Learning from the Past, Planning for the Future

A primary goal of the task force was to learn from the past in order to create a more successful future for advisory programs in West Virginia.† Many schools in West Virginia had attempted to implement successful programs.† Some were somewhat successful, but still had concerns about their programs and felt they could be better.† Others had attempted but failed miserably at implementing successful advisory programs. Therefore, at the initial Advisory Task Force meeting, the group conducted a SWOT analysis to look at Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to find strengths and opportunities to build upon and to develop a deliberate plan to minimize weaknesses and threats.† The SWOT analysis was used to guide the work that resulted in the WV LINKS Program.

It is recommended that when your school is planning your LINKS program, you review our results and do your own SWOT analysis to examine your threats and see how you can turn them into opportunities and to examine your weaknesses and see how you can turn them into strengths.† To learn more about doing a SWOT analysis, go to:

SWOT Analysis Blank Template

Below is the outcome of the SWOT analysis from the State Advisor/Advisee Taskforce Meeting - May 8, 2007. The program was designed to address weaknesses overcome threats identified by group.

SWOT Analysis

  1. Improved professional development focus in the†schools
  2. Opportunities†to increase†knowledge/buy-in
  3. Technology allows easy advisory access† and other information and resources
  4. Promotes need for A/A.
  5. Standardized data collection tools in place through WVEIS
    • Attendance
    • Discipline
    • Retention rate
    • Post-secondary going rate
    • GPA/Academics
  6. Existing programs
  7. A way to address/align multiple/competing†initiatives
    • HSTW, NCLB, 21st Century Learning, Policy 2510, SREB
  1. Teacher buy-in
  2. State/school disconnect
  3. Staff feel bombarded
  4. Administrative concerns NCLB/staffing
  5. Rapid changes
  6. High staff turnover
  7. No tools for evaluation
  8. Funding
  9. Just another program
        "This too shall pass"
  10. Time to "grow" (any initiative)
  11. Competing initiatives / not enough staff development time
  12. Scheduling: not enough time in the school day
  1. Administrators have opportunity to set pace
  2. Address Global 21 student needs
  3. Meet NCLB, HSTW, and SREB goals
  4. Improve student achievement
  5. Systems approach to involving parents
  6. Framework w/varying implementation opportunities
  7. Align advisory with other school-wide programs
  8. Align with other state initiatives
  9. A systemic approach to providing students and staff with all relevant educational information so that everyone is on the same page
  10. Collaboration with outside resources
  11. Professional Development
    • Shape new skills/attitudes
    • Utilize movies to create vision (Freedom Writers / Akeelah & the Bee)
    • Create easily accessable resources
    • Involve key players (teacher leader)
    • Learning Community packets
  1. Bombardment
  2. One size does not fit all
  3. Low teacher morale
  4. Not seen as teacherís job
  5. Under-certified / new staff, lack of skills and knowledge
  6. No accountability
  7. Currently cannot award credit/competes with credit-bearing curriculum