The culture of educational institutions defines the values, attitudes, beliefs, norms, and way of operations. The culture of a learning institution that has been well managed and connected to the best educational practices produces overwhelming success in the institution. On the other hand, an organizational culture that has leakages in the educational practices leads to failure. Educational organizations have team leaders who propel the organization towards set goals and objectives. By so doing, the organization stands out over and above the other competitors in the same field. The culture is passed on from one generation of employees to the next. Excellent organizational culture is based on discipline, dedication, fairness, and firmness imparted to all employees in an educational institution. Organizational culture, therefore, spells out the accepted code of behavior, the desires and the expected outcomes of employees or staff in an educational institution. This organizational culture essay aims to analyze the required cultural practices for an institution that desires excellence in its operations Sockman (et al., 2016).
SWOT analysis for an Educational Institution
SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The SWOT analysis gives a lens-view of what is currently functioning at its best, the failed cultural system and shift focus to the positives while bridging the existing gap. Indeed, SWOT is a tool for self-evaluation. The SWOT enables the educational institution to focus and build more on its strengths, utilize the opportunities maximumly and face any threats that may be lying on their way head-on.
Table 1 TABULAR REPRESENTATION OF SWOT ANALYSIS
These are the existing positives within the institution itself. An education institution enjoys a strong commitment to community and corporate missions. The education institution aims at producing graduating citizens who are prepared to respond to the needs of the society. The education institutions operate with accredited curriculum from relevant national and international bodies. The graduates are prepared for employment in institutions of global reputations (Aiyelaagbe et al., 2016)
The educational institutions have sufficient human resource endowment varying from skilled to semi-skilled and unskilled. Each employee in a learning institution is placed according to his/her job descriptions to maximize utilization of skills and give maximum returns. The learning institution also has financial resources that enable it to meet financial obligations in the day to day running of the institution. The Financial strength also enables the institution to put up other physical resources. Further still, the institution is endowed with adequate physical resources that are spacious and furnished to meet modern learning needs.
The use of technology in teaching especially in research and teaching is another milestone in the institution. The students can access a wide range of resources from the website which is made possible by the internet connection in the institution. The institution has a culture of respectable and decent dress code. This gives the institution an excellent reputation and makes it stand over and above the competitors. The institution has also adopted a culture of involving employees in all decision making and implementation process. Employees, therefore, own the institution fully.
The teaching team has wide experience and high academic qualifications in their specific disciplines. The teaching staffs also engage in extensive research to broaden the knowledge base and contribute fully in the scholarly world.
The institution is endowed with many opportunities. There are a high number of students in need of education who offer an opportunity for increased student enrolment in the institution. The success of this institution is on high student enrolment rate. Another opportunity is the national and global expansion strategy in the education sector. This expansion is creating room for more admission capacity in a world where a big percentage is in the quest for education. Another opportunity in the institution is the accreditation and the diverse and competitive nature that has put its name on the global map. This means that students are attracted to this institution due to the good institutional name. Accessibility to digital distance learning offered by the institution is also another opportunity. Many people all over the world, due to the busy schedules are preferring distance learning thus offering the institution more opportunities.
The institution is exposed to weaknesses that include slowness to adopting change. There are many changes in the education sector that keep on affecting the institution. The institution is not able to incorporate this fast due to administrative technicalities and procedures that have to be followed. Another weakness lies in the adoption of modern technology. Technology is the driving force in research and modern teaching. This technology is changing rapidly, and its acquisition is also expensive. The finances to adopt the technology are limited. Limitation in funds is also a weakness in the SWOT analysis. Lastly, there is inadequate infrastructural to support the increasing number of students in need of education.
There is stiff competition in the education sector that is threatening the institution. Many other institutions have come up with attractive programs targeting all age groups as well as the working class. This means students have a wide choice of institutions to choose. This is limiting the opportunities available for this institution. New entrants in the market also pose a threat to education institutions. Virtue institutions are also a significant threat to this institution.
Organizational Culture of my Institution
Students join an institution of higher learning as the institution communicates and interacts with them. By delivering the institution's mission and vision, the student internalizes what the institution intends to make of him or her. Students are also encouraged to see the learning they undergo in the institution as a transformation process. Indeed, in my institution, students are taken as raw materials that are guided through a process to produce quality products. This has become part of my institution and is bearing fruits.
Interacting with students is also part of our culture. Students engage in open interactive discussions to psyche them on what lies ahead of them after schooling. This is usually done through workshops, seminars, open academic days and sporting and cultural festivities.
The language used in my institution is respectful and official. Students join our institution from all cultural background and are unified by language. The social events that appreciate different cultures also bind our students together.
There are clear communications channels that ensure that information reaches the intended recipients promptly. All platform up to and including the social media are used. All stakeholders are involved in the decision-making process, and this ensures that all own decisions made. This makes implementation process easy. Lastly, there is a defined dress code for all employees. This helps the employees to portray and impart good moral values to our students.
Opportunities for change in my Institution
Institutions offering higher education are attractive entities to many who thirst for higher education. Higher education institutions focus on the Point of Sale strategy where they should avail relevant information to students wishing to join them in future details relating the institution early enough. This will enable enrollees a humble time to make informed decisions on the areas to pursue. It is advisable for institutions to focus on the student when posting information on the websites. This is an opportunity for growth in my institution as by so doing; it will broaden the options available to students. If the opportunity is not offered to the student, he or she will seek for an alternative.
Quality of learning and service delivery
The quality of education and other services offered are key in maintaining the reputation of an institution. Institutions of higher learning need to focus more on the quality of courses offered as opposed to the high number of graduating students. This is an opportunity for growth in my institution as the courses and programs offered will continue to be reviewed to meet the market demands. This will make our students remain competitive in the labor market (Duffy 2017).
Meeting the demands of students with proper planning
An institution that responds effectively to students needs and demands creates more opportunities for growth. In cases where students are at liberty to choose on the mode of learning, a time convenient to them and timelines convenient will be more attractive. Allowing students to take courses during the day, at night, over the holidays as well as online and offline programs makes institutions more attractive. This is a great opportunity for growth in my institution as all this is a concept that is applied and is still being improved to accommodate all students in need of higher education. Automating processes in the institution is an opportunity for growth for instance online application and registration of courses. Creating mobile-friendly websites for the students is also an opportunity for growth.
In conclusion, it is clear that the success of an institution of higher learning lies in its organizational culture. An institution that communicates its mission statement to the students enables the students to know what the institution expects in the end after schooling. Also, involving all employees and students in decision-making process ensures that all will own the decisions being implemented.
By conducting a SWOT analysis, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are identified. Strengths and opportunities are favorable to the institution. Threats and weaknesses are unfavorable. It is essential for an institution of higher learning to conduct a SWOT analysis to identify these critical success factors.
Opportunities for growth are abundant. What is important is how the opportunities are identified and implemented.
Sockman, B. R., Sutton, R., & Herrmann, M. (2016). Comic Relief: Graduate Students Address Multiple Meanings for Technology Integration with Digital Comic Creation. TechTrends, 60(5), 475-485.
Duffy, F. M. (2017). Reimagining Instructional Supervision: Supervising Knowledge Work. Rowman & Littlefield.
Aiyelaagbe, I. O., Harris, P. C., & Olowe, V. I. O. (2016). Skills gaps in organic agriculture and SWOT analysis in higher educational institutions (HEIs) in Anglophone West Africa. Organic agriculture, 6(2), 109-118.
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