First, I think that this is an incredible thing. I hope that more of our profession will take advantage of this.
Second, I am very excited to be a part of the Teacher Turn the Key Team and will be facilitating a session on Advisory Boards in Las Vegas.
I wanted to use this forum to ask:
1) What are the #1 challenges you face in creating and using an advisory board?
2) What resources have used/reccomend to help wiht this?
3) Any top hints you would share in using an advisory board?
Thank you for your time in advance,
NAAE Life Member
Graduate Student, The Ohio State University
The challenge we have faced here is involving enough people to have all stakeholders in the community represented and getting them all to come to meetings. Having only one or two meetings each year, I think, makes attendance more important.
Don't make your group so 'ag oriented' that other influential people remain uninformed about the program.
This a great question that I myself have been asking. I created an advisory board at my school 2 years ago. We had some meetings and I designed an agenda. Since that time I have struggled with what exactly their role is? The common theme at the meetings has been industry changes, and what the members viewed as important skills students need. I do think advisory groups are important but when actually pulling them all together for a legitimate meeting I'm not sure what to do.
To answer your question my #1 challenge in utilizing them is trying to determine to what extent their role is.
I am attaching some documents that I created that may be of benefit to others.
I too would appreciate some guidance from others seasoned in this area.
I have found that many people struggle to identify members for an effective advisory committee and a what their purpose is. First it is important that an advisory committee consist of people of influence. The policy makers for your school district are the members of the board. For you advisory committee to be effective requires that they are people who can influence board members. I was very fortunate to have an effective advisory committee. If the administration was moving forward with a project that was not in the best interest of my students I could make a call to the chairman of the advisory committee who could make a call to members of the board. Often this would solve the problem because board members would alert the Superintendent that project in question lacks the support of the board.
To get to this point with your advisory committee or advisory board requires that you value their time. You should work with your advisory committee to develop program goals and a plan for achieving those goals. Often these plans will require three to five years to implement. These program goals must be goals that will create opportunities for students to acheive. Having a goal to buy a new pick-up might seem like something important. If that is the primary goal it may be difficult to develop widespread support. A goal to create greater opportunity for students to develop and compete with their SAE's may identify the need for a new pick-up to achieve the goal.
Do not expect your advisory committee to tell you how to revise curriculum. They may think that it is a good idea to revise the curriculum. You are the teacher and can find resources to help you within your area or state. If your state has developed program standards have your advisory committee compare your program to the state program standards. If you do not have state program standards use the newly developed national progam standards. Your program may be doing a good job involving students in the same things that the program has done for the past fifty years. Your advisory committee might benefit from a discussion of what major program goals should be.