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The Chronicle’s Catalysts of Transformation Program

Equipping Community College Leaders for Change

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The Chronicle’s Catalysts of Transformation Program

Every corner and level of leadership is impacted by the swirling forces of change and uncertainty facing community colleges. Leaders confess that organizational culture – from how managers and leaders use their time and engage their teams, to how leaders across functional areas collaborate with one another – still needs to catch up to the pace of change and the depth of transformation required of this moment. But here’s the good news: leaders at every level are finding hope and purpose in new strategies that not only strengthen their institutions but also enable them to serve their regions in unprecedented ways.

This summer, The Chronicle is partnering with Strategic Imagination to create a virtual leadership series tailored to the needs of community college leaders amidst this turbulent landscape. This dynamic program is designed to empower leaders at all levels, from seasoned veterans with a wealth of experience to emerging talents. We’ll look at what it means to lead in a world that won’t stand still, and provide practical tools for leaders to discuss with their fellow leaders and teams on campus.

Program Leaders

Melanie Ho
Higher Education Leadership and Strategy Consultant; Founder
Strategic Imagination
Liz McMillen
Executive Editor, Chronicle Intelligence
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Program Agenda


Decoding the DNA of Transformation

What does it mean to manage and lead others during times of transformation? This program is designed around four pillars that are important for community college leaders at all levels during times of change. Over the course of two days, participants will focus on:
  • Visionary Leadership: Collaborating around Collective Aspirations
  • Elevated Collaboration: Breaking Down Silos and Forging Partnerships
  • Change Agility: Embracing the Unknown
  • Looking Inward: Evolving as a Leader

Program Schedule

Our two-day virtual workshop series will be offered in two different sessions in August to accommodate the busy schedules of leaders. You can choose from:
  • August 8 & 9, 12 - 4:30 PM ET
  • August 22 & 23, 12 - 4:30 PM ET

Program Elements

Two-Day Virtual Workshop Series: Immerse yourself in a transformative learning experience, designed to help participants prioritize areas for action and continued growth through a combination of actionable insights, peer networking, and individual reflection.

Decoding the DNA of Transformation Assessment: Uncover areas to prioritize for individual and organizational leadership development with our self-diagnostic tool, which will help you gain insights for both personal growth and organizational culture and prioritize areas for action-planning

Collaborative Learning Hub: Access a rich collection of resources and connect with fellow participants to exchange ideas, share resources, and build lasting relationships.

What Community Colleges Need to Thrive: This Chronicle report addresses steep enrollment declines, worsening social inequities, and the pandemic’s economic fallout, along with longstanding structural issues, that create a complicated landscape for community college leaders.

Learning Amplifier Toolkit: Amplify the impact of your Virtual Retreat learnings with materials and tools to drive change and foster collaboration with others at your institution, including slides, recommended resources, and more.

Capstone Session: Engage in our exclusive Capstone Session, approximately three months after program completion, to reflect on our individual and collective journeys and gain tools to nurture ongoing progress.

For a limited time, get $200 off this important workshop series with code COMMUNITY23 at checkout!
Day One: Sparking Metamorphosis

Visionary Leadership & Elevated Collaboration

Over the course of the first day, leaders will work on concepts including strategic goal setting and cross-functional teamwork.

Key questions for the first day include:
  • How can we provide a compelling and inspiring vision of the future?
  • How do we empower employees at all levels to understand their role in change?
  • What are the new strategic decision-making skills that every leader needs?
  • How do we break down silos and foster the cross-functional partnerships necessary to achieve bolder visions?
  • How do we navigate conflict and foster productive relationships?

Learning objectives for first day include:
  • Explore new ways to envision futures beyond the status quo and that inspire others to embrace change and innovation
  • Learn the power of storytelling for inspiring and mobilizing disparate stakeholders
  • Understand the strategic mindset shifts required for planning and decisions in times of change
  • Gain tools for navigating difficult conversations with disparate stakeholders
  • Understand the most frequent ways that silos get in the way of institutional objectives
  • Develop techniques for facilitating effective cross-functional meetings and collaborative decision-making processes
Day Two: Leading through Uncertainty

Change Agility & Looking Inward

Over the course of the second day, participants will focus on individual leadership growth and navigating the unknown.

Key questions for the second day include:
  • How do we develop a culture, practices, and processes that enable quick adaptation to evolving circumstances?
  • How do we address resistance to change effectively?
  • What new strategies can be implemented to foster a positive and resilient culture?
  • How can we make time for our own leadership development?
  • How can we ensure time for strategic activities that drive transformation while also balancing day-to-day needs?
  • What practices and techniques can we incorporate into our routines to replenish our energy?
Learning objectives for the second day include:
  • Identify common sources of resistance and develop strategies for addressing and overcoming “change fatigue” effectively
  • Develop practices and processes that foster quick adaptation to evolving circumstances and embrace change as a constant
  • Explore strategies for fostering a learning culture that supports continuous improvement and encourages experimentation and risk-taking.
  • Identify and prioritize personal development areas related to leading transformation and change
  • Gain new strategies for prioritizing strategic activities while managing day-to-day responsibilities
  • Gain an understanding of the unique burnout risks that leaders face during times of change, and develop strategies to effectively combat and mitigate these risks
Program Highlight: Presidential Panel
Gain exclusive access to a candid panel discussion where accomplished community college presidents and executive leaders respond to your submitted challenges, providing practical solutions and guidance.

This Ask-the-President Panel will provide attendees:
  • Opportunities to submit questions in advance and through the session
  • Lessons learned from the trenches
  • A live-coaching atmosphere of facilitated discussion