Undergrad TESOL Students Teach in Costa Rica
Promoting environmental awareness and conservation while teaching English in rural Costa Rica was the goal of an internship for Marlboro undergrad students in their Marlboro TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate course in partnership with MCGS. The trip took place recently during the students’ spring break. The internship was arranged to fulfill the practice teaching requirement of the Certificate.
As we do not have large numbers of ESOL learners in the Marlboro/Brattleboro area to provide such practice, a cost-effective option was to arrange an internship where an authentic cross-cultural teaching experience could be arranged. Centro Espiral Mana, in rural Costa Rica, provided such an environment.
The internship consists of practice teaching and intercultural training. Each student did lesson planning, six hours of observed teaching practice and participated in feedback sessions. In addition, they attended workshops on Compassionate Communication, lesson planning, giving feedback and how to make meaning clear.
The project-based approach not only made sense pedagogically but also enabled the group to work intensively with young Costa Ricans on environmental issues pertaining to the Chachagua river system. By the end of the 8 days of English classes, the local students were to be able to talk, in English, about nature and environmental issues when taking a hike on a trail that the local town government is developing to help promote environmental awareness and conservation.
The Marlboro students not only gained invaluable experience teaching English but also learned a lot about the local environment and developed new knowledge, skills and awarenesses about themselves as learners, as teachers and as individuals.
VPR comes to MCGS
What’s the latest addition to the first floor of your Grad School? A sound booth for Vermont Public Radio broadcasting.
The booth is a self-contained, remote studio and will be used to link speakers in this area with the main VPR studio or, perhaps, even with NPR. The soundproof booth contains headphones, a microphone, and a webcam so those in both studios can see each other during interviews and presentations. It is expected that the studio will be used several times a week.
And, if you were wondering, the answer is “yes,” as part of the broadcast it will be noted that it came from the studio at Marlboro College Graduate School. Cue applause for that.
Fodor's praised the Grad School's hometown:
"What it's Like: A rich cultural and political history mix with a vibrant contemporary scene to help keep this mountainside town decidedly independent.
Farmer's markets, gallery walks, arts festivals, indie stories, all surrounded by mountain views—this is the Vermont of your dreams. Home to 12,046 residents, Brattleboro retains the progressive cultural and political ties to its past (it was a counterculture hotspot in the '60's), while managing to feel more cool and hip than crunchy-granola."
Registration is now open for those of you who wish to take a class with us on a single-course, continuing education basis or enroll in the School’s Nonprofit Management Certificate Program.
Our Winter Trimester begins on January 4, 2013.
If you have questions about any of these courses, applying, or the Grad School’s full-degree programs, please feel free to contact Joe Heslin, our Graduate Admissions Director, at 802-258-9209.
"Get on Board" Assists Local Nonprofits
“Get on Board” is a new program to assist local nonprofits and their boards of directors’ members with their growth and development. Our nonprofit organizations can only be a strong as their volunteer boards. This is a pilot program with the dual mission of providing skills development and networking opportunities for young professionals while supporting local nonprofits. The program is being sponsored by Marlboro College Graduate School, Youth Services, United Way of Windham County, and Latchis Arts.
Every nonprofit must, legally, have a board of trustees. Boards help define the vision and direction of nonprofits, as well as provide financial oversight to ensure organizations remain strong. Windham County has numerous nonprofits and many of them are looking for new board members. By providing young professionals with the skills they need to be quality board members, while simultaneously providing training to existing board presidents, “Get On Board” will help boards and their nonprofits remain strong now and well into the future.
Windham County residents, age 22-44, are encouraged to participate in the program as Board Fellows. They will have the opportunity to build leadership skills and a personal network while serving our community.
“Get On Board” fellows will be assigned to boards based on passion for issues and skill set match. Fellows will serve 3-4 month exploratory terms, with the hope that they will continue as full members following the completion of the program in June, 2013. Fellows will commit 5-10 hours of time per month. That includes 3-6 hours of workshops, social/networking events and work on a shared community engagement project, plus 2-4 hours of service on a participating board. (NOTE: It is a myth that being on a board means giving lots of money. There are many ways to contribute.)
Workshop topics will include Personal Skills Inventory and Leadership Development, Intro to Nonprofit Board Service, Project Planning and Management, Financial Management and Fund- and Friend-raising. The full schedule is available to assist you.
Tuition for the program will be $100 for the pilot year, with small scholarships available for those with demonstrated need. Because this is a pilot, participants will be asked for detailed feedback on program design and impact.
It’s easy to apply online. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis up to November 2, 2012. Fellows will participate in a mini-retreat on Saturday, November 10, 9 am to 2 pm, at the Grad School in Brattleboro.
If you are interested in participating as a nonprofit board, contact Kate Jellema, Marlboro College Graduate School, at email@example.com for more information.
Marlboro College Graduate School and the Vermont Arts Council are proud to announce the first four fellows in the Nonprofit Arts Management Training scholarship program. This partnership between us and the Council supports nonprofit management education for Vermont artists and art managers by awarding up to four $500 scholarships each trimester. Those scholarships are used to subsidize the cost of the Grad School’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management, which assists Vermont artists and the staff of Vermont arts organizations in building the skills needed to run a successful organization.
Arts Council Executive Director Alex Aldrich said, “The Marlboro College Graduate School program is a perfect ‘advanced step’ for Vermonters who have either successfully navigated our Breaking Into Business workshops, or who are professional, committed arts administrators looking to broaden their knowledge and skills in the area of nonprofit management.”
"Marlboro College has a deep commitment to both the nonprofit sector and the creative economy in Vermont, and we're very excited about this opportunity to put more business skills in the hands of arts entrepreneurs and arts managers around the state,” said Marlboro College President Ellen McCulloch-Lovell.
The four fellows of the Fall 2012 Vermont Arts Council Nonprofit Arts Management Training scholarship are:
Anahi Costa: Costa works at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe as an administrative assistant. She is an art critic in her own right and wants to learn how to "portray a whole picture of the arts in an appealing way" to build a more knowledgeable art audience in Vermont.
Jessica Hill: Hill is the new education coordinator at the Frog Hollow State Craft Center in Burlington. She is a veteran art teacher with ten years of classroom experience and is now heading up a pilot program at Frog Hollow to bring local art into schools.
Kathryn Moody: Moody is a cartoonist and hopes to start up a small press focused on visual stories for educational purposes. She is a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction and currently serves as the Center's librarian.
Heather Morris: For the past ten years, Morris has run her own Celtic dance school. During that time she has also served as an officer on the St. Andrews Highland Dancers board.
To learn more about the Grad School’s program, contact Kate Jellema, Program Director: firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 451-7510, or visit our website at www.nonprofit.marlboro.edu. For inquiries about the scholarship, contact Rachel Feldman, Communications Manager, Vermont Arts Council: email@example.com or (802) 828-5422.
Staff evaluations are one of the trickiest aspects of running a great organization, dreaded by many otherwise-effective managers. How can you maintain high standards in your organization, meet legal requirements, and still give your staff feedback that inspires them to keep growing? How can you as a staff person get the most out of your own evaluation process? Join the Marlboro Graduate School management programs for a workshop on Performance Evaluation.
This interactive workshop will focus on techniques for conducting an effective staff performance review. The session will focus on how a performance management process works, where performance reviews fail, coaching a problem employee and legal issues in performance reviews.
Leading the training will be Carol Fay, who has over twenty-five years of training and management experience in a variety of industries. Today, she is happily retired, living in Wardsboro. Most recently she was the Director of Human Resources at Grace Cottage Hospital and a part-time senior contract trainer for The Wellness Corporation, an employee assistance program located in MA. In 2008 she was the Senior Manager of Talent Management, Corporate Training and Organization Development at Tufts Health Plan in Boston, where she was responsible for management, employee, computer training, designing web-based courses, implementing an electronic learning management system, developing leaders, teambuilding as well as recruitment and hiring. She was a Performance Measurement Specialist for IDX Systems Corp, Burlington, VT, where she implemented a corporate-wide performance management system. She was System Director of Total Quality Management (TQM) at Fallon Healthcare System, Worcester, MA, where she implemented a process improvement program. She has many years of experience as a senior management consultant and trainer in a variety of industries
The workshop will take place on Tuesday, October 9th, from 11:30 am to 1:15 pm here at Marlboro College Graduate School, 28 Vernon Street in Brattleboro.
You should bring a brownbag lunch.
To register please visit: mixoctober.eventbrite.com
This event is the first in the Grad School’s new Tuesday lunchtime MIX (Management Ideas Exchange) free workshop series. MIX is a free monthly networking opportunity sponsored by the nonprofit, business and healthcare managements program at Marlboro College Graduate School. Directors and staff of mission-driven organizations are invited to join us every second Tuesday for best practices in organizational success, networking and the exchange of ideas. Each session will be presented by an instructor from one of the Marlboro graduate degrees in management, or by a local nonprofit, government or business leader.
Mark your calendar for these future MIX workshops:
Managing Organizational Change on November 13
Calming the Storm: De-escalating High-Heat Encounters on February 12
Leadership from the Inside Out on March 12
Introduction to Essential Skills for 21st Century Leaders on April 9
Got Results? on May 14
SMART Goals, Brilliant Results on June 11
Raleigh City Farm was among three recent winners of Green America's first quarterly "People & Planet" award, which recognizes America's best green, small businesses. It will receive $5,000. Winners were selected by the public, who had a month-long open voting period online at Green America's website.
Green America's "People & Planet Awards" recognize innovative entrepreneurial U.S. businesses that deeply integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations. The first round of the Awards focused on green businesses that also are active in serving their local communities.
Recently-graduated MBA alum Ryan Finch has played a key role at the Farm. Her Capstone Project fostered the launch of the Farm in March of this year by raising funds through a Kickstarter Campaign, cultivating stakeholder engagement to grow the farm, building a social media marketing strategy, writing a business plan, and developing a cash flow forecast.
Raleigh City Farm's goal is to transform unexpected downtown spaces into beautiful and nourishing farmland. It engages the local community in the process of growing food and sparking imaginations about agriculture in the city. These highly-visible spaces are an educational tool to demonstrate responsible, intensive growing techniques and encourage movement toward a restorative, community-based food system. Its weekly farm stand offers fresh and organically grown food for local residents. Raleigh City Farm serves as a field trip destination for neighboring elementary and middle schools as well as universities and assisted living centers.
Well done, Ryan. The value of your good work is obvious to all.
When US News recently did a piece titled, “Teacher Training Needed to Meet Technology Needs in Classrooms,” they turned to EdTech program director Caleb Clark for his thoughts on the situation. Having overseen for years our MA in Teaching with Technology program, Caleb is well-versed not only on the current state of technology in school classrooms but also the needs of the teachers and what the future will require.
As the article pointed out, The US lags behind some other nations when it comes to the use of technology in the classroom. Caleb offered that one reason for this may be the lack of technology training some teachers receive.
Future education and jobs, however, will depend on greater use of technology in the classroom, and teachers will play a pivotal role in this evolution.
Caleb sums it up succinctly and precisely, "It's up to the people who help the students use technology."
On June 26, Marlboro College Graduate School will host “Social Media Across the Generations,” a free workshop on the pros and cons of networking through social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Will deBock—a Marlboro alumnus, trained sociologist and online educator—will lead a presentation and discussion on how and to what extent it is necessary to navigate these new modes of communication.
The workshop will be from 3:00 to 5:00 pm in Room #2 North. Register at http://hotworkshop.eventbrite.com. Walk-ins are welcome. For questions, contact Will deBock at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 451-0674.
Benchmarks for a Better Vermont evaluates nonprofits
The Marlboro College based Benchmarks for a Better Vermont Performance Institute recently announced the Rutland County Parent Center and the Rutland Housing Coalition as the latest participants in its program. Benchmarks, a grant-funded organization centered on evaluating nonprofits through “results-based accountability,” expects to work with five other organizations by October 2013. Its director, Kate Jellema, who also heads Marlboro College’s Program in Nonprofit Management, said that most nonprofits in the past have been driven anecdotally, but because of the growing competition for funding, the need for rigorous assessment is crucial. Funders want to know if their contributions are being used effectively, and the programs themselves want to know if their commitments and priority areas are being addressed.
We ask these organizations to ask themselves three questions, Jellema said. “How much did we do? How well did we do it? And is anybody better off?” The evaluation that follows is systematic and particular to the needs and structure of the organization. If necessary, the methods of the nonprofit are then redirected to ensure that it is making “significant, sustained improvements in healthy futures, education, and economic opportunities for all Vermonters.”
In addition to assessing the performance and services of specific nonprofits, Benchmarks looks to bring those organizations together to a place of greater cooperation. “The nonprofit sector is a critical component of the regional landscape,” Jellema said, “and it attracts some of the most innovative thinkers.” Helping these programs evaluate their own day-to-day operations and helping them work together will support their commitments "to make the most of limited resources to make a difference in the communities they serve."
On June 12th, health care leaders will gather here to discuss the effects of national and state healthcare reforms on hospitals, providers and healthcare management professionals. The event is sponsored by our Master of Science in Management – Health Care Administration Program.
Employers and employees are wondering what will happen to traditional employer-sponsored health insurance under state operated exchanges. Hospitals are wondering if they will bear greater risk for increasing health care costs and be treated by regulators as mini-Accountable Care Organizations. Providers are wondering if cost control measures can be implemented without reducing the quality of care they provide or compensation they receive. Everyone is wondering if the Affordable Care Act will survive the challenge before the United States Supreme Court.
The blue-ribbon panel addressing these issues will include: Steve Gordon, CEO of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital; Rob Simpson, CEO of Brattleboro Retreat; and Dr. Don Caruso, Medical Director, Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene.
Among the topics these experts will comment on are the impact of the law on both their own health organizations and their regions; the concept of population health basis for the law; the Accountable Care Organization model and shifts in provider alliances; and changes in economic incentives through payment restructuring.
There will also be an update on the U.S. Supreme Court decision due in June.
Following the presentations, there will be a question and answer period.
The discussion will be moderated by Craig Miskovich, a local health care attorney who teaches in our Master of Science in Management – Health Care Administration Program.
The event will be held at the Graduate School, 28 Vernon Street, in Brattleboro from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.
The public is invited to attend and admission is free.
Smithsonian touts the attractions of Marlboro's "downtown" neighbor
When students in Marlboro College Graduate School's Certificate in Nonprofit Management course were asked what should be done with surplus program funds, they responded with an answer appropriate to their vocation: donate it to a worthy cause.
After a nomination and voting process, students in the Burlington-based cohort of the program selected the Vermont Foodbank Gleaning Program as the recipient of their support, while the the Brattleboro students elected to support Morningside Shelter.
A representative from each organization was invited to give a presentation to the class during a lunchtime ceremony, where the checks were presented. In the above photo, Gleaning Program director Theresa Snow accepts the donation from nominating student, Dan Noyes. On the right, Morningside Shelter's executive director Paul Capcara shakes hands with nominating student, Courney Kansler.
Sustainable practices are not exclusive to our MBA program. Teaching with Technology program director Caleb Clark plans to join the "tiny house" movement with the construction of a 320 square foot, superinsulated, passive-solar dwelling where his two-car garage currently resides. The Brattleboro Commons reports on Caleb's plans and the movement in housing toward more efficient use of space.