President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog
Dear Alumni and Parents,
In one of my October blog entries, I shared the findings from a recent Gallup poll that indicate that students who felt supported by a mentor during their college years were more likely to be thriving in overall well-being later in life.
On CC’s small, residential campus, there are ample opportunities for such mentoring. In this setting, our students interact with lots of caring faculty and staff. The Gallup poll validates that what we do here at CC makes a real difference. We talk a lot about the difference that our faculty make in our students’ lives, and I want to let you know that our staff also play a key role in supporting our students.
From residence halls to Rastall, over papers in the Writing Center, through work-study jobs, and intramural athletics – our students form strong, positive, mentoring relationships with college staff members. The special role our staff members play with students is a big part of why we take staff hiring and professional development as seriously as we do.
A key element of our strategic plan is workplace excellence. Among the initiatives that are part of this strategic priority, our new Excel@CC professional development program encourages our staff members to develop exceptional communication skills, to grow as leaders, to better understand our students, to foster a climate of diversity and inclusion, and to build strong supervisory skills. Each of these multi-session programs helps staff to better contribute to our mission of “providing the finest liberal arts education.” And over 60 percent of our staff have responded by enrolling in these courses.
Many of our staff bring professional expertise to the table to engage our students. For example, our strategic initiative for sustainability brings students together with facilities and grounds staff members — professionals with backgrounds in energy management and engineering, as well as plant science and design — in partnership with our sustainability program staff, and faculty members from a variety of academic disciplines – all for the common purpose of making the CC campus more sustainable. Together, they are accomplishing great things for CC and, according to the Gallup poll, this type of shared experience contributes to a bright future for our students.
Prioritizing the ability of our people to do their very best for – and with – our students is just one piece of our strategic plan. As alumni, parents, and friends, your encouragement and support of the college means so much. Your interest in what we are doing, your willingness to provide opportunities and mentoring for our students, your eagerness to share Colorado College with prospective students and donors, and your own giving in support of our vision allows all of us at CC to make differences that matter to our students. It is my great pleasure to share these updates with you!
Our Progress ✓
Work is taking place each day on our campus as students, faculty, and staff members contribute to the important initiatives guided by our strategic plan. It is important to share our progress, celebrating the accomplishments as well as the challenges, supporting one another as we advance this important work.
CC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium provided an opportunity for students to share the results of months of collaborative research. The Center for Immersive Learning and Engaged Teaching supported new summer research opportunities for students and faculty members, as well as workshops and this inaugural symposium.
Block break programming launched this year supports our initiative to create a diverse and inclusive campus. It provides free activities and excursions for students during their four-day break each block.
To strengthen our culture and improve Workplace Excellence, we are striving to build strong internal communication, vibrant collaboration, and organizational transparency as strategic assets. In our efforts to improve organizational transparency, this fall the college launched the Who Decides? and CC Facts webpages. The college’s statement on diversity is the foundation for fostering an inclusive campus culture, also supporting our Workplace Excellence efforts.
The completed renovation, including rooftop solar array, makes the Spencer Center our most energy-efficient building on campus. It’s just one of the projects enhancing our distinctive place of learning. Completed solar arrays on Worner Campus Center, El Pomar Sports Center, the dean of students’ home, and Cornerstone Arts Center also contribute to CC’s goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2020.
I hope you have followed news of how CC has supported internships thanks to alumni and parent networks; created Half Block professional development programs; launched and brought together programs under the Innovation Institute umbrella—like the Big Idea, the Public Interest Fellowship Program, and State of the Rockies—that move students from theory to practice; and collaborated with the other institutions of higher learning in Colorado Springs to envision an incubator for young alumni.
And we continue to experiment with ways to provide students and young alumni with opportunities to think about their futures. This story, in USA Today, shares news of CC’s partnership with market innovator Koru. Koru immerses recent grads in intensive month-long experiences in top companies. The experience is like an extended interview during which participants gain exposure and skills. Recent college graduates have an 85% job placement rate with the premier employers that also partner with Koru.
USA TODAY College
“We fit in-between those college grads and those employers and try to … Georgetown University, Colorado College and Bates College have teamed …
Normally, you would find CC’s Brigit Heidmous, assistant to the curator, at Colorado College’s I.D.E.A. Space. But this fall, you also can find her at the Machine Shop, a collaborative workspace located in downtown Colorado Springs, as their second artist in residence. This former automotive garage is now home to architects, developers, designers, writers and video wizards, and they expanded their “grand experiment” to include hosting an artist in residence to help enrich their creative community. An encaustic artist, Brigit works in thin layers of beeswax. Her show, titled Intergalactic Micro Ecosystems, has a Dec. 5 opening.
Today, CC Volleyball beat Pacific Lutheran 3-1 to win their first round NCAA game. We will most likely face Claremont in the second round later this weekend.
What a great win for the program!