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Reshaping our Identity by telling the Many Stories of Us

As I reflect on the questions posed to attendees from the keynote speakers, the theme of telling stories seems to emerge for me that are relevant to the journey we have ahead of us as we embark on our new path as a combined university that is separating from Bridgepoint Education.

Reflecting from Maurice D. Wilson, MCPO, USN (Ret) talk on the social-technical approach to successfully transition active duty members from the Armed Forces into the workforce, we as Ashford University can utilize this approach to discover of our new identity as a non-profit university. This is important because it will allow us to define how we want to move forward as an education provider.

But as Dr. Karen Ivy pointed out in her presentation, we should be careful to ensure that the new identify that we create encompasses the many stories of us rather than a single story. This should include the many stories of our each of our past institutions as well as the many stories of our faculty, staff, and especially our students. Our stories as a university should echo that of our students stories, which Dr. Maceo Brayboy’s illuminated in his talk of his educational journey from starting in the Associate’s program to receiving his Doctorate degree.

This message rang true to me as I contemplated the questions posed by Dr. Jeff Borden in illustrating the fallacies of averages into a one size fits all approach to education. All of our stories together should not be averaged into one single story, but should be reflected as a spectrum of many different stories that each have a voice of their own that as a whole help to reshape our identity for the future.

Andrew Jones

Strategic Planning Analyst

Ashford University

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