Pauline Sara Chandler (MEd)Associate Professor and Chairperson, MBA Program Director
Department of Management
My consulting has included work with nonprofits, small businesses, schools and colleges. From 2004-06 this work was completed with students through the Tomey Center of Antioch University New England.
Climate and Culture
Many schools struggle with culture and climate issues. I have found that the root of these challenges is often weak communication. My consultation usually begins with a climate and needs assessment through surveys, focus groups, and observations. Following an evaluation of the results, I have worked with the teachers and administrations to design interventions. I have designed workshops and classes for schools on how to navigate difficult conversations, how to develop trust in teams, and how to develop personal and professional boundaries for communication in schools. On going evaluation and feedback helps the staff to assess their growth and celebrate needed changes.
Small non profits recognize the importance of developing a strategic plan but there are often challenges to meeting that goal: finances, time needed to create the plan, and staffing availability. We have designed a streamlined process to assist small non profits in developing a 5 year strategic plan. We work closely with a team of staff, board members and community members to understand the needs and the culture of the organization. Surveys and focus groups help us to understand the staff and clients. We then work with a committee to develop a plan of action. In a recent consulting project, we worked with a committee once a month for five months. This approach made strategic planning customized, streamlined, and efficient.
Evaluation and Needs Assessment for Program Development
Many schools and non profit organizations are receiving grants to develop new programs. Most funders are requiring an evaluation plan be a part of the grant application. The Tomey Center has helped craft grant evaluation plans for multiple schools and non profits grant applications. The evaluation plan is customized for the project goals but often involves a pre evaluation with a needs assessment component utilizing focus groups and surveys. It also includes ongoing assessment, follow up evaluation, and a final report. Our job as program development evaluators is to provide feedback to an organizations’ leaders so they can make decisions on action steps.
Service Learning and Leadership Development
Service learning has become an important venue for experiential learning. There are complexities to introducing students to new organizations and communities as volunteers and learners. The Tomey Center has supported faculty in developing service learning programs and infrastructure for elementary, middle, high school and undergraduate programs. We have helped schools to assess and improve their service learning programs.
In addition, many college students are participating in service learning projects. We have developed a Student as Leader training program to assist students in developing their leadership skills prior to their service learning projects. These leadership workshops help the students to be more effective in their service, more welcome into the communities where they are serving, and more skilled at navigating change initiatives. These workshops have been implemented broadly in one national environmental service group.
Courage to Teach
Courage to Teach is a national teacher and leadership renewal program. Parker Palmer has developed this program for teachers and it is housed in the Center for Courage and Renewal, http://www.couragerenewal.org/.
The Tomey Center was asked to be a program evaluator for the implementation of Courage to Teach in several New Hampshire schools. As the evaluator, we follow the program implementation and outcomes for two years. Our goal is to support the Courage to Teach model and raise questions about how a school is impacted by a group of teachers being trained in Courage to Teach listening, reflection, and collegiality.