One of the central tenets of West Hills Community College District is a simple idea: grow from within. Part of holding true to this tenet is offering opportunities for professional development and mentorship.
One way WHCCD is doing so is through a program specifically tackling this issue: the West Hills Future Leaders Professional Development Series.
WHCCD, along with partner groups Future Leaders and Mindful Choice Coaching, LLC, developed the series as a way to provide participants the opportunity to focus on professional development, including insight into who they are as working professionals and current behavior. Each participant is also provided with professional coaching related to team transformation and cultures in order to be a more productive and efficient leader.
“For the past two years, I have sought to elevate opportunities for all members of our organization to participate in their own professional development,” said Dr. Stuart Van Horn, Chancellor of the West Hills Community College District. “A number of significant accomplishments have served as milestones of this commitment, including altering procedures, changing practices, increasing subscriptions to national faculty and staff development organizations, and augmenting budgets. I am convinced we can do more to broaden participation. This series – two, two-day workshops and several subsequent personalized coaching sessions – has been developed specifically for West Hills based on analysis of operational and governance systems and structures in place at our District and with that spirit in mind.”
The first cohort of the development series recently kicked off with an event at Harris Ranch. The group training focused on leadership development and brought together participants from throughout the district, from administrators to classified staff. The series as a whole will feature four days of training focusing on servant leadership, a look at community college administration, an overview of organizational finance, accountability and a guide to hiring practices.
Development doesn’t stop with those training sessions, however. Post-training will include individual and group mindful choice coaching focused on constructing a personalized development plan, workshops on productivity, self-awareness and more and individual coaching calls.
“Leadership is a verb, not a noun,” said Van Horn. “In today’s rapidly changing higher education marketplace, educational leaders must lead in an era of change management and participants will foster a broader understanding and game plan to successfully lead the organization into the future.”
A total of 15 individuals are currently part of the first cohort and 15 more will join them for the spring cohort.