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.

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

  • Understanding Today’s Students; Generation Next to Generation Z
  • From Teaching to Learning 2022: Best Practices in Research Based Instruction for Improved Learning Outcomes
  • Leading to Happiness: Practicing Positive Developmental Leadership
  • Have a Nice Class: Positive Developmental Teaching
  • Learning How to Think; Teaching Reasoning, Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills
  • Understanding and Teaching the Underprepared Student
  • Improving Work Readiness in College Graduates
  • Listening, Guiding and Supporting Skills for Instructors; Improving Persistence and Managing Student Issues

Understanding Today’s Students; Generation Next to Generation Z

Emerging data suggests that we are seeing a major generational shift in the traits of traditionally aged entering college students from those we have become accustomed to serving with new backgrounds, needs and expectations. While we will continue to see students from other generational cohorts, the preponderance of students from Generation Z presents both new challenges and opportunities to higher education institutions, and could dramatically alter how we market and recruit, engage, teach, entertain and serve. This program will describe the transition from Generation NeXt (aka Millennials) to the new realities of Generation Z, in broader generational context, with suggestions for how colleges and universities might best respond to both what they expect and want, and what they need, to be engaged, admitted and ultimately to graduate with they skills they need to be successful on the 21st century.

 

From Teaching to Learning 2022: Best Practices in Research Based Instruction for Improved Learning Outcomes

Despite voluminous research on the efficacy of active, interactive and engaging instructional methods, these ways of teaching are still not in the mainstream practice of instructors at many schools. The pandemic has created procedural disruptions that might offer the opportunity to move to broader adoption of best practices. This workshop will help faculty and academic administrators better understand a researched informed model of teaching and learning based on increasing student activity, interaction, and engagement, and leveraging available technologies and resources to improve instructional efficiency and effectiveness, especially around higher-order learning outcomes. A best practices instructional model and methods to increase students’ responsibility for their own learning, personal ownership of class goals and to improve students reaching meaningful learning, developmental and workplace readiness goals will be described with immediately applicable techniques.

 

Leading to Happiness: Practicing Positive Developmental Leadership

Research in the fields of positive psychology and happiness studies offer powerful insights into the abilities of people to live happier and more meaningful lives, with implications for leadership. Personal happiness and social positivity have declined precipitously during the pandemic disturbances with record levels of stress, anxiety, depression and unhappiness being reported and clearly evident now in most workplaces as. When positivity is combined with a growth perspective, the result is improved quality of life for workers and improved workplace outcomes across many dimensions, ranging from productivity to retention. This program will offer an overview of the research based principles of positive psychology and happiness studies with implications for personal living, management and leadership.

 

Have a Nice Class: Positive Developmental Teaching

Session description: While research in the fields of positive psychology and happiness studies offer powerful insights into the abilities of people to live happier and more meaningful lives, and for leadership, it also has implications for improving teaching and learning. Combining happiness and positivity practices with the natural developmental perspective of higher education and a research based best instructional model can result in improved engagement, retention and learning outcomes. This program will offer an overview of the research based principles of positive psychology and happiness studies, and the application to this research to best practices in teaching and learning.

 

Learning How to Think; Teaching Reasoning, Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking is a set of complex cognitive processes and requires the disciplined application of skills in logic, reasoning, argument analysis, data interpretation, problem solving and decision making as well as self-awareness elements like personal bias and assumption identification, and self-monitoring. This program will help instructors across disciplines better understand how to help their students develop these skills and qualities, within a research based instructional model, to better prepare them for deep learning, the workplace, civic engagement and a variety of adult roles.

 

Understanding and Teaching the Underprepared Student

Faced with the high percentages of high school graduates who require remedial work when they enter college, and the skills gaps in non-traditional returning students who may be long separated from academics, colleges struggle to bring underprepared students to successful academic outcomes. This program will address the characteristics and issues of the underprepared student, and offer perspectives and suggestions for faculty and staff to help them persist, learn, and graduate.

 

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.

 

Listening, Guiding and Supporting Skills for Instructors; Improving Persistence and Managing Student Issues

Instructors should not be expected to be professional counselors, but knowing how to effectively listen and respond can help instructors help their students problem solve, cope and to 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.