Advisory Committee Toolkit Growth


Advisory Committee Toolkit

V. Growth of Advisory Committees

Planning a Program of Work

The committee will need to develop a plan of work to accomplish its goals.

Steps in Planning a Program of Work

  • Annual priorities
    Based on current and projected needs of the community and what has been accomplished in the past.

  • Activities
    Once the priorities are set, the program of work can become more specific.

  • Tasks
    These tasks are steps to accomplishing specific activities and time, costs, human resources, and other support needed for each step should be considered.

  • Assignments
    Even when the entire committee will work on the project, one or more individuals should be responsible for getting each task started, keeping it going, and providing progress reports.

  • Timelines
    Timelines should be assigned to a given task to plan for its completion.

Program of Work Categories and Examples

  • Curriculum Review & Revision
    • Modification of existing programs
    • Identify new or emerging fields

  • Staff Development
    • Provide in-service activities for instructors
    • Open industry-based training to instructors
    • Support instructors’ memberships or participation in trade associations

  • Career Development and Work-Based Learning
    • Occupation-related field trips
    • Job shadowing
    • Cooperative Education
    • Clinical Internship (paid or unpaid)
    • Simulation
    • Laboratory Method
    • Paid/Unpaid Work Experience

  • Marketing and Advocacy
    • Interpret the career pathway to the community
    • Serve as an advocate of the career pathway
    • Seeking legislative support for the career pathway

  • Recruitment, Mentoring, & Placement
    • Recruitment
    • Student outcomes
    • Placement
    • Mentoring

  • Resources
    • Provide advice on new technology
    • Provide advice on facilities or physical layout
    • Share libraries of visual aids, books, and magazines

Resource  Use Resource 5.1 to formulate objectives for your program of work.

Resource  Use Resource 5.2 to formulate subcommittee objectives and strategies.


evaluation equals career pathways program plus advisory committee performance

Career Pathways review—The ultimate measure of the effectiveness of the pathway is its ability to place highly qualified graduates into the workforce. Data that may be of interest to the advisory committee includes:

  • Transitions from secondary to postsecondary within the particular career pathway
  • Student academic performance (GPA, remediation rates, etc.)
  • Retention rates
  • Program completion rates
  • Workforce placement rates

Advisory committee performance—The effectiveness of the committee is determined mainly by determining whether the objectives set out in the program of work have been met.

An evaluation can help the committee determine:

  • Whether the program is accomplishing its goals.
  • The extent to which the program of work has strengthened the career pathway.
  • What recommendations should be, or have been, acted upon, and what the implications of those recommendations are.
  • The future direction and program of work for the committee.

Resource  Use Resource 5.3 to assess your program of work.

In addition to assessing the program of work, advisory committees should make sure the management of their committees is not a barrier to success. The two key components of any successful advisory committee are effective people and processes.

effective processes plus effective people equals successful advisory committee

Factors to assess could include:

  • Meeting frequency
  • Meeting attendance
  • Meeting times
  • Meeting location
  • Each member’s length of service
  • The diversity of the committee
  • Committee guidelines or bylaws
  • Meeting agendas
  • Communication with member
  • Public recognition of members
  • Recommendations made

Resource  Use Resource 5.4 as a self-evaluation tool.

Formalizing Structure

Each advisory committee should develop and approve guidelines for operating procedures, or bylaws. Collectively, bylaws constitute a formal, written description of how the committee operates.

Resource  See Resource 5.5 for sample by-laws.

Resource  Use Resource 5.6 to formalize the structure of your committee's bylaws.

Help—No one comes to meetings!

  • Time Commitment
    Many times it is just a time commitment, but if one digs deeper into the "time issue" you can usually find an underlying theme . . ."it's not worth my time."

  • Value
    There must be value for a business person to take time (time is money) out of their busy day to spend it with education.

  • Response
    Education must be willing to "listen to the customer" and "respond to the customer."

Resource  Use Resource 5.7 to determine why your committee members choose not to participate.

Reviving Stagnant Advisory Committees

You have the right players but no one seems to know what to do.

Resource  Resource 5.8 lists questions to bring to the table for earnest conversation.

Resource  Resource 5.9 is a worksheet for identifying stagnant advisory committee data and issues.

Member Appreciation

Rewards and recognition are especially important to advisory committees because members are not paid for their efforts. One of the best rewards is to ask for advice and respond to it.

Ways to say Thank you!

  • Certificate of appreciation
  • Display names on bulletin board or plaque
  • Letter of appreciation to an employer
  • Invitation to education events
  • Highlight accomplishments in press releases
  • Invite members to visit programs to see implementation
  • Include names in program literature

Resource  Resource 5.10 is a member appreciation checklist.


Establishing an advisory committee is only the first step. To be effective, the committee must become and remain active. Setting and reaching goals and objectives enhance the effectiveness of an advisory committee.

The biggest sustainability factor for any committee is empowerment. You empower your committee by carrying out the following tasks:

  • Selecting well-informed, highly motivated members

  • Choosing effective governance structure and personnel

  • Delegation of responsibilities as appropriate

Recommendations and Feedback

The end product of all advisory committee activities is a set of recommendations for continuous improvement of the program. Many advisory committees write a formal recommendation letter that is signed by the committee chair on behalf of the entire committee. Feedback on the recommendations is the most important motivational tool for advisory committees. Members want to do the "right thing" and are encouraged when they see tangible results from their recommendations.


HOME   JOIN   About Us   CONFERENCE   Professional Development   Resources   Pathway Award   Publications   Sitemap   Privacy Policy   Use of Cookies   Accessibility

4901 Bosque Blvd, 2nd Floor • Waco, TX 76710-2302 • 254-741-8334