[Stc_presidents-discuss] New CAA Guidelines
president at stcnewengland.org
Wed Jul 22 22:34:58 UTC 2015
Hi, Debra and everyone.
*1. If you have submitted CAA applications in the past, were you
intending to do so for 2015?*
I'd like us to apply again this coming year, but we *must *have enough
people so the task doesn't wipe out one devoted person. This year's
application process just about killed the gentleman who managed it. (In
fact, we gave him an award . . .)
I appreciate the new application and it should be a help. If I can't enough
people involved, I won't ask one person to kill him/herself, even with the
*2. Has the new application changed your mind about applying?*
It has made me more willing to consider it. We had all but decided to drop
it for the coming year because it was so onerous.
*3. Please comment on the application: Do you believe it’s a fair way
to assess the strength of a community’s activities? Specifically, how do
you think your community will fare under the new guidelines?*
For our chapter, I think it is a good resource that pushes us to cover all
the bases. If we can't meet them because we don't have enough volunteers,
well, then that's the reality, and that information alone conveys
information about the condition of the chapter.
*4. Would your community support an appeal to the CAAEC and the Board
(if necessary) to revise the scoring in order to take into consideration
the late release of the point assignments as well as to “level the playing
field” to account for community size and financial resources?*
*Community Size and Financial Resources:*
I understand the concerns of smaller chapters that don't have the resources
for a regional conference and definitely support reducing the importance of
that requirement. We do have one, but we're one of the bigger chapters.
*Late Release of Application:*
We have trouble with the backward-looking stance we have to take in order
to meet the criteria. For example, I see that we need to document how many
people attend our social gathering. We didn't know this was a requirement
and I can't reconstruct how many people came to Scribbling Tipplers in
January-July. So, I guess we won't get that point.
*A Scheduling Suggestion*
This goes beyond what Debra asked for, but this is what I thought of as I
considered her questions.
Three thoughts about the timing of the release of the application:
1. What percentage of chapters has each of these schedules:
January-to-December, September-August, June-May, other? Is there a large
majority in one of those categories? If so, why not time the release of the
guidelines to that schedule? However, this is only a partial improvement:
the communities that don't have that majority schedule will still be at a
disadvantage. So, we can't ask the CAAEC to fix the problem if our
schedules conflict; there's no way for the CAAEC to do it.
2. If our schedules are all over the place, why not investigate the
possibility of the chapters' changing to one common yearly schedule? That
seems like the starting point for solving the timing problem.
3. If I understand correctly, the shortcomings of the current
application only become clear as applications come in. That is why the
application has to be revised well into the following year. Is that
correct? If so, I think we can use the summer break to our advantage, *assuming
that the chapters agree to a September-August schedule*:
a. Revised application is released in late August.
b. Chapters begin their year, documenting as they go.
c. Applications are due June 1. This cuts off one month for most
chapters, but I think three months for judging *and *revising the
application form is the bare minimum. As for recognizing the awards at the
Summit, which I'm sure has been a timing consideration up until now, I
think that should be the smallest consideration. The important part is
celebrating the recognition at a chapter event, so members know and can
feel good about it.
d. CAAEC has 3 months to judge, announce awards, and revise the
application by end of August.
On Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 11:32 PM, Johnson, Debra <Debra.Johnson at wyn.com>
> Hello Fellow STC Presidents,
> As some of you know, the Community Achievement Awards Evaluating Committee
> just released its latest CAA application and guidelines. Unlike previous
> updates, this one is a total revamp.
> *Have any of you had a chance to review the new application and think
> about whether your community will be applying for an award this year? What
> are your thoughts on the achievability of the new requirements? *We would
> love to know…
> Our chapter, Orlando Central Florida, bases our chapter activities and
> initiatives to a large extent on the requirements for the CAA, since
> according to STC, these are the activities in which communities should be
> engaging. To this point in the year, we have been working to the previous
> year’s guidelines as the revamp was not available.
> Our Administrative Council discussed the revamped guidelines and believe
> that with so many new requirements, the deletion of many activities that
> have long been key CAA criteria, the inherent inflexibility of the system
> (“either you do it or you don’t” with no substitutions and only two Bonus
> options), and a completely new scoring system that has raised the bar
> significantly, *communities will be hard pressed to achieve the goals set
> by the CAA committee within the time remaining in 2015.*
> We did an item-for-item analysis of the new criteria and projected how our
> community would stack up against them. We determined that if we did all the
> things we did last year to earn our community achievement award, we would
> not qualify for an award under the new system.
> One reason for this is the requirements were apparently established for a
> 12-month period but the documents were not posted this year until nearly
> summertime, and summer is when many chapters go on hiatus. There isn’t a
> full year’s worth of time to pull off the number of new activities needed
> to win recognition. For all practical purposes, communities have *four*
> months to adjust.
> An example of this is, several activities (both new and carry-overs from
> previous years’ guidelines) are now scored on a sliding scale heavily
> weighted towards how many times the activity occurs during the year.
> Particularly with new activities, which communities were not aware of and
> may not have been pursuing, with just a few months left in the year it’s
> not feasible to achieve full points for them.
> In addition, and in a surprise move (…at least to us) , there is heavy
> emphasis on *regional conferences*, so much so that communities who do
> not sponsor one of these conferences are at a tremendous disadvantage. They
> lose 5 points—that’s 5 out of the baseline total of 83. Since a Platinum
> Award requires 90% of the possible points, you can only lose 8.3 points and
> qualify for it. Thus for all intents and purposes, if you don’t sponsor a
> regional conference, you can’t earn a Platinum Award.
> Do you think this was the committee’s intent? If so, should they
> consider the fact that smaller communities may not have the person-power
> to work at regional conferences, nor the financial resources to organize
> and run them? In the interest of fairness, we feel the *five* points for
> a regional conference should be moved to the Bonus category, and not be
> part of the baseline “required” criteria.
> …and there are many such examples.
> *We were wondering what you think… So would you be so kind as to answer a
> few questions for us as a fellow community?*
> 1. If you have submitted CAA applications in the past, were you
> intending to do so for 2015?
> 2. Has the new application changed your mind about applying?
> 3. Please comment on the application: Do you believe it’s a fair
> way to assess the strength of a community’s activities? Specifically, how
> do you think your community will fare under the new guidelines?
> 4. Would your community support an appeal to the CAAEC and the
> Board (if necessary) to revise the scoring in order to take into
> consideration the late release of the point assignments as well as to
> “level the playing field” to account for community size and financial
> Thanks for your input!
> *Society for Technical Communication – Orlando Central Florida Chapter
> *Debra D. Johnson *
> *Technical Communication Lead **| **Information Technology Services **| **Knowledge
> Management **| **Content Strategy **| **Information Development,
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