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COMMUNICATING WITH TODAY'S STUDENT-ATHLETES. The Millennials. California Community College Athletic Association. Spring Conference Doubletree Hotel Ontario, CA March 31, 2009 3:15-5:15 pm. Presenters:. James Forkum Dean and Athletics Director - Santa Rosa Junior College Sherry Forkum

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california community college athletic association
California Community College Athletic Association

Spring Conference

Doubletree Hotel

Ontario, CA

March 31, 2009

3:15-5:15 pm


James Forkum

Dean and Athletics Director - Santa Rosa Junior College

Sherry Forkum

English Professor - William Jessup University

Principal Consultants: Generational Differences Consulting

  • Understanding the Generational Divide and Importance in the Community College Education and Athletics Environments
  • Foundational Impacts on the Millennials
  • Knowledge of Millennial Characteristics (Technology)
  • Tools and Applications for Your Use
why should you broaden your knowledge of self and others
Why Should You Broaden Your Knowledge of Self and Others?
  • “6” in the Societal Settings
  • Know Our Own Generation to Understand Other Generations
  • Change, Motivation, Recruitment, Team-Building, and Maintaining/Increasing Growth
  • Retention of Relationships: Students, Employees, Members of Various Organizations
generational groups
  • G. I. Generation – 1901-1924 (ages 85-108)
  • Silent Generation – 1925-1942 (ages 67-84)
  • Boomers – 1943-1960 (ages 49-66)
  • Generation X – 1961-1981 (ages 28-48)
  • Millennials – 1982-2002 (ages 7-27)
  • Homeland – 2003 - (Ages 6 and under)
culture has changed
Culture Has Changed
  • One of the top rappers is white
  • The number one golfer is black
  • The tallest player in the NBA is Chinese
  • The President of the United States of America is bi-racial
  • Millennials are culture-blind
learning environment of the future
Learning Environment of the Future
  • Paperless Environments

but…Psychologically people are tactile

Like to hold, handle, open something/Kindle

  • Telecommuting/Virtual Worlds

but…Social, need to work in groups

Meet physically



Silents – view Boomers as self-absorbed, share too much

information, question authority

Boomers – view Silents as rigid/dictatorial, company men,

accept party line

Boomers – view Gen Xers as too impatient, throw out tried

and true, not “company”/fickle

Gen Xers – view Boomers as inflexible to change/ say the

right thing to the right person, don’t have a


Gen Xers – view Millennials as too spoiled/self-absorbed,

too “Me”, entitled

Millennials – view Gen Xers as cynical/negative, no fun

Millennials – view older Boomers and Silents as worth

listening to, “buddies”, models


A team that allows choices and openly explores ideas, and whose members value learning, will better accommodate the needs and values of members of different generations.

Constance Patterson, Ph.D.


1. How would you describe your generation, in general?

2. How would you describe a Millennial, in general?

Don’t forget physical characteristics. Share with a neighbor.

10 attributes of an information age mindset j frand
10 Attributes of an Information-Age Mindset (J. Frand)
  • Computers are not technology
  • The Internet is better than TV
  • Reality is no longer real
  • Doing is more important than knowing
  • Learning more closely resembles Nintendo than logic
  • Multitasking is a way of life
  • Typing is preferred to handwriting
  • Staying connected is essential
  • There is zero tolerance for delays
  • Consumer and Creator are blurring
wired wireless
  • Digital Natives
  • Cell Phones, Blackberry, iPhone
  • MP3 Players/iPods
  • Texting/Sexting
  • Web Surfing
  • Facebook/MySpace (Social Networks)
  • Twitter
  • Finger on the pulse of the World
  • Right Here/Right Now Generation
the millennial world our world
The Millennial World(Our World)
  • Average teenager spends more than 72 hours a week using electronic media (2006)
  • In 2007, Millennials watched 35 movies for every book they read (many books made into movies)
  • Pew Internet research – nearly 80% of 28 and younger regularly read blogs/ 30% of 29-40
  • 40% of teenagers and 20-somethings have created their own blogs
learning characteristics
Learning Characteristics
  • Teamwork Activities
  • Cooperative Grouping
  • Experiential Activities
  • Structure
  • Use of Technology (SIDs, TM, IRDs)
  • Email/Instant Messaging are Natural Communication and Socialization Mechanisms
  • Authenticity, honesty, and humility are more important than an authoritarian leader
more characteristics
More Characteristics
  • A cult of groupthink - collaborative and team-oriented
  • The Volvo Experience
  • Obama Phenomenon
  • 10% retain what is heard, media use raises the average to 25%, direct experience raises the average to 80-90%
some negatives
Some Negatives
  • Multi-tasking
  • Poor Communication Skills (writing)
  • Oral Communication
  • Math Skills
  • Mass Stimulation
  • Lack of Critical Thinking/Problem Solving as an individual
  • Plagiarism/Cheating (
  • Problem Discerning Truth (Wikipedia)
  • First person learners
  • Learn by doing rather than by being told what to do
  • Prefer to express their views and incorporate their experiences instead of being told
  • Learn through discovery, exploring for themselves or with peers
  • Learning in this manner enables them to retain the information and use it in creative and meaningful ways
  • Persistent with trial and error
  • Awareness of new Technology (Textspeak) ‘Dismaks my teacha cry’
  • Different methods of reporting information: podcasts, vodcasts, blackboard, forums, use of PowerPoint, RSS (Really Simple Syndication), LCS (Lecture Capture System), Students
  • Setting Parameters
  • Websites
  • Recruiting
strategies continued
Strategies Continued …
  • Make learning a social activity that engages and interacts.
  • Do not use TTT (Talk, Text, Test).
  • Challenge them – They care about what matters and use responsibility

as a reward.

  • Ask them their opinion – Collaboration (including web-based) and

being part of a team is important to them.

  • Find them a mentor – They have great respect for Silents.
  • Provide timely (worthwhile) feedback – At the touch of a button. Little

tolerance for delay. E-mail is “so yesterday!”

  • Cell phones, PDAs, and laptops are becoming mandatory classroom


  • Remember they are mobile nomads that process at twitch speed.
current negative trends and problems
  • Underage Drinking
  • Marijuana Use (High)(Boomers)
  • Rave Culture (Ecstasy Use)
  • Sexually Promiscuous (Hooking Up)
  • Technology Use Etiquette (Misuse/sexting)
  • Time Management (Sleep Patterns)
  • Poor Communication Skills (Texting=Speaking/Writing)
  • Media Oriented (Self-Image)
  • Multi-tasking
  • Mass Stimulation
  • Lack of Critical Thinking/Problem Solving as an individual (Groupthink)
  • Plagiarism/Cheating (
  • Problem Discerning Truth (Wikipedia)
7 tools for communicating with millennials
7 Tools for Communicating with Millennials

1. Understand Yourself and Your Beliefs

2. Engage Them (Intentionally)

3. Listen

4. Ask Questions

5. Clarify What Has Been Said (Eligibility)

6. Impart Tools of Decision Making

7. Affirm Lavishly and Correct Sparingly

(Adapted from McAllister’s Saving the Millennial Generation)

the millennials are
The Millennials Are:
  • Optimists
  • Rule Followers (Thrive on Structure)
  • Volunteers and Servants (Mandatory Draft)
  • Accepting of Authority (If honest and humble)
  • Most Protected in History (up to this point)
  • Bright
  • Loyal (brands)
  • “Heroes”
  • Accepting of ALL (Diversity)
  • Provide Structure
  • Provide Leadership and Guidance
  • Encourage the Millennial’s Self-Assuredness, “Can-Do” Attitude, and Positive Personal Self-Image
  • Take Advantage of the Millennial’s Comfort Level With Teams. Encourage Them To Join
  • Listen to the Millennial
  • Millennials Are Up For The Challenge and Change
food for thought
Food for Thought

It’s not the first half of the game that counts, but how you leave the court at the end of the game.

to contact us
To Contact Us…


Phone: 707.837.5582