D. Terry Rawls, Ed.D.
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Frequently Asked Questions


What is SystemsCheckTM?

Using established methodologies, SystemsCheckTM is a strategic, laser-focused, and expeditious look into a clearly-defined function, program or area by an experienced professional with the goal of better understanding the current state and potential opportunities. That's the technical description. Simply put, SystemsCheck is designed to quickly, flexibly, and inexpensively provide expert advice on how you're doing in an area of your choosing.

How was SystemsCheckTM developed?

The mission of Strategic Transitions Group, Inc. is to assist institutions, organizations and individuals with embracing and successfully navigating change. We have found that many institutions know that change is coming, but they are often uncertain as to just what that change needs to be. SystemsCheck was developed to provide input into the initiation of change using a inexpensive, quick, and professional process.

What functions or areas of my institution can benefit from a SystemsCheckTM?

Most functions or areas of a college or university can benefit from a SystemsCheck, and the more discrete the function the better the result. Some areas that are typically investigated include:

  • Continuing Education, including staffing, offerings, and initiatives

  • Online programming, including operational (delivery) and pedagogical

  • Strategic Planning procedures

  • Accreditation efforts, including the process of developing a self-study

  • Tactical Planning

  • Serving new student populations

  • Policy and procedure management processes

  • Curriculum development processes, including program and course design models

  • Partnerships with vendors or other institutions

  • Academic programs

  • New program identification process

  • Support programs, including counseling, advising, and placement services

And many more! If you are curious about something, with a small investment of time and money SystemsCheck will provide quick, reliable, useful answers to your questions.

What will be reviewed?

Naturally, a program such as SystemsCheck is dependent upon the quality of the information provided by the institution: Quality In = Quality Out. Thus, any and all written reports, meeting minutes, and other relevant evidence is sought prior to the engagement, and we’ll talk about that in the first phase of the project. The site visit serves as the opportunity to gather additional information from key individuals and constituent groups, filling out the missing information and building the foundation for the recommendations.

How long will it take?

One of the beautiful things about the SystemsCheck process is that it can be initiated and completed in a matter of days, rather than the weeks or months that most consulting engagements require. Generally speaking, three days are allotted for a SystemsCheck: the first to review any supporting documentation provided by the institution and travel to the site, the second to conduct an onsite visit to interview key constituents and gather additional information, and the third to formulate the report and, of course, go home.

What outcomes can I expect?

Following the site visit a report is generated that first summarizes the current state of the function or area investigated and then provides detailed opportunities for improvement, expansion, or correction. We have found that these reports are almost always shared across the institution, so SystemsCheck reports are delivered in the form of a slide presentation that can be modified as needed to share with any constituent group. The rest is up to you! The outcome of a SystemsCheck can fuel any number of changes within an institution, and STG can, of course, provide additional services including developing and implementing action plans, providing in-depth research, and other services as needed. Regardless, we do expect you to keep us posted on what happens next!

Why use Strategic Transitions Group?

A recent article challenged the value of using outside consultants in higher education, and the authors pointed to a lack of awareness of the culture of higher ed as a key culprit undermining the consulting process. STG, and Dr. D. Terry Rawls, know the culture of higher education and will provide services that both honor and challenge that culture. Dr. Rawls, the president of STG, has worked in higher education for most of the last thirty years and has extensive experience in traditional settings, for-profit institutions, online, hybrid, and continuing education units.

What does SystemsCheckTM cost?

The fixed fee for a SystemsCheck is $7,000 plus expenses, which is usually set using a schedule based on the timezone of the institution to be visited.  

As an introductory offer, during the Fall 2016 semester the fee for each SystemsCheck engagement will be discounted to $3,500. That is a discount of


Call (415) 515-7700 to explore how your institution could benefit from a SystemsCheck.

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