Classified Staff Professional Development Day Evaluation Results - Spring 2017
On February 24, 2017, over one hundred COM employees participated in the second classified staff professional development day of the 2016-17 academic year. All campus departments were closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to accommodate attendance. The day started with breakfast in the cafeteria followed by Preparing for the Accreditation Site Visit, an interactive opening session led by President David Wain Coon and Accreditation Steering Task Force Co-Chairs Christina Leimer and Sarah Frye. The event then included a choice for staff to attend two of seven 55-minute back-to-back sessions, whose topics included:
• COM Safe Space: Supporting LGBTIQQ Students
• Emergency Preparedness at COM
• Fostering Inclusion in the Workplace
• Mindful Stress Reduction and Self-Care Strategies
• Supporting Distressed Students
• Teamwork: The Essentials
• Tech-Related Professional Development Resources at COM
Participants completed an evaluation form at the end of their second session to rate those sessions they attended, the day overall, and to provide comments or suggestions on the program or future professional development activities. The following is a summary of the evaluation results.
Overall and Individual Session Attendance
Attendance was tracked via sign-in sheets at the opening and individual sessions. There were 112 employees who attended at least one of these events.
The most popular sessions in terms of attendance were Emergency Preparedness at COM, Mindful Stress Reduction, and the two workshops facilitated by Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Fostering Inclusion in the Workplace and Teamwork: The Essentials.
Individual Session Evaluation Results
The following two tables summarize the response rates and average ratings for each session. Response rates were calculated by dividing the number of completed evaluation forms by the number of people who signed in for the workshop. There were some evaluation forms where the respondent did not write in the session titles; these were excluded from the results since we could not determine what session they were rating.
Individual sessions were rated on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 meaning Strongly Agree. Average ratings for each session were positive, as was the overall written feedback. There were many suggestions for the sessions to be longer. For those who attended Emergency Preparedness at COM, several respondents requested that there be training specific to emergency types such as active shooter, drills, and self-defense. Attendees to Teamwork: The Essentials suggested that future activities dedicated to teamwork be more interactive and include team-building exercises.
Overall Evaluation Results
Respondents rated the day overall on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 as, “I’d rather be working” and 5 as, “This was great. Let’s do it again.” The average rating was 4.6, demonstrating that staff would like for such dedicated professional development days to continue. As with individual sessions, the comments were generally positive with suggestions for the sessions to be longer and some requests for the event to span a full day.
Suggested topics for future professional development activities include interactive team-building, self-care, stress-reduction, yoga/exercise, and self-defense. Anthem EAP administered an additional evaluation survey to those who attended their sessions. The top five most requested topics from Anthem EAP’s additional evaluation include conflict resolution, communication, strategies for managing frustration, dealing with difficult people, and preventing burnout.
Conclusion and Recommendations
As with the fall 2016 professional development day, staff had a positive experience with the day’s program. It is recommended that such professional development days continue with a program that both falls within the strategic priorities of the college and appeals to the specific needs of classified staff. Example thematic areas include working together effectively and diversity, equity and inclusion. Sessions should be allotted more time so attendees can fully engage with the content and each other. Using electronic methods to determine attendance and receive feedback should also be implemented in order to streamline the evaluation process.