Day in the life of
Dean of Program Development – Bri Salsman
As a Dean of Program Development, I am responsible for creating an exceptional student experience. Coach Training EDU (CTEDU) is a fully virtual coach training program. To this end, I created the online Coach Portal and continuously look for ways to improve it. This includes curriculum development such as recording and editing new video content, curating resources from third parties and developing CTEDU branded resources.
In addition, I am also responsible for launching all-new cohorts once students are enrolled in our program. I created the course in the Coach Portal, share login credentials with the students, moderate online forums, and provide ongoing support to students outside of class.
Our trainers serve as the link between my role on the backend and the students enrolled in our program, so I also ensure that trainers have all the resources to successfully lead their courses. This includes continuously enhancing our Trainers’ Hub, which houses the most up-to-date Trainers’ Guide, resources for various in-class activities, and training best practices. We also host monthly professional development for our trainers, which I am a part of leading.
Since I have shifted into more of a “non-traditional educator’s” role with a very quickly growing organization, my days have become far less typical than when I worked in a traditional educational setting. With this said, I typically start my day by responding to emails from students and trainers. Once all students and trainers are taken care of, I shift into daily tasks such as adding any newly enrolled students to the Coach Portal and uploading replays of the previous day’s class sessions. Then I spend the bulk of my day working on special projects that are aimed at enhancing the student experience. Some recent projects have included adding community forums to the Coach Portal, building out our Train the Trainer program, developing curriculum for a new Team & Relationships Coach Training course, and collaborating with other team members to ensure accurate programmatic information is included in the launch of our new website. Throughout the day, I might meet with our co-founder, a trainer, or a few students, but these meetings usually only take about 2 hours of my entire day.
When I think about the pros and cons of my current role, I consider the comparison between what I do now compared to when I was in a more traditional educator’s role. Working with a fully remote organization, I have substantially more autonomy in my work. My expertise is trusted, which allows me to have greater influence than in any previous position I’ve held. There is little to no red tape or bureaucracy in my role and I am provided with tremendous freedom to try new things and take ownership of new projects and ideas. I might be in a brainstorming session with our co-founder or a team member and, by the end of the meeting, we’re deciding on actionable steps to take immediately. Unlike in my previous roles, I am not having endless numbers of meetings with little to no progress. Every day, I see tangible outcomes from the work I am doing.
On the flip side, in this quick-paced environment, sometimes the bigger picture or the strategic vision can get temporarily lost. There’s more opportunity for “position creep.” While I do have clearly defined responsibilities, there are times where I am pulled to support other projects that are beyond my own expertise or skillset. I view these as opportunities to add to my professional toolbox and, at the same time, don’t always see how to leverage the new learning in other areas that are more relevant to my role. In addition, I have far less direct contact with students. While I also serve as a trainer for a few cohorts at a time so I can stay abreast of current trends in the classroom, that contact is far less than the level of interaction I had working in a school where students were around all day, 5 days a week.
develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology into instruction in order to provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses. May train and coach teachers. Includes educational consultants and specialists, and instructional material directors.