Newly Published Article on State and Regional Baldrige Programs

Newly Published Article on State and Regional Baldrige Programs

State and regional Baldrige programs provide the networking and tools that support organizations in improving their performance excellence and achieving recognition for a state Baldrige award.  Many of these organizations go on to become recipients of the prestigious Baldrige National Quality Award. 

I am delighted to announce that Julie Furst-Bowe and I have published an article titled “Stately Manner” in the April 2017 issue of ASQ’s Quality Progress.   A link to the article is at:

http://asq.org/quality-progress/2017/04/awards/stately-manner.pdf

This article describes the success of the state and regional Baldrige programs and the collaborative Alliance for Performance Excellence.  It highlights the process of applying for the state or regional Baldrige award with a discussion of the Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence's award program for the state of Wisconsin.  The article especially guides the reader on how to get started and some free resources for self-assessment in Baldrige thinking.

I hope that the article encourages more organizations to start their Baldrige journey in continuous improvement and performance excellence.  The state and regional programs provide an excellent resource often overlooked by organizations seeking to improve their excellence. 

I especially was motivated to write this article in the hope that more schools and colleges will network with their state or regional Baldrige programs to continue their journals in educational excellence.

Have a Successful Baldrige Experience!

Cindy Veenstra, PhD, ASQ Fellow

E: cindy@veenstraconsulting.com

 

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Michigan's 21st Century Education Commission Report: Weak on a Continuous Improvement Paradigm

Michigan's 21st Century Education Commission Report: Weak on a Continuous Improvement Paradigm

In early 2016, Michigan’s Governor Snyder created a 21st Century Education Commission to address improving the education system for the children in Michigan. Recently, the Commission generated its report of recommendations. Information on the Commission and its reports is available at http://mieducationcommission.com/

This blog suggests the need for more focus on continuous improvement strategies in the Commission's plan for improving education, including the use of Lean Six Sigma and the Baldrige systems thinking. 

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Is the Smartness Culture Getting in the Way of Helping More Students Graduate?

Is the Smartness Culture Getting in the Way of Helping More Students Graduate?

In reading my twitter feed, I came across a Chronicle of Higher Education article, “Obsessed with Smartness” by James M. Lang.

http://www.chronicle.com/article/Obsessed-With-Smartness/239156

The article is an insightful commentary on Alexander W. Astin’s 2016 book In Are You Smart Enough? How Colleges’ Obsession With Smartness Shortchanges Students. The book is a book worth reading. 

The blog summarizes and comments on Lang's article. 

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Getting from School Choice to Educational Quality

Getting from School Choice to Educational Quality

In recent years, with increased collaboration among schools, industry and local communities, we have experienced more success in preparing students for college and jobs in industry. Much progress has been made but more is needed.  Too many students still are not prepared for the academic rigors of college. With the demand for STEM jobs, especially in engineering, technology and computing, the jobs of the future will require some post-secondary education, minimally at a community college.

It is in this environment, that school choice and public charter schools have been given a voice.  Parents demand more choices for their children’s education, including STEM programs,  to assure a good education.

This blog discusses the need for improving Michigan’s charter schools and the nomination of Betsy DeVos, a strong advocate and influencer for charter schools in Michigan, as secretary of education.

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Michigan Colleges Graduation/Success Rates

Michigan Colleges Graduation/Success Rates

This Mlive article summarizes the improvement in graduation and success rates at Michigan public universities in 2015.  It includes a lookup table for your favorite Michigan college. As previous research has shown, many students take more than 4 years to graduate but persist to graduate in 6 years.  There are various reasons for taking longer to graduate. One is due to the cost of college, many students work part-time.

The article is based on the Center for Educational Performance and Information report “State of Michigan PostSecondary Success 2015 Report” released on July 12, 2016. The report shows that the graduation/success rate increased from 39% for graduation in 4 years to 65% in 6 years for all Michigan public universities.  

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Improving the Quality of Michigan's K-12 Education: Consider Baldrige

Improving the Quality of Michigan's K-12 Education: Consider Baldrige

The Detroit Free Press editorial board published an editorial on June 22, 2016 "In Michigan, it's not just Detroit schools that are in trouble", indicating that there is mounting evidence of a significant decline in the quality of K12 education in the state of Michigan.  It is not just Detroit schools that needs our attention.  Michigan is now ranked 40th among all states. 

This blog discusses the editorial and suggests that it may be the right time to revisit the Baldrige Performance Excellence program for its systems thinking in improving K-12 education.  Many schools have benefited with improved student learning outcomes, higher graduation rates and better preparation of their students for college and the workplace.   Links to introductory articles about the success of Baldrige systems thinking for schools are included. 

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Thoughts on Variability in Graduation Rates at Engineering Colleges

Thoughts on Variability in Graduation Rates at Engineering Colleges

As universities are celebrating commencement exercises with their graduates this month, it is an appropriate time to talk about graduation rates and congratulate engineering colleges with high graduation rates. 

One might ask: What is the range on graduation rates at U.S. engineering colleges. The answer may surprise you.  Some colleges graduate almost 100% of their students in 5 years; however, for some colleges, the graduation rate is less than 20%.  Read on to find out more about the variation in the 5-year graduation rates at U.S. engineering college and its relationship to first year retention. 

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Future Reading: Systems Thinking in K-12 Education

My colleague Franklin Schargel has written a blog that highlights Dr. Lee Jenkins' book, Optimizing Your School: It's All About the Strategy.   I have been planning on writing a recommendation of this book in this blog so I was delighted to see Franklin's blog.  I want to take this opportunity to say I agree with Franklin and recommend Dr. Jenkins' book.   

Please read Franklin Schargel's blog here

As Franklin indicates in his blog, Optimizing Your School suggests a systems approach for successful student learning. This approach encompasses a student-focused culture and inclusiveness.  As an advocate for continuous improvement in education, I especially like the discussions on continuous strategic improvement leadership.  The discussions of related processes, teamwork and use of simple visual displays in the classroom are icing on the cake.  

Definitely, recommended reading!  

Joyful reading!

Cindy Veenstra, PhD, ASQ Fellow