Creativity and Innovation – Albright College

Creativity and Innovation

Implementation Plan

Goals of Implementation. (How will we know we were successful?)

  • To develop a culture of creativity and creative thinking at Albright College, which defines
    • what creativity and innovation will actually be at Albright, and
    • the characteristics of how the college’s academic programs engage creative thinking, and
    • how we guarantee that each student engages in creativity and innovation, and develops their creative thinking skills.

As we develop this culture of creativity and creative thinking, we recognize that that every student will not have the same experience; we strive for every student to know and realize that they have engaged in a creative work and developed their creative thinking skills.

  • To ensure that the theme of creativity and innovation encompasses the broader concepts of societal impact, urban fun – engaging in Reading, and post-college planning throughout their four years.
  • To define how every student develops the skills of creativity and creative thinking, and recognizes that they have developed the skills to think creatively, defined as follows:
    • Creativity is defined as the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas; more broadly, as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, or entertaining ourselves and others.
    • Creative thinking is defined as both the capacity to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and the experience of thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way characterized by a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking. (AAC&U VALUE rubric definition)
  • To demonstrate that creative thinking is implemented as a student learning goal throughout the student’s Albright College experience and how evidence of accomplishment of this goal is define in each academic discipline and department of the college.
  • To ensure that our entire community has consistency of message that is clearly defined and used, one that clearly articulates Albright’s culture of creativity. The messages should be appropriate and targeted to the many audiences, including, but not limited to, prospective students and families, current students, faculty, and staff, alumni, potential employers of our students and the broader Reading and Berks and higher education communities.
  • To ensure that each component is communicated as each is developed – continuing to develop messaging along the way.
  • To ensure that work is ongoing – that we don’t develop creativity and innovation programs once, or implement creative thinking in the curriculum once, and then it is done, but that the college’s program continues to evolve and develop.

Implementation Team

(small, engaged group, mostly a subset of the Steering Committee, leads implementation)

Committee Charge: To lead and facilitate the work of developing creativity and innovation in action in various areas of the college, and to receive and review the work products of the Working Groups and weave together the various work products to identify commonalities. To lead and provide feedback to the Working Groups to ensure consistency. And, to weave these products together to develop the “it”— a distinctive and coherent experience that is guaranteed to every student and that will come to define how we are understood by key external constituencies. Implementation Team Members have the responsibility to share information between Working Groups—so each group can hear what other groups are doing. Make suggestions for bigger and bolder work, based on the work products.


Implementation Working Groups

These are defined groups, programs and departments (see list next) are charged with the following and producing work product every five weeks. (the goal is to keep the work moving and to keep it at the forefront). One responsibility of the Working Group and its leaders is to keep their entire department/unit/program and broader division informed of their work, and get feedback on the work product at each step of the process.

Process Framework (This just a framework. Tasks specific to each Implementation Working Group)

Task 1. Define creativity and innovation in your discipline or work area.
Task 2. Does every student have the opportunity to experience creativity and innovation in action and/or to build their own skills in creativity and innovation (as defined by the Working Group in Task 1)?
Task 3. How will every student have the opportunity to experience creativity and innovation in action and/or to build their own skills in creativity and innovation in the area of the Working Group? Identify one opportunity to make a change or evolve the Working Group’s programs or processes to better ensure and enhance the student’s ongoing creative experience and/or development of their innovative thinking and skills.
Task 4. Given the work in steps 1-3, develop the Working Group’s elevator pitch on the importance of creativity and innovation in their department, unit, program or process.
Task 5. Make the change in the process or program. Begin assessment of the impact of the change.
Task 6. Define how your Working Group and your constituency will promote what it is doing.
This process will likely repeat with other Implementation Working Groups as the process continues.

Academic Working Groups are charged with leading and facilitating the work of developing creativity and innovation in action in each academic department, by identifying existing and potential opportunities for student engagement in creative and innovative work in the academic departments. Identify opportunities to develop, implement, and assess academic programs in departments, to better enhance the ongoing creative experiences of students, including specific requirements to involve every student in a program that engages and develops their creative thinking skills in activities that include societal impact, engaging with the City of Reading, and integrated post-college planning.

Cabinet sponsor: Karen Campbell, Provost
Implementation Working Group Leader: Dept Chairs

Task 1. Define creativity and innovation in your discipline, as it applies to Albright’s mission: “As a diverse community of learners, we cultivate integrity, curiosity, connection and resilience.” Innovation, learning and discovery are the core values within the curiosity pillar.
Task 2a. If a major or minor had “creative thinking,” as a learning goal, what would the outcome of that look like in your discipline and how would it be assessed?
Task 2b. If a course had “creative thinking,” as a learning goal, what would the outcome of that look like in your discipline and how would it be assessed? Make a list of any of the department’s courses that currently have creative thinking as a learning goal and, and describe how the outcome of that learning goal is assessed.
Task 3. Does every student have the opportunity to experience creativity and innovation in action and/or to build their own skills in creativity and innovation (as defined by your department in Task 1)?
Task 4. Identify one opportunity to make a change or evolve the Department’s programs or processes to better ensure and enhance the student’s ongoing creative experience and/or development of their innovative thinking and skills. Focus should be on activities or requirements that ensure every student in the program engages and develops their creative thinking skills, as well as on activities that include societal impact, engaging with the city of Reading, and/or integrated post-college planning. Develop the list of tasks and timeline required to complete the change or evolution, as well as how the change might be assessed. If your department has a program that already provides ongoing opportunities for creative and innovative experiences, either provide information about how these are assessed, or develop an assessment for this learning to determine whether this is the actual lived experience of the student.
Task 5. Given the work in steps 1-4, develop the academic program’s elevator pitch on the importance of creativity and innovation in your department, including a statement about how every student is guaranteed such experience. How would your department describe the student’s opportunities to a potential student or donor in two minutes or less?
Task 6. Make the change(s) in the process or program articulated in Task 4. Begin assessment of the impact of the change.

One of the learning goals of Albright’s first year seminar is “cultivate intellectual curiosity as well as creative and critical thinking.” This group’s charge is to put this learning goal into action by leading and facilitating the work of developing creativity and innovation in action in First Year Seminars. This work includes identifying existing and potential opportunities for student engagement in creative and innovative work in First Year Seminars and identifying opportunities to develop, implement, and assess initiatives in the FYS programs, to better enhance the implementation and assessment of the learning goal and the creative experiences of students, including specific requirements to involve every student in a program that engages and develops their creative thinking skills in activities that include societal impact, engaging with the City of Reading, and integrated post-college planning.

Cabinet sponsor: Karen Campbell
Implementation Working Group Leader: Rob Seesengood

Task 1. Define creativity and creative thinking, as it applies to Albright’s First Year Seminar. Keep in mind Albright’s mission: “As a diverse community of learners, we cultivate integrity, curiosity, connection and resilience.” Innovation, learning and discover are the core values within the curiosity pillar.
Task 2. Survey First Year Seminar syllabi to determine how the learning goal of “cultivate intellectual curiosity as well as creative and critical thinking” is accomplished and how it is assessed.
Task 3. Identify one opportunity to make a change or evolve the first year seminar to better ensure and enhance the student’s ongoing creative experience and/or development of their innovative thinking and skills. The goal is to ensure that every student in every first year seminar has the opportunity to experience creativity and innovation in action and/or to build their own skills in creative thinking. Define how the outcome of this change would be assessed.
Task 4. Given the work in steps 1-3, develop the elevator pitch for Albright’s First Year Seminars that emphasizes the importance and outcome of developing creative thinking skills for each student. How would the Working Group describe the student’s opportunities to a potential student or donor in two minutes or less?
Task 5. Begin making the change in the First Year Seminar. Begin assessment of the impact of the change.

One of the learning goals of Albright’s Synthesis Courses is “engage the student in creative and critical thinking.” This group’s charge is to put this learning goal into action by leading and facilitating the work of developing creativity and innovation in action in Synthesis Courses, including identifying existing and potential opportunities for student engagement in creative and innovative work in Synthesis courses, identifying opportunities to develop, implement, and assess initiatives that better implement this learning goal, and enhance creativity experiences that can be delivered through Synthesis courses, with the aim of better enhancing the ongoing creative experiences of students, including specific requirements to involve every student in a program that engages and develops their creative thinking skills in activities that include societal impact, engaging with the City of Reading, and integrated post-college planning.

Cabinet sponsor: Karen Campbell
Implementation Working Group Leader: Beth Kiester

Task 1. Define creativity and creative thinking, as it applies to Albright’s Synthesis Courses. Keep in mind Albright’s mission: “As a diverse community of learners, we cultivate integrity, curiosity, connection and resilience.” Innovation, learning and discover are the core values within the curiosity pillar.
Task 2. Survey Synthesis Course syllabi to determine how the learning goal of “engage the student in creative and critical thinking” is accomplished and how it is assessed in each Synthesis course.
Task 3. Identify one opportunity to make a change or evolve the Synthesis Course to better ensure and enhance the student’s ongoing creative experience and/or development of their innovative thinking and skills. The goal is to ensure that every student in every Synthesis Course has the opportunity to experience creativity and innovation in action and/or to build their own skills in creative thinking. Define how the outcome of this change would be assessed.
Task 4. Given the work in steps 1-3, develop the elevator pitch for Albright’s Synthesis Courses that emphasizes the importance and outcome of developing creative thinking skills for each student. How would the Working Group describe the student’s opportunities to a potential student or donor in two minutes or less?
Task 5. Begin making the change in the Synthesis Courses. Begin assessment of the impact of the change.

This group’s charge is to put this institutional identity into practice by leading and facilitating the work of developing creativity and innovation in action in new student on-boarding and orientation (from the moment students deposit). This work includes introducing the creativity and innovation in action platform as a central component to the Albright College experience. In addition, the group will identify existing and potential opportunities for student engagement in creative and innovative experiences at new student orientation and on-boarding and identify opportunities to develop, implement, and assess initiatives in the on-boarding and orientation programs.

Cabinet sponsor: Sam Wesner, Dwayne Walker
Implementation Working Group Leader: Katy Mangold

Task 1. Define creativity and innovation as it relates to the new student on-boarding and orientation program.
Task 2. Does every student have the opportunity to experience creativity and innovation in action and/or to build their own skills in creativity and innovation? What activities or initiatives support this concept as a part of the new student on-boarding and orientation process?
Task 3. Identify one opportunity to make a change or evolve the new student onboarding and orientation processes to introduce the concept, better ensure and enhance the student’s ongoing creative experience and/or development of their innovative thinking and skills.
Task 4. Given the work in steps 1-3, develop an elevator pitch on the importance of creativity and innovation in the new student on-boarding and orientation program.
Task 5. Implement approved/agreed upon initiatives as changes to the new student on-boarding and orientation program. Begin assessment of the impact of those changes.
Task 6: Introduce students to other opportunities for creativity & innovation at Albright.

This working group’s charge is to examine current messaging and determine how it should evolve based on the research and findings of the A&S work and the creativity and innovation in action platform. Explore strategies (current and new) to display these themes throughout all communication, across all platforms, and to all audiences, including but not limited to internal community (faculty, staff, students, trustees), prospective students and families, alumni and donors, media, community leaders, and others. Recommend a process for how the initiatives that are created through the working groups will evolve future communication strategies, resulting in the eventual branding of a new program.

Cabinet sponsor: Jen Stoudt and Dwayne Walker
Implementation Team Co-Leaders: Jennifer Williamson and Carey Manzolillo

Task 1. Determine how current messaging needs to evolve and change by incorporating what we know now from the A&S research. Identify and prioritize where messaging needs to change and identify stories and proof points that are in line with the data, theme and institutional strategy that can be used now.
Task 2. Continue evolution of messaging based on current data and information.
Task 3. Determine how the message will evolve based on the continued progress of the working groups. The message and creative content (talking points, stories, etc.) should evolve as the working groups complete their tasks. A process will need to be identified so that the outcomes of the working groups will be integrated into messaging.
Task 4. Creative brainstorming – Think about what a program based on the creativity and innovation in action platform could be named.
Task 5. Working with design team, create the visual identity and brand associated with the program based on the initiatives and outcomes of the working groups and possible program names.
Task 6. Continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the messages and the strategies as the creativity and innovation in action process evolves.

 


Have an idea for the college’s Implementation Team or one of the Working Groups? Interested in joining in this important institutional work? Take a moment to fill out one of the two forms below.