Harrison College, a post-secondary proprietary institution consisting of nine campuses, has become a leader in education by positively changing the lives of their administration and students. Facing a student retention rate of only 68%, which was seriously impacting employee turnover and decreasing student enrollment, Harrison College consulted with The Pacific Institute® for use of their curricula:Investment in Excellence® and Thought Patterns for a Successful Career™.The Pacific Institute®‘s curricula has helped transform the institution in a variety of ways. The lives of employees, as well as the students, have changed both professionally and personally. The culture of the 400 employees is more positive; employees are more unified and energetic. “This is something that I had not seen in 14 years,” stated Konesco, “Employee retention increased…We now have a common vision. A common bull’s eye. We have goals that we did not have before and we have established a new organizational aim: We change lives, one student at a time.”Harrison College also witnessed an increase in student enrollment and retention. “Our cumulative student enrollment has increased by 52%,” Konesco elaborated, “This has become a Win-Win situation for the students. If a student wins, the student graduates; the student then gets a job and we all win.”
ChallengeThe Need For UnificationAt Harrison College, Konesco was facing a common problem among career colleges. Student retention and enrollment was decreasing and employee turnover was increasing. Konesco decided to do some strategic planning with the goal of creating a culture shift and greater staff unity. He recognized that by having a more unified staff, everybody could then work collectively towards the same target of increased student retention. However, he struggled because the organization was not structured to allow for employee participation in decision-making, a continuous point of employee frustration and tension.When asked how costly student retention and staff turnover were to Harrison College, Jason Konesco, Vice President of Finance and Business Development at Harrison College, stated “Very costly. Our edupreneurial [a combination of educator and entrepreneur] spirit was being affected in various ways. First, it affected the bottom-line of the business from a profit viewpoint. Second, it affected students from a morale standpoint.” So much effort was being put into recruiting new students that student retention was overlooked.While traveling on business, Konesco met Dr. Joe Pace, from The Pacific Institute®, who was conducting a workshop on The Pacific Institute curriculum. The timing could not have been better. Konesco was convinced that this was what Harrison College needed to shift its culture and enable personal, organizational, and professional development.
ExperienceRealizing the ProblemAfter meeting Dr. Pace, Konesco asked him to present Investment in Excellence® to the 17 members of his Executive Management team to demonstrate what it could do for Harrison College. After this presentation, the executive team was convinced that The Pacific Institute®’s Investment in Excellence was what they needed. The executive team eventually decided to invite employees to participate in the strategic planning activities of the business and they as a consequence began to experience shift within their institution.The following year, all 210 employees were put through the Investment in Excellence curriculum. Six weeks later the college deployedInstitutional Application Training™. That Fall, The Pacific Institute®’sThought Patterns for a Successful Career™ program was introduced into the Harrison College’s core curriculum for students.
OutcomeSuccess Without BoundariesThe Pacific Institute® curriculum “has had a major impact on our culture. It created an open, amiable, and more empowering environment; empowering to work without boundaries. Implementing The Pacific Institute®’s curriculum has contributed to a 5% decrease in employee turnover. In 1999, we had 210 employees, including adjunct teachers. Today we have 400… allowing employees to participate in the decision-making process of our business has allowed us to grow exponentially because everyone is now part of the process and that is powerful,” stated Jason Konesco. The decision to consult with The Pacific Institute® has proven successful for students as well. This success has been captured in student testimonials:
“All my life I had been conditioned to believe that I was worth nothing. Thanks to The Pacific Institute®’sThought Patterns for a Successful Career, my self-esteem has increased. I am a different person.”
“As a future business woman, this curriculum empowered me by providing me with the tools to succeed.”
“I am locking-on to success and feeling better about myself.”
“Your curriculum has given me the strength and positive attitude to start living again. Your curriculum has helped me see my future, and believe that I can accomplish my goal, with an I CAN DO IT attitude.”
With the help of The Pacific Institute®’sSuccess Strategies for Effective Colleges and Schools™ process, Harrison College has shifted its culture; increasing student enrollment and student retention; and decreasing employee turnover. With these changes they are meeting their vision: To be an industry leader in delivering quality educational services. When asked if The Pacific Institute® curriculum would continue to be implemented, Jason Konesco replied, “Absolutely. It is our culture’s foundation…People feel good about how this curriculum can be applied beyond the boundaries of work and into their personal lives. Harrison College is an exciting and energetic place to work and further your education.”