Programs / Formats / Descriptions

I am dedicated to helping faculty and staff better understand and improve their skills in working with students for learning, development, persistence and workplace readiness. While I make my literature available and offer links to other resources (see the Learning Resources page) I am most effective when offering programs and workshops at schools and conferences. I have visited community and technical colleges, universities, private and professional schools from Massachusetts to California, Minnesota to Texas, and in Canada, as well as presenting at conferences across the country and in Australia, Canada, Ireland and Denmark.

I often present to the entire faculty, staff and administration of colleges, and have offered workshops to faculty, student services, enrollment management, strategic planning and every campus area from admissions to alumni. Each of my programs is customized to meet the needs of your school; student population, mission, and size. Conference and meeting programs have been offered to faculty discipline groups, student affairs generalist and specialist groups, business and administrative groups.

My two most popular programs for colleges are Generation NeXt Comes to College- Understanding Today’s Learners and the follow-up workshop for faculty on Teaching Today’s Learners. I am time flexible from a 40 minute keynote to three hour sessions. So many schools have invited me to present the Generation NeXt program, then asked me back for the Teaching workshop, that I now offer both in one day of up to six hours of program time.

For meetings and conferences I generally offer a keynote/ plenary session of at least an hour, and follow-up workshop or break-out session. I have also offered half-day conference and pre-conference sessions, and full-day faculty trainings. There is so much variation in meeting needs and schedules I encourage you to contact me at mark@taylorprograms.com or call 501 626-5889 to discuss your program needs.

Programs for Colleges and Universities

  • Generation NeXt Comes to College- Understanding Today’s Learners
  • Teaching Today’s Learners
  • Improving Work Readiness in College Graduates
  • Learning How to Think- Teaching Reasoning, Problem Solving and Critical
  • Thinking Skills
  • Innovating the College Classroom
  • Teaching the Underprepared Student
  • Managing the Multigenerational Classroom
  • Flipping the Classroom
  • Creating Professionals- Pedagogies of Formation
  • Managing Escalating Situations
  • Listening/ Counseling Skills for Instructors

Program Descriptions

From NeXt to WOKE: Understanding Today’s College Students

Emerging data suggests that we may be seeing a major generational shift in traits of teenagers and traditionally aged entering college students from the students we have been serving in recent memory; from Generation NeXt to Generation WOKE. Often more active and engaged with the on-line, social media and virtual worlds than what others might consider the “real” world, Generation WOKE will present new challenges, and opportunities, to higher education institutions, and could dramatically alter how we recruit, engage, teach, entertain and serve. They also predict major changes in their consumer behavior, political engagement and social life in general. This program will describe the transition from Generation NeXt (aka Millennials) to the new realities of Generation WOKE, with suggestions for how colleges and universities might best respond to both what they want, and what they need.

From Teaching to Learning: Applying a Best Practices Instructional Model for Improved Learning Outcomes

This workshop will help faculty understand and transition to a researched informed best practices model of teaching and learning designed to help students more effectively reach learning outcomes across a range of cognitive and affective domains, especially around higher order reasoning skills. Methods to increase student activity, engagement, investment, responsibility for their own learning and ownership of desired class outcomes will be described, and some will be demonstrated, with a focus on improving persistence and workplace readiness, as well as learning.

Improving Work Readiness in College Graduates

Recent years have seen increasingly public concerns with the workplace readiness of college graduates especially around soft skills, like working in teams and oral communication, higher order thinking skills, like critical and analytical thinking, and in demonstrating ethical judgement and decision making. This program will address the impacts of WHAT instructors teach, the impacts of HOW instructors manage their classes, and the role of out-of-class activities and expectations in bringing students to critical work readiness outcomes. Ideas for better connecting the academy to the world of work for better student workplace readiness and a smoother transition from school to the professional workplace will also be discussed.

Learning How to Think; Teaching reasoning, problem solving and critical thinking skills

Though critical thinking is espoused as a desired outcome of most college classes and of most instructors, according to employers it is rarely evident in graduates. Many faculty report limited understanding of what critical thinking actually is so they may be unaware of how to lead students to and to measure meaningful critical thinking outcomes. Real critical thinking is a complex process and requires the disciplined application of reasoning and problem solving skills, data interpretation, bias and assumption identification, predicting skills and self-monitoring. In college classes critical thinking may only follow students’ learning a range of requisite thinking and self-knowing skills. This program will help instructors across disciplines better understand how to help their students develop reasoning, problem solving and critical thinking skills to better prepare them for the workplace, civic engagement and a variety of adult roles.

Innovating the College Classroom

Though much recent buzz has centered around the impact of “disruptive innovations” on the higher education landscape, little attention has been directed toward the impact and application of these change forces to actual instruction. This program overviews the disruptive processes in postsecondary education, and addresses our opportunities to reinvent and transform college instruction for improved learning outcomes.

Teaching the Underprepared Student

With as many as half of high school graduates requiring remedial academic work when they enter college (with many needing deep remediation in math, reading and language skills) and the skills gaps in non-traditional returning students who may be long separated from academics, colleges struggle to bring underprepared students to successful academically outcomes. This program addresses the issues of the underprepared student in academic competence and confidence, and provides guidance to faculty, and others on campus, to help them persist, learn, and graduate.

Managing the Multigenerational Classroom

Today’s live and on-line classes can be a mix of students from at least three generational cohorts; more mature Baby Boomers, re-careering Generation Xers, and our traditionally aged, digital Generation NeXters. With wildly varying past experiences, academic expectations and learning goals, it can be challenging for faculty to offer each cohort their most effective learning environment and activities. This program describes the traits, learning preferences and needs of each group, and offers a model of instruction proven to help all learners be successful.

Flipping the Classroom

Inverting, or flipping, a class involves moving the introduction to content and skills out of class to free class time for students to be active in solidifying knowledge, practicing skills and reaching higher level learning outcomes through planned in-class activities. This program places the flipped classroom in the learning model, and offers techniques to improve student compliance, responsibility for their own learning, and learning outcomes.

Creating Professionals- Pedagogies of Formation

How do you take a normal person and, in the course of their education, turn them into a professional with the necessary knowledge base, functional skill set and set of values that will enable them able to perform effectively and adaptively over the course of a career? This program describes a pedagogy of formation designed to impact students in deep and lasting ways to prepare them for the professional workplace, and is applicable to any professional occupation, from nursing, medicine and other health care professions to law, teaching and technical fields.

Managing Escalating Situations

Meaningful learning has affective elements, and not all of the emotions are positive. Stress around performance, anomie as long held beliefs are challenged, fear of a poor academic outcomes and strong emotions aroused in class discussions are not uncommon. Even minor disagreements in class or over grades can have the potential to escalate into crisis situations with the possibility for negative outcomes for the student, the class, the instructor and the school. This workshop will help instructors understand the dynamics of potential and real crisis situations, and help them develop skills that they can apply to prevent and deescalate crisis. Guidelines for class discussions and suggestions for establishing a class atmosphere less conducive to escalation will also be offered.

Listening/ Counseling Skills for Instructors

College is stressful. The transition to college is well documented as an especially fraught time as students are separated from traditional supports and routines and are confronted with new people, environments and expectations. The current cohorts of students may have special issues in adapting successfully. These issues and reactions are too expectable and common to expect college counseling and mental health services to assist every student with problems. Instructors are not (or should not be) expected to be professional counselors, but knowing how to effectively listen and respond can help instructors help their students cope and adjust to college life and academic expectations. This workshop will help instructors understand the principles of effective listening and peer (non-professional) helping, and to develop a set of skills they can apply to assist their students in the most appropriate and effective ways, including referring to other services when necessary.

Technical and other details for Programs for Schools, Colleges and Universities

  • I present from my MacBook so will need a projector and screen. I have the appropriate adapters and am compatible with any projector. I will also need a wireless lapel microphone, flip chart and markers. If bottled water is readily available, that would be great.
  • No deposit is required and full payment is expected on the date of the event. If I am unable to present due to travel interruptions or illness, there is no charge to the school. If the school wishes to cancel after confirmation, there will be a charge of 50% of my fee, and any nonrefundable travel cost incurred.