Cultural Transformation through Intelligent Heart

​In 2013, Everest College Phoenix embarked upon a journey that would ultimately result in “Intelligent Heart” being woven into the fabric of the institution. When Stu Vanorny joined the team at ECP, he brought academic and instructional design chops as well as remarkable experience with The Pacific Institute.

In his former life, Stu integrated TPI concepts into a first-in General Education course with remarkable improvements in student outcomes. When College Provost Thomas Waite learned about the results, he cleared the way for an immediate collaboration to bring these concepts, principles and the Thought Patterns for a Successful Career text to ECP.

Through the partnership with Dr. Joe Pace and the TPI team, ECP’s Strategies for Success course (taken by all new students in the first term) was redesigned using TPI principles.  Following integration of TPI’s Thought Patterns for a Successful Career textbook, the newly redesigned course was launched in the fall of 2013 with significantly improved student outcomes:

With these compelling results and a deep dive into TPI’s content, ECP leadership saw the “fit” of Intelligent Heart with the institution’s mission and values: an expertise on subject matter must be combined with empathy, compassion and understanding. This combination is vital to student retention and success, as well as to workplace success for ECP colleagues.The team decided to move beyond curriculum. To operationalize Intelligent Heart, three key points of leverage were identified:

1.       Accountability to demonstrate Intelligent Heart every day

2.       Screening for Intelligent Heart for all faculty and staff applicants

3.       Evaluation against Intelligent Heart behaviors

All faculty and staff receive Intelligent Heart training and development by Dr. Pace and his team. To fully integrate Intelligent Heart culturally, ECP collaborated with Dr. Pace and the TPI team on adjusting hiring processes, onboarding and performance expectations. Intelligent Heart behaviors were developed by senior leadership in collaboration with TPI and incorporated into job descriptions and performance expectations.

These initiatives transformed Intelligent Heart from a training program to the way Everest College Phoenix does business every day.Strategies for Success course outcomes continue to show remarkable gains in student success and retention. Everest College Phoenix and The Pacific Institute are blazing new trails in cultural transformation through their collaboration on Intelligent Heart. In the next iteration, expansion into the curriculum beyond Strategies for Success will be explored and performance will be evaluated against the Intelligent Heart commitments.