Transforming Schools: Problem Consideration

Introduction

Change is a fundamentally vital aspect that an organization must undertake. Whereas change is inevitable, Wagner & Kegan (2006) reckoned that the process of change must incur resistance from some members of the organization. The two sentiments imply that the agents of change must introduce it in a manner that convinces various stakeholders to buy in the idea. This paper will focus on some of the problems that face the University of California, propose changes that could be implemented in relation to those challenges, and explain how the process will be structured to facilitate an easy buy-in.

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Problem Consideration

Bullying and Violence

Cases of bullying and violence among students have evoked many challenges in the University of California. Students often confront each other because of racial differences, gender issues, and disagreement that could arise at personal levels. For example, a lady was harassed by her boyfriend due to disagreements concerning their love affairs. The university has also experienced various eventualities related to freedom of speech where students expressed controversial opinions that could cause violence (Smelser, 2010). For instance, some students formed groups that protested against abortion in the university. These undertakings have increased the level of violence among students in this institution. In essence, it has impacted on the student’s unity, coherence, and willingness to strive together as colleagues.

When trying to curb violence, the office of the General Counsel conceived an act that stipulated disciplinary measures against students who exhibit violent behaviors. However, the legal approach to this matter has not solved the issues of violence that face the university. This condition portrays the importance of making critical leadership changes to reduce violence and improve cohesiveness among students.

Choice of Major

Essentially, students undertake their courses starting with a broad scope preliminarily. The expansive coverage equips them with profound knowledge concerning their area of interest. During the final year, they choose one area that becomes their field of specialization (Glaude, 2009). However, most of the students choose some fields that are inconsistent with their passion and capability. The process has presented a great challenge to the university since some of the students end up renouncing their courses. The situation calls for immediate and effective change to ensure that students make the right decisions in regard to specialization.

Transition Problems

Another significant problem that affects the performance of students in the University of California is poor transition. In essence, students come from high schools where competition is low, and the performance is very high. In addition, these students are expected to meet the new standards of socialization while still maintaining their academic focus. Some students encounter romantic relationships for their first time in the university leading to a challenging process of transition (Weinstein, 2010). Further, they should socialize and connect with their lecturers in an interactive way. As a result, it can be concluded that the students face a great challenge of transition from high school to university setup. Understandably, this has a profound effect on their academic performance.

Key Areas of Change

The above consideration describes problems that face the University of California. Although there are various challenges that affect the students’ academic performance, some of them require instant and urgent action.

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  • The organizational frameworks that deal with violence.
  • Process of choosing the major field of study.
  • Transition of students from high school to university life

Problem in Each Area and Proposed Change

In accordance to the discussion that has been presented, it is evident that violence is a major challenge facing the University of California. In the current setup, issues of violence are regarded as disciplinary cases. As a result, they are channeled to the office of General Counsel and litigated according to the stipulations of CLERY Act. From a leadership point of view, disciplinary actions that are taken against students do not purport student’s ideological growth satisfactorily. In essence, the legal approach towards this issue does not instill knowledge on how to solve conflicts. Instead, it aims at suppressing the students involved in actions of violence.

In this light, the organization should introduce a counseling office under the office of General Counsel. The office should offer guidance to students and provide counsel regarding the personal issues that affect them. Additionally, the office of the General Council should appoint and train peer counselors to ensure that students can obtain counsel from their colleagues. The two provisions will ensure that the university does not only suppress violence, but also develops leadership among students. The pertinent office that will be affected by this change is the Office of General Counsel since it is mandated to develop operational frameworks for the new provisions.

Choosing Major

Choosing the major field of study is not an undertaking that should be left to students alone. In the past, they have made severe mistakes when making these choices due to ignorance and lack of guidance. In essence, the role of developing a student’s career is not a concern of the learner alone. Instead, it is an aspect that the university should accomplish by offering guidance on career choices.

Therefore, the university should mobilize its faculties to offer scheduled career talks to students. They should call speakers from the corporate world to guide students on making these choices and securing a competitive career. This program will affect the operation of the deans who are in charge of various faculties. In this regard, the deans will plan, schedule, and actualize the career program to ensure that students benefit from the program completely.

Transition

The university has not implemented an effective program that could assist students to cope with the university life. As a result, the system leaves them behind since they have not adapted to the new expectations in terms of performance, values and socialization. The situation poses a great challenge to the university since most of the students might suffer from physiological depressions that affect their academic performance. In addition, this could impair their socialization standards that are required in the corporate world. Consequently, the university should change its approach towards transition because it has been left to students completely. It does not mean that the institution should participate in everything. Of course, the students should play their roles when it comes to implementing an effective transition process. However, participation of the institution purports the development of all-round students in regard to academic and social performance.

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As a result, the University of California should hold welcoming seminars and retreats that address new students once they join the institution. The forums will help the students to understand what the society expects from them in terms of academics and socialization. The undertaking should take place over a considerable time that enables the students to conceptualize and internalize the issues raised in those forums. In fact, the peer counselors can also play a fundamental role during the retreats since they will resonate with the new students in a better way than the lecturers and administrators.

Process of Implementing the Changes and Buy-in

In order to ensure that the stakeholders buy in the ideas, the administrators will first identify the parties that could be involved in the process of implementation. Then, they will involve them when conceiving the frameworks of implementation and during the process of actualization. The inclusion will ensure that the involved parties make contributions and enable them to buy in the changes.

Conclusion

It is evident that the aspect of making changes within an organization is both inevitable and challenging. In addition, it has been established that the University of California needs to introduce new provisions that could reduce violence, career dilemmas, and transitional challenges. In this regard, they should introduce programs such as guidance, peer counseling, and career talks to ensure that students develop holistically. When introducing the changes, the institution should involve all the parties that could be affected so that they could buy in the new ideas.

References

Glaude, W. (2009). Doing diversity in Higher Education Faculty Leaders Share Challenges and Strategies. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

Smelser, N. (2010). Reflections on the University of California from the Free Speech Movement to the Global University. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Wagner, T., & Kegan, R. (2006). Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming our Schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Weinstein, J. (2010). Social change. Lanham: Littlefield Publishers.

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