transcends individual efforts and propels the entire educational community toward excellence.

1.1 Introduction to Change Leadership
1.2 The Process of Stakeholder Engagement
1.3 Foundations of Collaborative Action

Module 2: Design Thinking and Innovation

In the realm of higher education, the application of design thinking emerges as a powerful catalyst for problem-solving and innovation. Design thinking, within the context of higher education, represents a human-centered approach to navigating the complexities of the academic landscape. It stands out for its iterative and collaborative essence, offering a distinctive framework for understanding the diverse needs of students, faculty, and other stakeholders.

At its core, design thinking becomes a dynamic process, fostering collaboration and dialogue. It empowers the higher education community to ideate, prototype, and refine creative solutions to intricate problems. By placing emphasis on the evolving needs of the current and prospective students, design thinking becomes an invaluable tool for shaping the future of education, promoting innovation, and enhancing the overall learning experience.

2.1 Design Thinking Fundamentals
2.2 Student-centered Design

Module 3: From Journey Mapping to Blueprint Design

In the realm of higher education, methodologies such as journey mapping, process mapping, and blueprint design play pivotal roles in gaining insights into and visually representing the intricate flow and interactions within the educational system. These methodologies prove invaluable for comprehending and enhancing various aspects of the academic experience, from student engagement to administrative processes.

Journey mapping, within the context of higher education, emerges as a powerful tool for visually capturing and understanding a student’s end-to-end experience with the educational system. It becomes a comprehensive illustration of students’ emotions, touchpoints, and experiences at different stages of their educational journey. By utilizing journey mapping, educators and administrators can gain profound insights into students’ perspectives, enabling them to tailor and optimize the overall learning experience.

Process mapping, on the other hand, becomes a visual roadmap that delineates the sequence of steps or activities involved in specific educational processes. In higher education, this methodology aims to provide clarity on how academic and administrative tasks are executed, identifying key stakeholders, responsibilities at each step, and potential areas of improvement.

Together, these methodologies contribute to creating a holistic blueprint of the higher education system, enabling institutions to enhance student experiences, refine operational processes, and ultimately create an environment conducive to academic success.

3.1 Journey Mapping
3.2 Process Mapping
3.3 Blueprint Design
3.4 Service Innovation Strategies

Module 4: Improvement Science

Improvement Science offers a structured approach to change management within the higher education context, providing a systematic framework for identifying, testing, and implementing innovations to enhance student learning outcomes, institutional effectiveness, and overall organizational performance. Rooted in the principles of continuous improvement, Improvement Science empowers educators and administrators to collaboratively address complex challenges and drive meaningful change through evidence-based practices.

In the higher education landscape, Improvement Science serves as a valuable tool for fostering a culture of innovation and data-driven decision-making. By engaging stakeholders across departments and disciplines, institutions can leverage Improvement Science methodologies to identify areas for improvement, set clear goals, and systematically measure progress towards desired outcomes. Through iterative cycles of inquiry, experimentation, and reflection, higher education institutions can tailor interventions to meet the unique needs of diverse student populations, enhance teaching and learning practices, and optimize institutional processes.

Key components of Improvement Science within higher education include:

  • Problem Identification
  • Collaborative Inquiry
  • Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycles
  • Continuous Measurement and Feedback
  • Scaling and Sustainability

By embracing Improvement Science as a tool for change management, higher education institutions can enhance their capacity to adapt to evolving student needs, navigate complex challenges, and drive positive outcomes for students, faculty, and the broader community.

4.1 Introduction to Improvement Science
4.2 Plan-Do-Study Act (PDSA) Cycle in Action

Module 5: Adaptive Leadership and Change Culture

Adaptive leadership and change culture offer transformative approaches to change management within the higher education context, providing frameworks and strategies for navigating complex challenges, fostering innovation, and driving organizational growth. Rooted in the principles of flexibility, resilience, and continuous learning, adaptive leadership empowers leaders at all levels of the institution to effectively respond to dynamic environments and lead transformative change initiatives.

In the higher education landscape, where institutions face evolving student demographics, technological advancements, and shifting societal expectations, adaptive leadership serves as a critical tool for navigating uncertainty and driving strategic change. Adaptive leaders recognize the interconnectedness of internal and external factors influencing the institution and actively engage stakeholders in co-creating a shared vision for the future. By fostering a culture of collaboration, creativity, and resilience, adaptive leadership cultivates an environment where individuals feel empowered to challenge the status quo, experiment with new ideas, and embrace change as an opportunity for growth.

Key components of adaptive leadership and change culture within higher education include:

  • Visionary Leadership
  • Adaptive Capacity
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Resilience and Agility
  • Continuous Learning and Improvement
  • Empowering Change Agents

By embracing adaptive leadership and change culture as tools for change management, higher education institutions can enhance their capacity to navigate complexity, foster innovation, and drive positive outcomes for students, faculty, staff, and the broader community. Adaptive leaders serve as catalysts for transformative change, guiding institutions towards a more resilient, responsive, and future-ready future.

5.1 Adaptive Leadership
5.2 Cultural Transformation for Change

Module 6: Integration and Capstone Project

By synthesizing concepts shared throughout the program, higher education leaders can leverage a comprehensive toolkit for addressing challenges, driving innovation, and enhancing the overall student experience and institutional effectiveness. This integrated approach empowers institutions and individuals to adapt to changing needs and trends, seize opportunities for improvement, and achieve their strategic goals in a dynamic and competitive landscape.

Students will form teams of two or three to work on a group project designed to integrate and apply knowledge, skills, and competencies in leading organizational change within a Kentucky higher education institution. Throughout the project, teams collaborate to identify, analyze, and propose solutions to real-world challenges faced by higher education institutions, with a focus on driving positive and sustainable change. Teams will present their projects to the cohort at the final meeting.

6.1 Integration of Concepts
6.2 Capstone Project

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The Kentucky Student Success Collaborative is an initiative of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education made possible by support from the James Graham Brown Foundation.

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