Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I've had a very productive day, so far - and I still have two hours left!

Here's what I decided:
I need to finish this degree.
As SOON as I can.
So, next year, I am going to take two classes each semester and be done.
I think I'm going to start doing my research this summer, so that I can really be done. It'll be work, but, I'll have some time freed up.
To do this, I need to get my committee lined up. Two appointments on Thursday and one on Monday. We are locked & loaded. Hopefully, they all agree; 1 is in; 1 has given verbal agreement to Dan; 1 has no idea.... :)

I'm one of those people who really has to WANT something, in order to do it. Once I feel it; once I KNOW; look out, I'm ready to get the truck in gear & get moving.
I've known from the beginning that I need a committee. I've known since last year what I'd like to research. But, I haven't "felt" the need to get it done. I do now.
I'm ready. It's time. Let's do this.

I also want to start running again. Anyone want to join me? I'm a take it slow & ease into it type. That means, I follow a regimen where we start off running ten minutes - one minute on, one minute off - and work our way up to 17 minutes straight; one minute walk break; 17 on. It's the perfect training for a 5k. I think I might work up beyond that, though.

San Diego, Post 1

I spent last week at a SAEOPP Priority 3 training in San Diego.

This post has nothing to do with the "me" time at San Diego; that will follow. This is just a post about what I learned. YES, I DO learn while on my "exotic" work trainings! :)

SAEOPP trainings do not disappoint! This training was very beneficial and relevant. This training focused on proven retention strategies and assessments. I really appreciated all of the theories supporting student retention and the different strategies that implement these theories. Currently, I am taking a graduate level Educational Psychology course. This training fit in seamlessly with what I have been learning, and provided many ideas. Programmatically, it was a very timely training since we will be writing our grant this summer and access to proven strategies targeting retention & preparation will help us meet the changes.

I have used the SWOT (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats) Analysis a couple of times before. We used this a lot in our training. I like its simplicity & effectiveness. I think I will start using this with my students as a needs assessment & a resource to develop goals. It’s such a helpful way to think about our resources/options when making a decision.

One of the best parts of this training was our group project. We were assigned to a mentor-group and we had to develop a model focusing on student recruitment/retention or assessment. Our group focused on the necessity of early recruitment to circumvent the drop-out process. We located relevant data, created a model based on our research & different theories we’d learned and presented it. It was such a great project to really implement research into practice. I personally really liked it because I can get intimidated by research or developing models – but, this was ‘easy’! I also love collaborating with other people to come up with something creative and relevant.