Navigating Through the Institutional Culture and Processes: Handout

Navigating through the Institutional Culture & Processes

Cheryl L. Delk, Director

Intensive English Program

Department of Applied Linguistics/ESL

Georgia State University

Background/Context of Intensive English Program at GSU

The Intensive English Program (IEP) is among six other programs housed within the Department of Applied Linguistics/ESL at Georgia State University, including academic programs (undergraduate, graduate, and ESL credit-bearing courses) and service programs (e.g. university-wide testing for international students).  The IEP is self-supporting; however, as part of an academic department, it functions within a highly hierarchical framework.

Preparing for the position

Meet with predecessor

Meet with upper administration

Join professional lists/organizations

Learn jargon of campus processes

Start compiling contact list

Starting the position

Create timelines for internal and external events

Join peer group on campus or form your own

Continue building contact lists with detailed notes

Initiate a self-study and/or accreditation process

Learn to manage both up and down

Continuing in position

Develop a thicker skin than you thought you’d need

Learn to accept  ambiguity

Participate in faculty/staff development seminars

Attend campus events for face-to-face contact

Don’t lose touch with the students

Remind yourself often that communication is #1 priority