Manager to Designer: Transitions

Today is officially my last day as Manager of Learning Support Services (LSS) on West Campus at Valencia Community College. I will be starting my new journey as an Instructional Designer (ID) with the Learning Technology Alternative Delivery (LTAD) team at Valencia. Oh course I’m not free and clear of all my manager duties, since I am over the renovation project of the Math/Tutoring Center, which will reopen for Fall 2010, and coordinate the Learning Summit (totally awesome professional development opportunity for my 100+ part-time staff) that is schedule for August 26 – These will be my final projects but some of my most enjoyable parts of being a manager. I officially start my new position on Monday with the LTAD but that’s the date of our move back into the new Math Center too.

Over the last three years as Manager of LSS I have seen tremendous growth and changes to enhance the student experience outside the classroom. I was very glad to be a part of these changes. It’s unbelievable the learning spaces and support services that has evolved over the last few years on West Campus.  I took pride in showing off our spaces to visitors around the nation who were impressed and jealous of what we have done for our students.

manager cartoon

As I reflect on my last three years as a manager of a large team (100+ employees) you think about all the problems, issues, personnel, and other stuff no one else usually wants to deal with on the team. More importantly, I have recently thought about all the things I really enjoy as a manager. Seeing an employee develop in a leader, seeing someone get a new position, hiring someone into a position that you know will help them find their passion, seeing projects through that will amaze your peers, developing programs that support what you believe is important to your employees, and knowing that your employees understand you are their to support them. Those are what I love about being a leader! Notice I didn’t just say manager, because I believe anyone can have a title of manager but it’s truly hard to be a leader.

Why would I want to change from being a manager of four great areas to an Instructional Designer?

First, my passion for teaching and learning can continue to be integrated with my passion with technology.

Second, my creativity juices need to continue to flourish and that’s hard with managing four different areas budgets, issues, technology, and people problems.

Third, it was what I spent all this money to earn my 2nd masters degree in Instructional Technology and E-Learning right?

When I decided to seek my 2nd masters degree in Instructional Technology in 2006 it was because I knew that online teaching and learning was going to explode! I was right – look at the growth of online, hybrid, or enhanced courses. I won’t be surprised if we see a virtual campus of Valencia in the near future. I think this will be the great next chapter in my higher education career (13 years) and my life that will continue to develop over the next few years in an area I’m passionate about and enjoy talking so much about with colleagues. I can think of many professors and teachers that I have already convinced to utilize some type of new technology to enhance learning and engage their students.

I’m sure I’ll be blogging more as my journey continues…….

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