SOURCE: Solution Tree

Solution Tree, a professional development company

October 30, 2015 17:27 ET

A Powerful New Title Delivers Key Strategies for Improving Higher Education

BLOOMINGTON, IN--(Marketwired - October 30, 2015) - Solution Tree, a premier educational publisher and professional development provider, has announced a groundbreaking new title that examines how college and university leaders can improve retention and graduation rates by implementing professional learning communities (PLCs).

In A New Way, authors Robert Eaker and Debra Sells detail the great promise the PLC process has for reshaping how leaders in higher education think and work and, more importantly, how they can positively impact student success. Practical and research-based, the process is driven by three big ideas: focus on learning, build a collaborative culture, and create a results orientation.

APQC® Education, a Houston-based nonprofit, released a study titled Evaluating Professional Learning Communities: Final Report, which declared, "After several months of research and dialogue with practitioners throughout the nation, it became apparent that the hype was real. PLCs... are being used by schools and districts of all sizes and demographics to make significant impacts on student achievement."

To date, the PLC process has dramatically improved teaching and learning in thousands of K-12 schools and districts around the world and carries significant potential for producing similar results in higher education.

"As a former dean of education, I can't think of a more important wake-up call than the powerful message that institutions of higher education must embrace professional learning communities if they are to learn and grow," said Michael Fullan, a professor emeritus of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. "With barely a 50 percent graduation rate in postsecondary institutions, PLCs represent a winning, high-yield strategy for student success."

Richard DuFour, a leading educational author and consultant, added, "The authors challenge college faculties and administrators to stop blaming student failure on external factors such as poor preparation in high school or bad decisions by the admissions office, and to focus instead on what is within their sphere of influence to make higher education become more student centered. This book should be required reading for college and university faculties throughout the United States."

The future of higher education depends on leaders' dedication to making big changes in institutional practices and structures. By taking the specific measures outlined by Eaker and Sells, school leaders will discover the answers they need to bring about lasting structural and cultural changes at their institutions.

A New Way is now available to order at

About the Authors

Robert Eaker, EdD, is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Middle Tennessee State University, where he also served as dean of the College of Education and interim vice president and provost. He has written widely on the issues of effective teaching, effective schools, helping teachers use research findings, and high expectations for student achievement.

Debra Sells, EdD, serves as vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment services at Middle Tennessee State University. She has served as an administrator at a variety of colleges and universities over her career of more than 30 years, including Grinnell College, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, and Arizona State University.

About Solution Tree

Solution Tree delivers comprehensive professional development to schools and districts around the world. Solution Tree has empowered K-12 educators to raise student achievement through a wide range of services and products including educator conferences, customized district solutions for long-term professional development, books, videos, online courses, and more.

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