Conversations from the Field: Implementing Positive Strategies for Success!

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This session will focus on no cost and simple to implement positive communication strategies for faculty and administrators.  Education should be a model for positive communication and inspiration.  Join us for Conversations from the Field.


I am Kelley Mansfield, and I am currently an Administrative Faculty manager with American InterContinental University Online. I have a BA degree in Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a MS degree in Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. I started my career teaching eighth grade math, Algebra, and English before moving into higher education. I taught at several community colleges in Virginia and Indiana before moving into an administrative role. For fourteen years, I worked as a Director of Education/Academic Dean at two different colleges in Indiana. In May 2015, I joined AIU. I love what I do, and I love working with faculty! I have a true passion for education, and believe life is full of learning opportunities. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Clint, and our two precious Golden Retrievers, Shenanigans and Maggie May.

Extended Abstract

Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  We want students to feel good about their classroom experience, and faculty should feel good about their part in that process.  From an administrative perspective, we want faculty to feel good in their role and have the tools they need to foster student success.

Today, students and faculty alike face a myriad of challenges.  Some challenges are timeless, such as balancing academic, professional, and personal priorities.  While other challenges are relatively new, balancing stress and priorities during a pandemic, with increased attention to social injustice and political unrest.  The classroom is one place individuals can find common ground.  Within the classroom, there are shared goals of learning specific objectives and pursuing one’s academic ambitions.  Students and faculty alike want success.  With everything going on in the world, the classroom can be one place to de-stress, go back to basics, and feel good about those common purposes.

As educators, we often hear the phrase “meet students where they are”, but what does that really mean?  How do you “meet students where they are” with the diverse needs to learners?  Can we also “meet faculty where they are”?  The relationship between administration and faculty is a unique one, and one that needs to be fostered.  A positive relationship between administration and faculty can often lead to further success in the classroom.  Ultimately, these collaborations promote student success.

Fundamental teaching practices can transcend course discipline and delivery structure.  There are best practices for meeting our students and faculty needs.  Many of these are simple to apply and can be implemented immediately regardless of your learning management system.  Positive strategies for students and faculty include: resetting our default, utilizing a growth mindset, developing a trusting environment, demonstrating empathy, and being timely in communications.

Level of Participation:

This session will start with two polls which will serve to determine a baseline for attendees’ current practices.  Throughout the session, best practices for meeting our students and faculty where they are will be presented.  Attendees will then be asked to select two strategies to implement, and individuals will be encouraged to tweet their strategies to #OLCInnovate2022 #mytwothings.  Additionally, those in attendance will be encouraged to share their own positive experiences throughout the session and comment to #OLCInnovate2022 #peoplefirst.

Session Goals:

The goal of this session is relatively simple – to offer those in attendance best practices for meeting our students and faculty needs.  Administrative practices along with facilitation strategies will be outlined which can be implemented almost immediately.