Feedback, Strategic Planning to Shape Next Five Years

Aug 15th, 1998 | By | Category: 10-1: Teaching Math and Science
By Marjane Ambler

Journalists are accustomed to sending publications out without any feedback. Readers are busy people and rarely take the time to write–unless they find errors. However, our readers are a different breed, apparently: over 100 people have taken the time to fill out the reader survey forms in the Winter issue of the Journal! You have provided valuable input, both compliments and criticism.

Your comments are especially important now because we are completing our 5-year business plan. We want to be sure that our vision for the future of the journal will also meet your expectations. In addition to the survey we sent to you, we had a strategic planning work session with the Tribal College Journal Advisory Board (tribal college presidents listed on this page). We also had very fruitful meetings with the academic deans from several of the colleges. Our business plan will help us to expand the audience for tribal colleges and their work while keeping focused upon our mission, which is printed at the bottom of the left side of this page. We have included a few excerpts from your comments, with our response in italics.

What subjects do you feel are neglected? “Native Americans unsung heroes–we need lots of info on what individuals are doing….Community context for each college of the AIHEC Consortium….Reports about successful alumni. (Many people mentioned the need for more profiles of individuals, and we will plan to include a larger variety of profiles in the “Profile” department as well as profiling individuals in our articles, as in the MIE article in this issue.) …Arts education. (We plan a theme centered around the arts in the near future.) …Non-federally recognized tribes at non-Indian schools and universities (This is not within our mission). …Ever thought of publishing a course syllabus or two?” (In fact, we are seeking funding for a quarterly study guide to make the journal more usable in college classrooms.)

Additional comments about Tribal College Journal: “The more information it shares, the more it empowers….Very informative, helps keep me focused on my long range professional goal….Many tribes working together while maintaining their identities is a lesson for the whole world. Education is the only long-term answer to poverty….The presentation level and format have both dropped to a lower level. The magazine is professional. It’s just high schoolish in reading level and sweetly self-congratulatory in tone. Is this the image you want?”

“In addition to donating to the American Indian College Fund, what can we as individuals do for tribal colleges?” Anyone interested in donating books or collections of books might contact one of the tribal college libraries. See their home page at www.lib.montana.edu/~kkaya/TCLib.html for librarians’ names.

Thanks again for your participation. We welcome letters and surveys anytime.

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