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Forming a Board | Origin: OP110

This is a general discussion forum for the following learning topic:

Developing Effective Advisory and Governing Boards --> Forming a Board

Post what you've learned about this topic and how you intend to apply it. Feel free to post questions and comments too.

Career colleges can opt for an Advisory Board or a Board of Directors. There are many parameters to consider when selecting directors for the Board.

It is extremely important to determine if a prospective board member is truly interested in serving. This will enable you to fill your board with individuals that are invested and committed to the program's advancement.

When choosing a board member it can't be because you like them as an individual. You want to choose someone that will bring efficacy and at times challenge you to make improvements.


Carefully choosing your Board members is an important factor if you want to optimize the board's effectiveness.

Forming a board is very important! Making sure carefully choosing the board members is a very important factor. 


When forming an advisory or governing board.  It is important to assess the demographics of the student population and the stakeholders in the community they will serve.  The members should be nonbias and highly diversified.  In addition, there should be an odd number of individuals to avoid a deadlock when making decisions. 


Choosing a governing or advisory board which is representative of both the student population and the surrounding community is vital for creating an organization which is impactful and sustainable. Too often in our field we see schools open up only to shut down shortly due to conflicts of interest, non- compliance with rules and regulations, or mistakes made due to ignorance on the part of the committees which are created to ensure success. The process of selecting board members is going to require sound judgment to ensure we select individuals who are capable of carrying out their defined roles & responsibilities.  

Reply to Melissa Parker's post:

Hi Melissa, 

The idea of having an odd number of individuals is a great suggestion. 

Its critical the structure and formation of sub-committees to better serve the institution. 


Posting the mission/responsibilty of the different boards is important to ensure the boards stay focused.

When forming a board, such as a curriculum advisory board, is in important to consider many factors. Not only the potential member's professional experience and contributions, but their values, integrity, and ability to commit to serving on a board. Knowing whether the members are aligned with the mission and vision of the institution is integral to the success of a board. With that, the proper training and continued management of a board will determine its success and the outcomes of decisions and projects the board will work on. It is best to keep them as small as possible, with an odd number, dependent upon the size of the organization. For our corporate beauty college system with seven locations across the state, the most approprate size for a curriculum committee might be 7 or 9 to cover all areas of cosmetology, barbering, massage, and advanced esthetics curriculum. I think it would be highly beneficial to have distinguished members of the community and industry to serve on the board (ie. salon and spa owners or managers, distributors, curriculum writers in different industries, etc). Having a variety of experience and input will build the most successful framework of a board to develop the most unique and empowering curriculum possible. 


Advisory Board memeber are volunteers 


Boards can only be successful if its members are carefully selected. This process is similar to the process the institution uses in hiring faculty and staff. Board members should be interviewed, able to articulate their desire to serve on the board and pledge their commitment to dedicate the time required to be an effective board member. 

Boards can make or break an institution. I would apply these concepts to ensure that we have effective boards.

When interviewing board members I think the approach of asking if they have the time to dedicate, and the desire to be a vested functioning member is very important. In the past, I've had program advisory members who weren't fully engaged.  

The expectations, responsibilities, and requirements of a board member.

How to effectively choose the members of the board.

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