6 Ways To Support Instructors in 2022
Instructors at career colleges and vocational schools are experts in their fields with valuable lessons to pass on to the next generation of essential workers. Support career education instructors by giving them more time to focus on student success with these six tips.
How much time do your career education instructors spend on meetings, emails, and administrative work? Chances are, it’s significantly more time than they would prefer. When you ask your instructors the status of an attendance sheet or grade, you can almost feel the sigh. But when you ask instructors about student success, they light up, and their passion is evident.
Instructors are the lifeblood of your school and play a critical role in student support and engagement. Here are six ways to support your instructors in 2022 and beyond.
1. Reduce Administrative Burden
You hired your instructors because they’re experts in their field who are excited about imparting their knowledge to the next generation of professionals, not because they’re experts at taking attendance.
Eliminating or significantly reducing administrative burdens like attendance management frees up your instructors’ time and allows them to focus on the parts of the job that bring them joy. One way to reduce administrative burden is through attendance automation. Automation means that the job gets done, but you’re lifting the burden from instructors without hiring additional staff.
For example, since Bellus Academy automated its attendance processes, instructors “hardly have to touch attendance anymore and have more time to focus on their students, according to Irma Liaras, Spa NailEducator at Bellus Academy.
Reducing administrative work gives them more time to focus on the reason they got into their field to begin with: Their students. Increased one-on-one time also helps students feel more connected to their education, helps them develop skills, and improves their likelihood of graduating.
2. Eliminate Unnecessary Meetings
No one likes to feel like their time was wasted in a meeting that could have been an email.
Paul Mitchell The School – Memphis found that they had regular meetings to discuss edits and discrepancies on their skills tracking worksheets. Implementing a digital skills tracking app allowed them to streamline communication around worksheets by keeping clear communication within the app, eliminating the need for meetings when instructors reject skills.
Now, when administrators and instructors meet to discuss student status and progression, they don’t waste time discussing administrative points and instead focus on building more customized success strategies for every student.
3. Reduce The Back And Forth
Many career college and vocational school administrators spend significant time going back and forth with instructors on attendance needs. Administrators may need an attendance sheet for the day or an update on an at-risk student. At large career colleges, adjunct, online-only instructors may work limited hours and not be responsive to emails on their days off—potentially delaying R2T4 calculations if an administrator is left waiting on a student status update.
Attendance automation software eliminates the need for back-and-forth texts and emails by transferring data to one system accessible to both instructors and administrators. With attendance software like CourseKey, students check in using their phones, and administrators can view attendance in real time. Because CourseKey takes attendance online and on-ground, administrators aren’t left pinging instructors repeatedly for updates on LDA.
4. Streamline Training Processes
Career colleges and vocational schools are unique in that instructors are typically professionals in their field. They’ve been cosmetologists, tradespeople, or allied health professionals for decades, and they were trained to excel at that job.
While some instructors may take additional training courses to become educators, others move straight from the field into the classroom—a massive transition requiring new skill sets. Proprietary schools, in particular, have a steep learning curve as new instructors begin to understand compliance requirements.
Automating administrative tasks allows you to eliminate some training procedures altogether, empowering instructors to hone their skills as educators, not administrators.
5. Mitigate COVID Stress
COVID-19 is still a concern impacting many instructors, so keeping them safe on-ground reduces stress and burnout. If your COVID mitigation plan is to check symptoms when students are on campus, you’re already too late. Having a system to check symptoms before students reach campus helps staff feel safer and more secure.
When COVID-19 closed schools across the country, instructors had to get creative. Initially, instructors could innovate and educate their students in whatever ways they found most effective without worrying about strict regulations regarding online learning. However, after nearly two years of COVID, the Department is less forgiving, and requirements for online learning are rigid. So, while it is unlikely that schools will experience closures as severe as March 2020, you must expect the unexpected and create an action plan for online learning that eases the administrative burden on instructors, like selecting a compliant attendance solution that works online and on-ground.
6. Most Importantly, Hear Them
Your instructors probably have a few ideas on what would reduce their stress and make their lives easier. So give them the chance to tell you. While you may not be able to implement all their suggestions due to budget or capacity constraints, make a point to implement some of their feedback so they feel heard and like their needs are prioritized.
Support Your Career Education Instructors In 2022, And Beyond
With labor shortages spanning trade and healthcare industries, career college and career education instructors are critical players in bridging the skills gap. Giving them more time to focus on students keeps their morale high and benefits students, a win-win for your school.
Request a demo to learn how CourseKey can reduce the administrative burden on your instructors and give them more time to focus on students.