NextGenFirstGen©– Implementing a Cultural Shift and Institutional Change Resulting in Outcomes that Matter
Providing common language for systemic cultural change, branded as Next Generation for First-Generation student success (nextgenfirstgen.com), occurred through adoption of the Organizational Developmental Model of Inclusion (ODMI) by Saint Mary’s College of California. The ODMI, developed by Moises Baron and Reuben Mitchell, provides a framework for generating policies and practices to assess and instigate organizational change. ODMI implementation involves a continuously evolving, dynamic strategy ensuring all college divisions are devoted to inclusive excellence. The High Potential Sphere of Success (HPSS)—a strengths-based leadership, retention, and success initiative partially funded by TRiO—embodies institutional dedication to first-generation and/or low-income students to demonstrate a culture of commencement as dynamic goal. Connecting student success to institutional mission through the ODMI has yielded outcomes positively impacting student retention and distinct pathways to graduation. Encouraging a balance of the ideals of collectivist cultures within an individualistic society constitutes a unique approach to cultivating student success. Strategies employed clearly identify how the College’s mission/core principles formed the basis of interactions with stakeholders to influence buy-in of significant narrative change from deficit to strengths based perspective-taking. This paper outlines steps taken by HPSS leaders that can be generalized to any institution to activate positive change.