Curriculum Revision Using Force Field Analysis Essay Sample

Curriculum Revision Using Force Field Analysis Pages
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1. Assume the role of the newly appointed Dean of the College of Education. Identify the problems you have to face with respect to:

A. Planning –

It is apparent that the College of Education has been working as a closed system for the past 34 years. It has not taken into account any of the economic, political and social factors that beset the country and by doing so it has not adapted to meet the demands of the current situation. By remaining static for so many years, the problem the College faces is manifold. Since educational institutions are social systems, and social systems are open systems, all parts are interdependent and, therefore, affect one another. This is evidenced from the problems facing the College.

There is no shared vision-mission for the College.
The College has no vision-mission and, by having none, has no purpose or direction, therefore no preferred future. There must be a vision because it clearly states the why we, as a College exist and what we believe in. It will serve as a statement of our values. It will reflect our philosophy and knowledge, and guide the actions of all those involved. It will direct the organization, as well as all of its major functions and operations, to its best opportunities and is a key component to the next stage of planning for the College, the strategic plan.

There is no strategic plan for the College.
The first and most immediate problem that I will have to deal with is the development of a strategic plan based on the vision-mission of the College. At present, all existing plans are only consolidated plans developed by the faculty “based on what they know is best for the College.” The probability that these plans are biased and outdated is very high since they are not based on any environmental scan, both internal and external. I consider this to be the most important because, for the College to survive, the change it must undergo must be a planned one. In addition, the restructuring of all key areas of the College from its faculty and staff, its goals and objectives, its curriculum, programs and activities, policies, procedures and rules, facilities and budgets, etc. will be dependent on the thrust of this plan. Therefore, all aspects of the plan must be well calculated and based on actual data, not on personal assumptions and prejudices of the faculty.

In the development of the strategic plan, the following problems must be addressed and objectives must be developed to eliminate them or at the very least, bring them under control.

1. Problem: Aging faculty
The current faculty members are highly qualified and committed. Almost all of them have been with the College for 20 years. However, more than half of them are due for retirement. New faculty will have to be recruited and those with a Masters degree have to move towards obtaining their PhDs. There is currently no faculty development program in the College although there are connections with other educational institutions abroad that can be tapped for this need. In addition, majority of the faculty work is in support services rather than teaching due to higher financial rewards that can be obtained through this service.

2. Problem: Old curriculum
The curriculum and programs of the College have not been revised or updated for many years. Some courses may already be obsolete. No feasibility studies have been done to look into possibility of introducing new courses and programs that are relevant to the needs of the country. This problem probably stems from the fact stated above that the majority of the faculty have concentrated their efforts on support services rather than teaching. There is also a lack of young faculty who can infuse new ideas into the system, thereby influencing the quality and significance of the current curriculum.

3. Problem: Low salaries
The salaries of the faculty members are too low thereby forcing most of them to concentrate on consultancies to augment their income. This is one of the reasons why the quality of education within the college has declined over the years. The meager salary will also be a problem in the recruitment of new faculty. Salaries are influenced by the low tuition rate and the nominal increase in the budget provided by the government. With the problem of inflation, overpopulation, and the socio-economic situation of the country, it is highly unlikely that the government will increase its budget allocation to the university. The College will have to include other sources of revenue such as seminar-workshops, projects, etc. in their strategic plans to increase its income independent from the government budget.

4. Problem: Low tuition fees
University tuition rates are very low. Since MU is a state university, a big percentage of the student’s tuition is subsidized by the government. However, as stated earlier, the government is unable to increase the budget allotted to MU. It has been noted that 60% of students in the college are from families of good economic status so the possibility of raising tuition fees to augment operational expenses is an option. However, a feasibility study has to be conducted first before raising the fees. There is also a risk that the 40% of students who come from families within the lower economic bracket will be affected by the tuition hike and will be unable to continue their studies. This may spark student protests and a perception that the College is elitist and will cater only to those who can afford an education.

5. Problem: “Jurassic” facilities and equipment
a. Building
The entire building has to be renovated and expanded, but with the nominal budget of the College, this seems like an impossible dream. Classrooms are too small, blackboards and chairs should be changed, air conditioning units replaced, etc. In addition there is a parking problem that needs to be addressed, and if planned well, can be a source of revenue for the college.

b. Equipment
Visual and educational aids are outdated. The computers and need to be replaced with Pentium processors with bigger storage capacities. New printers have to be purchased. There is no Internet access which should be available for research and is an essential tool to develop global competitiveness. The current equipment is immensely inadequate.

c. Library
One of the showcases of a College is its library collection. However, the library in the College of Education of MU is more of a museum of dead books. With 85% of the books being obsolete, the library is of little use in education and research. The library desperately needs new books, journals and Internet access available to the students for research, and a more advanced method of cataloguing and maintaining an inventory of its books. There are also no controls in place to prevent thefts.

It is evident that the biggest problem I will have to face when dealing with facilities and equipment is capital expenditure. I will have to find ways to fund these projects without relying on the university budget.

6. Problem: External environment

1. Datu is a developing country. It is overpopulated and poor. Only the metropolis is industrialized but is overcrowded. The thrust of the government is poverty alleviation, employment generation, agro-industrialization, and environment protection. Although the latest survey has shown that technical and vocational education programs rank highest in the need for the country to be industrialized, the College has disregarded this information and has not introduced new courses to take advantage of this demand.

2. There is competition from other universities and colleges that have better facilities and equipment, and new programs. The prestige of the university and the College has declined over the year. The college is no longer considered one of the best in pacific rim in EDAD and management.

3. Due to the mounting socio-economic problems of the country, the government is pushing for state universities to be more self-reliant. MU is also under review by congress for its relevance to the country. The university has not been reporting to the government to justify its continued subsidy. Should congress judge MU to have no contribution to national development, this will mean a drastic cut in the budget allocation for MU which will affect all colleges and programs of the institution.

B. Organizing

A key issue in accomplishing the goals identified in the planning process is structuring the work of the organization. Since the last restructuring of the College was in 1970, a new organizational structure will have to be established that will enable the College to effectively achieve its goals. Government educational institutions will often have a bureaucratic structure, highly hierarchical and authoritative. This kind of structure will be problematic as it is resistant to change. Aside from the formal structure, the more difficult part in the restructuring process will be the informal organization. Looking at the faculty profile, all of its members have been with the College for 20 years. This would mean that group norms, political factions, informal rankings of individuals and subgroups will already be in place. I am the newly appointed Dean. If I rose from the ranks, then acceptance of my new role will not be as difficult as if I came from another institution. In the latter case, I will be looked at as an outsider and will be resented by the entire faculty and staff. Then again, even if I came from the College, I will still be faced with subgroups that may consider me an antagonist.

It is this informal organization that can put pressure on the other faculty to conform to their expectations, expectations that may conflict with mine. This can result in the false information or rumors and resistance to change. As Dean, I must recognize the existence of information groups, identify the roles member play within these groups, and use knowledge of the groups to work effectively with them. This will help me gain support, provide stability for the College and be useful as a channel of communication. From my perspective, in order to win the hearts of the faculty and help the school survive, I would also have to adopt a more modern type of organizational structure, an organic structure. The College will have to be changed to a learning organization.

This would facilitate team collaboration and the sharing of information. The faculty profile of the College would do well in this type of structure. It will help the College develop the capacity to adapt and survive in an increasingly competitive environment because the faculty will take an active role in identifying and resolving work-related issues. This design will empower the faculty because they will be able to acquire and share knowledge and be a part of the decision-making process. It will enable me to pool their collective intelligence and stimulate creative thought to improve performance. This structure will help me align the College’s vision for the future and sustain a sense of community and strong culture, a sense of ownership among the faculty and staff.

C. Leading

With the current faculty profile, I will be faced with some faculty members who will feel that they know more than I do due to seniority and even age, that they no longer need to be supervised, or even that they should have been appointed as the new dean as they are more qualified and higher in faculty rank, etc. Also, given that the College has been static for many years, some faculty may be not be motivated or complacent because they will be retiring in the next few years, or feel threatened by change. Some faculty may support me, others may not. Simply put, it will not be easy. The College will have the greatest chance of being successful when all of the faculty and staff work toward achieving its goals. Leadership involves the exercise of influence by one person over others, therefore the quality of leadership I will show is critical to the success of the College.

I will have to develop a management style that will take into consideration the kind of faculty and staff I will be directing. In this scenario, I believe that transformational leadership is the answer because this type of leadership can inspire the faculty to go beyond their own self-interest for the good of the organization. It can appeals to their ideals and moral values and inspire them to think about problems in new or different ways. It can stimulate them intellectually, moving them to develop new ways to think about problems. It will show the faculty that there is respect and confidence in their capabilities because the leader will only take initiative when there are problems and is not actively involved when things are going well. It is a leadership style that I must learn to develop and am hopefully capable of achieving.

D. Controlling

The controlling function of the College is very weak. Controlling is directly related to planning. It is this process that ensures that plans are being implemented properly. Control is the process through which standards for performance of people and processes are set, communicated, and applied. Effective control systems use mechanisms to monitor activities and take corrective action, if necessary. It allows the administrator to observe what happens and compare that with what was supposed to happen. Effective control systems will allow the administrator to know how well implementation is going, and facilitates the delegation of work to others. Since controlling is directly related to planning, and the College has no strategic plan be it mid or long-term, then there are no parameters by which to set the systems for control.

The establishment of performance standards is selected based on the objectives that are set during the planning process. Financial controls facilitate achieving the organization’s profit motive which is based on the programs and activities designed to meet the objectives of the plan. Since the College has no plan and in effect has no objectives, then the control process is already flawed from the start. This is evidenced from the problems with the distribution of faculty functions (no objectives for instruction) or even for inventory of the library. In addition, MU is a state university and its budget is dependent on the allotment given by the government. The budget has increased only nominally throughout the years and, considering inflation rates and price index, it is actually 50% lower than in 1978. Therefore, the financial constraints of the university are very high. All units will be allotted a certain amount from this budget which obviously is not enough to cover the operating cost of running a college. It is apparent that ways and means will have to be developed to increase the revenue of the College independent of the government and university funding. 2. FORCE FIELD ANALYSIS

Need: Revision of the curriculum to make it more relevant to the needs of the country.

Driving Forces

1. Market Demand
One of the thrusts is for the country to be industrialized and to generate massive employment opportunities. Technical and vocational education programs were ranked the highest in demand since these kinds of programs are designed to provide graduates with livelihood skills needed for gainful employment. One of the essential components to the success of these of programs is professionally trained technical and vocational teachers.

2. Support from government – Availability of funding for programs
A priority program of the government is training and livelihood for sustainable development and it is willing to provide fund support to organizations that will respond to this need. The college can avail of the P10.5B budget allocated for these kinds of programs.

3. Qualified and committed faculty
All the faculty members have post graduates degrees, with the majority PhD holders. All of them have been with the College for 20 years and are highly committed. If leadership is strong, the faculty can be motivated to work towards this goal.

4. Interest of young PhD holders & EDAD practitioners
There are young PhD holders and other EDAD practitioners who are interested in teaching part-time for the College.

5. No competing schools for Technical and Vocational Teacher Education There are 500 private schools in the country that have the newest facilities and better-paid faculty but they have commonly offered courses, including post-graduate programs in education. However, none of them offer this type of program.

6. Connections with other educational institutions abroad
The university has connections with other universities and training institutions abroad for practically almost all kinds of trainings.

7. Interest of companies for leasing land
The university has a land area of 300 hectares. Land can be leased to companies to generate income to augment its operational costs.

Restraining Factors

1. Recruitment of qualified faculty
Although the faculty members are equipped with post grad degrees, it is unlikely that they are not technical or vocational experts. The program will need people who are specialist in areas such as Appliance Technology, Automotive Repair and Services, Health Occupations, etc. to train the students, however, these professionals may not have the teaching skills needed to impart knowledge..

2. Aging faculty
60% of the faculty members are at retirement age.

3. Red tape
Being a state university, the organizational structure is bureaucratic. The process of introducing new courses and programs may be bogged down by red tape.

4. Availability of facilities
The college has inadequate facilities for the programs it already offers. Each technical and vocational education course will require its own type of equipment and bigger classrooms and laboratory space.

5. Financial constraints
The College is dependent on the budget allocation from the university which comes from the government. The allocation is nominal and will not be able to sustain this type of program due to facilities and equipment needs as well as additional faculty requirements. In addition, tuition rates, which also comprise part of the College budget is very low.

6. Low salaries
With the faculty salaries being below the poverty line if no there is no added income, it is difficult to recruit new faculty.

3. Reducing the restraining forces

1. Recruitment and lack of qualified faculty
The presence of a committed faculty is an asset to the College. Although they may not have the technical or vocational skills, they can team up with technical and vocational experts to design teacher education/training courses in specific fields. The experts may have the know-how but do not have the knowledge to design curriculums for education purposes. Together they can develop a formidable program. The College can also tap the universities’ connections abroad for faculty exchange programs with colleges/schools that offer technical and vocational courses as well as obtain scholarships for young aspiring faculty with potential in this field.

2. Aging faculty
There are many young PhD holders and practitioners in the country who are willing to teach part-time in the college. These professionals can be tapped to augment the faculty who are already retiring.

3. Red tape
The government is moving towards the making state universities more self-reliant. The university can take advantage of this and move towards a more autonomous structure. The autonomous structure can be extended to the different colleges so that they can produce projects and programs that can generate income and free central administration from the burden of finding the budgets to meet all their needs. Land can be leased to companies and the income used to augment operational expenses of the university. Tuition fees can be raised. In addition, the university can lease the land to companies with the condition that they help in the development of livelihood programs and provide apprenticeships to students of the university. Some of the land area can also be used for student parking. Revenue can be generated through the sale of parking stickers.

4. Availability of facilities
With these types of programs as a priority for government funding, the College can apply for part of the P10.5B allocation and use this to renovate and expand its facilities. The college can also tie-up with companies that will need workers that are highly skilled in specific technical and vocational fields to develop teachers needed for their field and acquire the equipment for skill training from these companies. An apprenticeship program can also be developed for the College’s students. Companies can also benefit from these programs because the graduates can eventually become trainers for the company workforce.

5. Financial constraints
As stated above, funding can come from the P10.5B budget, from donations from companies that will benefit from these types of programs, and from research grants.

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