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Institutional Scholarships – Is It Time For A Change?. Sally Crow Schuman – University of Wyoming and Pam Palermo – Eastern Wyoming College. Eastern Wyoming College was experiencing the following symptoms:. Decreased spending of allocated funds for scholarships and activity grants,

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Institutional Scholarships – Is It Time For A Change?

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institutional scholarships is it time for a change

Institutional Scholarships –Is It Time For A Change?

Sally Crow Schuman – University of Wyoming


Pam Palermo – Eastern Wyoming College


Eastern Wyoming College was experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Decreased spending of allocated funds for scholarships and activity grants,
  • Decreased acceptance of scholarships offered to students, and
  • Inefficient use of time and institutional resources.
university of wyoming
University of Wyoming
  • Experienced a perception that funds weren’t being spent
  • President challenged Financial Aid to award scholarships more effectively
  • Pressures from Enrollment Management
competitive environment
Competitive Environment
  • Seven community colleges,
  • One 4-year, and
  • One private vocational college
purpose of this action research
Purpose of this Action Research
  • To determine an appropriate intervention to alleviate the decline in spending allocated funds, and
  • To determine if the current scholarship budget and awards were meeting the priorities of recruitment, retention, and enrollment as established by the EWC Board of Trustees.
action research model
Action Research Model
  • Recognize the problem
  • Diagnose the situation
  • Involve members, gather data, confirm the problem, gain ownership
  • Involved members select the solution
  • Plan intervention and implement
  • Evaluate the change

Pearce, Robinson, and Sandberg’s Six-Step Model (1989).

action research
Action Research
  • Definition:

Action research is a cyclical, continuous process. The process involves diagnosis, change, and research of a situation leading to organizational change. “The results of diagnosis produce ideas for changes, the changes are introduced into the same system, and their effects are noted through further research and diagnosis”

(Cummings & Worley, 2005, p. 661).

why action research
Why Action Research?
  • Collaborative
  • Data Collection
  • Literature Review
  • Cyclical Process
history of the problem uw
History of the Problem - UW
  • Awarding was happening all over campus
  • A lot of money
  • Silo approach to awarding funds
  • Cumbersome application processes
  • Unspent funds due to restrictions beyond donors original intent
history of the problem ewc
History of the Problem - EWC
  • Three committees
    • Scholarship Selection Committee
    • Scholarship Policy Committee
    • Financial Aid Policy Committee
  • Inefficient use of scholarship funds
    • Delayed awarding
    • Unused awards
  • Lack of formal policies and procedures

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.

A friend of mine, the founder of a company that grew to a billion dollars in annual revenue, best expressed the power of teamwork when he once told me, ‘If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.’”

(Lencioni, 2002 p. vii).

key elements for success
Key Elements for Success
  • Develop and build teams with the appropriate participants
  • Develop trust
  • Reduce the fear of conflict
  • Develop commitment
  • Develop accountability
  • Develop attention to results
  • Develop the ability to communicate
  • Develop, monitor, and maintain appropriate goals
develop and build teams with the appropriate participants
  • You are an important member of this team
  • You were selected because of your unique talents and skills
  • We all have something important to contribute to this team
  • We all have something that we can learn from each other
members of trusting teams
Members of Trusting Teams…
  • Admit weaknesses and mistakes
  • Ask for help
  • Accept questions and input about their areas of responsibility
  • Give one another the benefit of the doubt before arriving at a negative conclusion
  • Take risks in offering feedback and assistance
members of trusting teams1
Members of Trusting Teams…
  • Appreciate and tap into one another’s skills and experiences
  • Focus time and energy on important issues, not politics
  • Offer and accept apologies without hesitation
  • Look forward to meetings and other opportunities to work as a group
teams that fear conflict
Teams that fear conflict…
  • Have boring meetings
  • Create environments where back channel politics and personal attacks thrive
  • Ignore controversial topics that are critical to team success
  • Fail to tap into all the opinions and perspectives of team members
  • Waste time and energy with posturing and interpersonal risk management
teams that engage in conflict
Teams that engage in conflict…
  • Have lively, interesting meetings
  • Extract and exploit the ideas of team members
  • Solve real problems quickly
  • Minimize politics
  • Put critical topics on the table for discussion
a team that fails to commit
A team that fails to commit…
  • Creates ambiguity among the team about direction and priorities
  • Watches windows of opportunities close due to excessive analysis and unnecessary delay
  • Breeds lack of confidence and fear of failure
  • Revisits discussions and decisions again and again
  • Encourages second-guessing among team members
a team that commits
A team that commits…
  • Creates clarity around direction and priorities
  • Aligns the entire team around common objectives
  • Develops an ability to learn from mistakes
  • Moves forward without hesitation
  • Changes direction without hesitation or guilt
a team that holds one another accountable
A team that holds one another accountable…
  • Ensures that poor performers feel pressure to improve
  • Identifies potential problems quickly by questioning one another’s approaches without hesitation
  • Establishes respect among team members who are held to the same high standards
a team that focuses on collective results
A team that focuses on collective results…
  • Retains achievement-oriented members
  • Minimizes individualistic behavior
  • Enjoys success and suffers failure acutely
  • Benefits from individuals who subjugate their own goals/interests for the good of the team
  • Avoids distractions
  • Verbal and Written
  • Maintain open lines of communication between all team members utilizing all resources
develop monitor and maintain goals
Develop, Monitor, and Maintain Goals
  • Committee’s goals
  • Departmental goals
  • Institutional goals
processes for action research
Processes for Action Research
  • Literature Review
  • Interviews
  • Questionnaire
  • Historical Data Collection
data gathering methods
Data-Gathering Methods
  • Interviews
  • Questionnaire
  • Secondary Data

Be prepared to discuss your results!

action plans selected
Action Plans Selected
  • Streamline Committees
  • Revision of Academic Progress Policies
  • Redistribution of Scholarship Funds
  • Create Policies and Procedures
  • Communication
  • Lencioni, P. (2002). The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Company.
  • McFadzean, E., O’Loughlin, A., (2000). Five strategies for improving group effectiveness. Strategic Change (Mar-Apr 2000, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p103, 11p). Database: Wiley InterScience.
  • Pearce, J.A., II, Robinson, R.B., Jr., & Sandberg, M.E. (1989). Change and organization development. In J.A. Pearce & R.B. Robinson, Jr. (Eds.), Management (pp386-390).
  • Cummings, T., & Worley, C. (2005). Organization development and change (8th ed.). South-Western (Thomson Learning).
thank you

Sally Crow SchumanAssociate DirectorStudent Financial Aid &

Scholarship AdministrationUniversity of WyomingDept. 33351000 East UniversityLaramie, WY  82071(307) 766-2411FAX (307)

Pamela B. Palermo

Director of Financial Aid

Eastern Wyoming College

3200 West C Street

Torrington, WY 82240


307-532-8222 (fax)