League for Innovation in the Community College tag:www.league.org,2015:/blog/ Mango 1.4.3 PATHS Spring 2015: Program Addresses Leadership Crisis in Higher Education urn:uuid:6B17C370-1422-1766-9AA609F0EEB1A41E 2015-04-01T07:04:48Z 2015-04-02T07:04:00Z <p>Register for this six-week online program designed to accelerate career paths for higher education professionals</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p>Open Doors Group (ODG), the League for Innovation in the Community College, and SoftChalk LLC announce that registration is open for PATHS, a six-week online program designed to accelerate career paths for higher education professionals. PATHS will address the pending leadership crisis by providing a unique, career-boosting opportunity for college and university employees who have started their management careers or aspire to leadership positions. </p> <p>Designed and led by a cadre of successful leaders and other experts, PATHS, a self-paced online program delivered from June 1 to July 18, 2015, will focus on what it takes to become a leader in today’s higher education environment. The curriculum will be presented in three modules: Becoming a Higher Education Leader, Mindful Leadership, and Evaluating the Landscape: Operating in a Changing Environment, with a capstone project designed around integrating the participant's choice in applying PATHS topics on change management. In addition, the extensive mentor-matching program tailored to the career aspirations of each participant will be available at no cost.  "It is a privilege to work with ODG and SoftChalk on this vital, program that will prove to be essential for aspirants in education to take on leadership roles," said Chris Hennessey, Marketing Director, League for Innovation in the Community College. </p> <p>PATHS is a program for the Higher Education Leadership Platform, ODG’s initiative to accelerate the careers of entry- and mid-level managers on both the academic and business sides of colleges and universities. "In developing PATHS, the Open Doors Group's goal is—above all—to support the people who are just starting to serve as leaders in higher education and to give them what they need as they discover the managerial challenges inherent in the evolving, 21st Century higher education ecosystem," said Marie Highby, ODG Director of Strategy and Content Development and Lead Developer and Instructor for PATHS. "Unlike many online programs today where peer relationships tend to be underemphasized, if not nonexistent, the PATHS experience will be truly collaborative, using technology that's designed for class participants to engage in interactive, group learning and to learn from each other as well as from the course instructor," she added. </p> <p>Affordable and convenient, PATHS is egalitarian in admissions, and elitist in content and results. Visit <a href="http://www.league.org/paths/" target="_blank">www.league.org/paths/</a> for more information. </p> <p><a href="http://www.prlog.org/12333266-paths-program-addresses-leadership-crisis-in-higher-education.html" target="_blank">Click here</a> to read this article online.</p> <p><a href="http://www.opendoorsgroup.org/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more about Open Doors Group, a League for Innovation Platinum Corporate Partner.</p> Community College Curmudgeons: Barriers to Change urn:uuid:6B167AD4-1422-1766-9A2199CDFB1ACB7A 2015-04-01T07:04:10Z 2015-04-02T07:04:00Z <p>This issue of <em>Leadership Abstracts</em> features two excerpts from the new League monograph, <em>Community College Curmudgeons: Barriers to Change</em>, by Terry O’Banion.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/leadership_abstracts.gif" alt="" /></p> <p>April 2015, Volume 28, Number 4<br /><br /> Editor’s Note: This issue of <em>Leadership Abstracts </em>features two excerpts from the new League monograph, <a href="http://www.league.org/store/catalog.htm?Iit=54&amp;Ict=2" target="_blank"><em>Community College Curmudgeons: Barriers to Change</em></a>, by Terry O’Banion.<br /><br /> <em>By Terry O’Banion</em> <br /><br /> Curmudgeons seem to be a timeless phenomenon in society, a reality perhaps best, if paradoxically, demonstrated by their prevalence in fiction. From Ebenezer Scrooge and Grumpy the Dwarf to Archie Bunker and the eponymous characters created by Andy Rooney and Lewis Black, curmudgeons can be spiteful, annoying, mean spirited, funny, or even loveable. Curmudgeons are so ubiquitous there is an International Society of Curmudgeons atwww.grumpy-people.com.</p> <p>Curmudgeons are well represented in every kind of American institution, including religious organizations, government, corporations, foundations, hospitals, and unions. They are particularly visible in the world of education which may provide a fertile crucible for the production of curmudgeons.</p> <p>In any case, curmudgeons prosper in every sector of the educational enterprise, and every seasoned faculty member and administrator can identify at least one curmudgeon they have known. This article reports on a two-part study of community college president’s perceptions of curmudgeons they have known and their impact on change and innovation.</p> <p><strong>DEFINITION OF CURMUDGEONS</strong></p> <p>To better understand the curmudgeons in community colleges the author, with assistance from fourteen national community college leaders, created a definition of curmudgeons. Participants in this process were asked to focus on the negative characteristics of curmudgeons because we were ultimately interested in their negative impact on colleagues and colleges. A case can be made for affable and even well-meaning curmudgeons, but that is a project for another time.</p> <p>After numerous iterations, the following definition was accepted as the definition that would guide this study:</p> <p><strong>Almost every community college has a curmudgeon; most colleges have more than one. They are highly visible on campus and can be identified easily by faculty, staff, and administrators. Curmudgeons are contrarians who take enormous pleasure and pride in thinking otherwise. They can be cantankerous naysayers acting as self-appointed gadflies to the president or other leaders, including leaders of their own constituencies. Collaboration and civility do not seem to be values they hold in high esteem. They are quite vocal and opinionated and appear to prefer heated debate and prolonged circular discussion to solving problems and reaching consensus. Curmudgeons can be memorable characters with a certain flair or style often using humor and sarcasm to play to their audiences.</strong></p> <p>While this definition guided the study,<strong> </strong>many participants felt compelled to<strong> </strong>share their own definitions which reflect<strong> </strong>various attributes of the curmudgeon.<strong> </strong>The following four definitions are<strong> </strong>examples of many submitted. All<strong> </strong>statements throughout this article in<strong> </strong>italics are the actual statements of the<strong> </strong>respondents.<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>A Texas community college president: </strong><em>In my experience, curmudgeons at their best</em><strong> </strong><em>are amusing distractions and only kill time.</em><strong> </strong><em>At their worst, they are deadly idea killers</em><strong> </strong><em>and deadly killers of others' self-esteem and</em><strong> </strong><em>productivity.</em><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>A retired superintendent/president froma California community college: </strong><em>Curmudgeons can serve as one of the</em><strong> </strong><em>barriers to innovation and change; they too often contribute</em><strong> </strong><em>to an atmosphere of institutional pessimism, for they are</em><strong> </strong><em>critics of new ideas. As they are defenders of the status quo,</em><strong> </strong><em>they function as obstructionists. Sometimes they are</em><strong> </strong><em>articulate critics of any attractive/new ideas and enjoy</em><strong> </strong><em>scuttling them. On all too many of our campuses, they wield</em><strong> </strong><em>a great deal of negative power and are the perpetuators of the</em><strong> </strong><em>“we/they” “us/them” culture. As inhibiters of change, they</em><strong> </strong><em>can be toxic to advancing any new initiative.</em><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>A retired president from an Illinois community college: </strong><em>A curmudgeon is ill tempered and stubborn and</em><strong> </strong><em>opposed to just about anything. In other words—negative.</em><strong> </strong><em>Negativity is magnetic; it is a force bordering on absolute evil.</em><strong> </strong><em>And, it compels people. They are attracted to it. They laugh</em><strong> </strong><em>when someone puts another down. They smile at a cheap shot.</em><strong> </strong><em>They can't help it. They are attracted to negative forces until</em><strong> </strong><em>positive forces counteract. But positive forces often cannot</em><strong> </strong><em>blunt the negative forces of curmudgeons; they always</em><strong> </strong><em>survive and continue to poison the atmosphere.</em><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>A president from a Florida community college: </strong><em>A curmudgeon is a person who thinks otherwise.</em></p> <p align="center">-------------------------------------------------------------------------------</p> <p>By design, this study reports on the negative aspects of a curmudgeon’s behavior and motivation, as well as the damage curmudgeons can cause. In a few cases, presidents struggled with this emphasis on the negative and tried to explain in more humane terms the motivations and behaviors of curmudgeons. While the presidents expressed frustration in dealing with curmudgeons, some did not want to give up on them. The author had several conversations with colleagues about this issue and came up with the following observations around which more conversation and study are needed:</p> <ol> <li>Some curmudgeons have legitimate and rational responses to perceived injustices and incompetent leadership.</li> <li>Some curmudgeons have become cynical because of broken promises and constant changes in leadership.</li> <li>Some curmudgeons have been passed over for promotions and recognition they deserved.</li> <li>Some curmudgeons are very knowledgeable of college issues, policies, and programs, and are very articulate about sharing that knowledge.</li> <li>Some curmudgeons would like to see improvement and change in the college and because of resistance from leaders and others have become more aggressive and belligerent as the only effective strategies open to them.</li> </ol> <p>Several respondents hinted at the efficacy of these observations:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>Curmudgeons should never be confused with whiners. It is easy to mistake their independence for hostility or simple negativism. Yet they can be reliable friends and forceful allies.</em></p> <p><em>Our biggest curmudgeon on campus (nearly everyone can name him) has often ended up in leadership roles (such as chair of the faculty council). A few years back I had the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one about a topic and during that conversation he shared with me that he had been at the college for nearly seven years and during that time he had reported to seven different supervisors with a different person conducting his performance evaluation each year. I believe that lack of effective leadership for these individuals is a key contributing factor to their behavior or should at least be considered.</em></p> <p><em>These individuals are often very knowledgeable of complex issues. I would propose that they are often behaving the way they do because they have something to say, to contribute, that they feel would be of real value but they are not provided with the chance to do so. Their frustration becomes reflected in their negativity and eventually they reach a point where the negativity is all that others see.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In education we do not like to give up on our students—and maybe on our curmudgeons. If we could find a constructive way to engage curmudgeons directly in conversations about their behaviors and the contributions they are making or want to make to the college, we might open new ways to engage them and involve them in the college with more positive results for everyone. Somewhere in our faculty and staff there are highly competent and concerned humanist risktakers who could make the right connections with curmudgeons to help them shed the unproductive behaviors they have taken on and to rejoin the community from which they feel alienated. If this is wishful thinking, there is not much hope for the educational process in general and for our role as educators in changing behavior in particular.</p> <p><em>Terry O’Banion is President Emeritus of the League for Innovation in the Community College, a Senior League Fellow, and Chair of the Graduate Faculty at National American University.</em></p> <p><em>Opinions expressed in</em><em> </em>Leadership Abstracts<em> </em><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> Unpacking the Language of STEM for English Language Learners urn:uuid:6B14615C-1422-1766-9AD08C16C06E6D1A 2015-04-01T07:04:56Z 2015-04-08T08:04:00Z The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/learning_abstracts.gif" alt="Learning Abstract" /></p> <p>April 2015, Volume 18, Number 4<strong> </strong><br /><br /> <em>By Kristin Lems and Jason Stegemoller</em><br /> <br /> This article is a follow-up to a workshop we presented at the League’s 2013 STEM<em>tech</em> conference entitled Unpacking the Language of STEM for English Language Learners. We chose this topic because, in our roles as co-directors of the ESL STEM Success Grant (a five-year national professional development grant from the Office of English Language Acquisition, U.S. Department of Education), we have been exploring ways that teachers across grade levels can rise to the challenge of more effectively teaching English language learners (ELLs) in the STEM disciplines. When teachers embed their understanding of the language demands of STEM into their teaching of ELLs, those students are better able to learn, and comfortably use, the language of the STEM fields. This provides them with greater career options while at the same time addressing a great national need. </p> <p>English language learners at community colleges represent a wide variety of home languages and prior educational experiences. The percentage of children and youth who speak a language other than English at home in the U.S. is 18 percent in large metropolitan areas (Aud, et al, 2012). Some of them attended ESL or bilingual programs whereas others did not. Some youth are Generation 1.5 students who arrived in the U.S. as teenagers (Harklau, Losey, &amp; Siegal, 1999). Students with a wide range of linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds have been referred to as the “new mainstream” because all educators need to address their backgrounds. The trend in K-12 contexts is for all teachers to receive training in teaching linguistically diverse children (Clewell, de Cohen, &amp; Murray, 2007). In postsecondary contexts, much attention has been paid to linguistic diversity in writing programs (Roberge, Siegal, &amp; Harklau, 2009), but less attention has been focused on how to effectively address linguistic diversity in STEM classrooms in community colleges. </p> <p>From conversations with participants in our 2013 workshop and in related reading, we can see that community college instructors are interested in taking up the challenge of assisting linguistically diverse students in content reading and writing. However, teacher understanding of the language demands of STEM is necessary to promote learning for diverse students in STEM classrooms.</p> <p>The language of STEM is not one-size-fits-all by any means. A recent look at the structure of STEM academic language in <em>Review of Educational Research</em> (DiCerbo, Anstrom, Baker &amp; Rivera, 2014) confirms the existence of a wide variety of text structures and reading/writing demands in the STEM subject areas. </p> <p>In the domain of science in particular, as science courses become more difficult, both the content and language of science become dramatically more difficult. Mastering the information in the texts can produce obstacles for ELLs and deter them from even considering advanced coursework which could allow them to pursue their talents and interests in the STEM fields.   </p> <p>The difficulty with the language of science is not from vocabulary alone, but from sentence structures, references within and between sentences, and larger discourse patterns. Language analysis can be informed by systemic functional linguistics, an approach which analyzes oral and written texts to discover the structures through which they create meaning, according to their purposes (Schleppegrell, 2005; Fang &amp; Schleppegrell, 2010). Systemic functional linguistics—also called functional linguistics, SFL, or functional language analysis—is showing promising results in assisting ELLs to better access and use academic language (e.g., DiCerbo, Anstrom, Baker, &amp; Rivera, 2014; Nagle &amp; Macdonald, 2011), although the evidence is still preliminary. </p> <p>This article briefly describes three characteristics of the English language that abound in science writing in particular. We will move from the smallest unit of the three to the largest. The first, morpheme study, looks at units of meaning within words, called morphemes (for example, “books” consists of two morphemes, “book” and a plural suffix “-s”), which can help students recognize and understand unknown words by looking for parts they can figure out. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The second, </span>passive voice, occurs at the sentence level and is a very common sentence structure in academic writing. Students need to learn to recognize the agent of sentences written in passive voice. They also need to be able to write up procedures and lab reports in passive voice, not only in short sentences using “is,” but in longer, complex sentences in a variety of tenses. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The third, </span>nominalizations, consist of a linguistic transformation to changes verbs to nouns to facilitate connections between or among several sentences. They abound in science and other technical writing. Understanding these three features will help instructors tackle complex texts with their students in order to remove obstacles to understanding and allow for greater success in both advanced reading and writing.</p> <p><strong>Morphemes</strong></p> <p>In the language of science, the importance of recognizing many roots, prefixes, and suffixes cannot be overstated. Learning science morphemes can greatly assist students in reading science texts.  </p> <p>ELLs from Latin-based languages have a decided potential advantage in the number of cognates between their languages and English, in particular in science vocabulary, because so much science vocabulary in English derives from Greek and Latin root morphemes. </p> <p>English language learners benefit from explicitly-taught morpheme instruction (Kieffer &amp; Lesaux, 2008) but may learn only as much as the teacher knows, and this is often limited (Kieffer &amp; Lesaux, 2012). </p> <p><em>Classroom Applications       </em></p> <p>When morpheme study is introduced early in a content reading or science course, there is adequate time for students to learn to recognize them in the units of study.  </p> <p>Hydro, geo, hyper/hypo, and scope are common morphemes used across several science disciplines. These roots combine with other roots and affixes to form many compound words.  </p> <p>Students can brainstorm words that use these roots, and keep track of them in reading. A teacher can pull out several important roots at the beginning of a unit because they may appear in numerous word forms.</p> <p>Key affixes (prefixes, suffixes, or roots) should also be taught explicitly. For example:</p> <blockquote> <p>-ation  verb -- » noun<br /> -ize   noun  à verb<br /> -ify   noun  -à verb<br /> de-  undoing a process  </p> </blockquote> <p>Once they are discussed, students will notice them as they speak and read, and many new words will become comprehensible. As an example of the generative nature of these affixes, in our own ESL STEM Success Grant, we try to put more emphasis on the STEM subjects in our ESL endorsement coursework. To describe this process, we have coined the term STEMifying the curriculum.</p> <p>Students also benefit from knowing common singular and plural forms derived from Latin that are used in so many science terms, both technical and general. These words do not follow the standard English plurals pattern of adding the morpheme “s” or “es” at the end of a word, but follow the Latin system instead. Knowing the Latin plural endings allows a reader to know whether a scientific word is singular or plural, and this is very useful.</p> <p>Five especially productive singular-plural pairs are:  </p> <div> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Latin Singular/Plural Morpheme</span></strong></p> </td> <td width="228" valign="bottom"> <p align="center"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Example</span></strong></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center">-is/-es</p> </td> <td width="228" valign="top"> <p align="center">neurosis/neuroses</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center">-us/-i</p> </td> <td width="228" valign="top"> <p align="center">stimulus/stimuli</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center">-ex/ix/-ices</p> </td> <td width="228" valign="top"> <p align="center">vertex/vertices</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center">-a/-ae</p> </td> <td width="228" valign="top"> <p align="center">nebula/nebulae</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center">-on/a</p> </td> <td width="228" valign="top"> <p align="center">criterion/criteria</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p>Teachers can scaffold ELLs to recognize and write these two forms through a t-chart such as the one below, which provides one form of the Latin word and asks the students to provide the other form.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">T CHART FOR SELECTED SINGULAR AND PLURAL FORMS OF LATIN-BASED WORDS</span></p> <p><strong>Singular</strong>                                     <strong>Plural</strong></p> <p>antenna                                      ________________</p> <p>________________                        phenomena</p> <p>crisis                                          _________________</p> <p>After practicing these forms, teachers can ask students to find more examples from their science text or other readings as the course continues. If the teacher has his or her own classroom, these singular-plural pairs can be put up on a chart on the wall. </p> <p>To stimulate students to notice morphemes, we enjoy a game in which teams vie to create the longest list of words containing the target morpheme within a fixed number of minutes.  The lists are compared, and the team with the most unique number of words wins the round (Lems, Miller &amp; Soro, 2010). When teachers play against the student teams, they often find that the students leave them in the dust!</p> <p><strong>Passive Voice</strong></p> <p>Scientific and academic writing makes use of many passive sentences, and it is in fact one of the hallmarks of academic language. People do not speak in passive voice in conversational settings, but passive voice is heavily employed in formal writing. The preponderance of passive voice in science texts makes it imperative that students be able to rapidly and accurately construct meaning from texts which use passive, yet this takes training and practice. </p> <p>A sentence in the passive voice “flips” the position of the object of a sentence into the subject position, often omitting the former subject or changing it into a “by- phrase” at the end of the sentence. Here is a simple example:</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Melted rock and soil</span> form <span style="text-decoration: underline;">the earth’s mantle</span>.<br /> Subject                                      object<br /> To form the passive, we flip the positions of the subject and object.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The earth’s mantle</span> is formed <span style="text-decoration: underline;">by melted rock and soil</span>.  <br /> New subject                          by-phrase with the former subject</p> <p>It’s pretty straightforward to move the positions in sentences such as the one above. In fact, passive voice is one of the grammatical items nearly all English language learners study if they have advanced academic training in English as a Second language. However, as community college instructors surely know, the New Mainstream consists of students with diverse educational experiences, so many students do not have this training. In addition, it is considerably more difficult for students whose first languages do not contain the passive voice!</p> <p>The other tricky thing about passive voice is that a sentence with passive voice doesn’t necessarily have a by-phrase, and when it doesn’t, the agent or actor can be hard to discern.</p> <p>For example:</p> <p>The earth was formed several billion years ago. (no by-phrase)  <br /> It is not clear from the sentence what formed the earth several billion years ago.  </p> <p>Sometimes, instead of a by-phrase, we might see a different connector:</p> <p>Tornadoes are formed through a process of warming air and moisture.   <br /> A process of warming air and moisture formed the tornadoes, but the by-phrase is replaced by the word “through.”</p> <p><em>Classroom Applications</em></p> <p>In ESL classes, students spend time turning passive to active voice and vice versa.  For academic reading in the content areas, one good way to practice academic discourse structures is through the use of sentence frames (Arechiga, 2013). Sentence frames, or partially completed sentences, have been part of grammar-based ESL classrooms and textbooks for years, but they can be used in a more discipline-specific way in content-based ESL classrooms. For example, passive voice sentence structures can be practiced with a frame such as the one below on a variety of general scientific topics: </p> <p>Frame:         _______________ is ______________ by _______________.</p> <p>Examples:     Weatber is impacted by rising air currents.</p> <p><span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>    Ice is melted by heat.</p> <p>To make this work, the teacher should have several additional examples prepared in advance that are relevant to the current readings or topic; as the tenses become more advanced, preparation is even more important.</p> <p>After a frame has been introduced, other sentences can be generated using the frame over the course of the teaching unit.  </p> <p>Another useful way to practice understanding the passive is by changing passive sentences into active voice, in order to better understand the actor, or agent, of the action.  For example, we can encounter a sentence such as this one in many physics textbooks:  “the motion of an object <span style="text-decoration: underline;">is usually described</span> with respect to something else…” It is useful for students to be able to understand that in its active form, it says, “People usually describe the motion of an object with respect to something else….”</p> <p>For this practice, too, the teacher should have chosen several sentences from the target reading in advance, and he or she can provide a careful think-aloud of how the action in the sentence is performed. Over time, these transformations can become automatic and unconscious to a reader and form part of his or her increased reading comprehension. </p> <p><strong>Nominalizations</strong></p> <p>Science writing is dense in both concepts and language. The economical nature of science writing can make reading a textbook a daunting task. Complex concepts or procedures can be defined or summarized by nominalizing them in the following sentence or paragraph. Nominalizations often put the subjects of sentences into a “zig zag” pattern (Nagle &amp; MacDonald, 2011) in which the subject of the second sentence “points back” to the previous sentence. Descriptions of concepts and processes in the first sentence become “nominalized” (turned into a noun or noun phrase) in the following sentence. Here are two examples: </p> <p>Example:  When air molecules heat up, they collide. This collision causes….</p> <p>“This collision” refers to the process described in the previous sentence, which serves as the de facto definition of “collision” in this context. An ELL reader needs to know that the entire first sentence can be encompassed in the definition of “this collision” in the following sentence.  </p> <p>Example:  This was at the time that many of the secrets of life were revealed.  The trigger for these revelations was the discovery of the structure of DNA…</p> <p>“These revelations” in the second sentences points back to the whole first sentence. The revelations were the many “secrets of life” revealed at that time. To understand the meaning of “revelations,” we must summarize and scramble, the previous sentence. This is an advanced reading task which stymies many native speakers, but is even harder for ELLs because keeping the meanings of sentences in working memory is harder when reading and language acquisition are still developing (Swanson, Orozco, Lussier, Gerber, &amp; Guzmán-Orth, 2011).</p> <p><em>Classroom Applications</em></p> <p>We practice identifying the meanings of nominalizations by the tried and true process of circling parts of texts and drawing lines between them. In the case of science writing, this is much more effective than having students look up a concept in the dictionary (or by right clicking on it for synonyms, or using google translator). Marking a text this way helps students see the connections between sentences and build reading comprehension beyond vocabulary learning.</p> <p>A good way to practice is to type up a sample passage from the class science text (best to use your real textbook, in a unit you are really studying), double spaced, and give one copy per student (Stegemoller &amp; Miller, 2012). Have the students circle the item in the first sentence and draw a line to its nominalized form in the next sentence (or vice versa). The first few times, you’ll need to point out the nominalization first, and then “backload” to the previous sentences or sentences to find the description, definition, or process. As texts get harder, the former may be several sentences away, or even in a previous paragraph. However, good editors insure that the nominalization is not too far from its antecedent, no matter what the subject.</p> <p>Learning to understand and use the academic register of the STEM subjects is a goal that cannot be realized in a short time frame, but it is a very rewarding long term goal. Best of all, it is an achievable goal, both for ELLs and for their teachers alike. The reward of this effort is an “open sesame” into a portal which opens a dazzling, vast world of the STEM fields. May you, and your students, enjoy learning the “magic words,” and the journey into the glittering cave of wonders that they make possible.</p> <p>For additional information, contact <a href="mailto:KLems@nl.edu">Kristin Lems</a> or <a href="mailto:Jason.Stegemoller@nl.edu">Jason Stegemoller</a>.</p> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>References</strong></p> <p>Arechiga, D. (2013). Tackling complex texts with language learners. Educational Leadership, 71(3), 46-51.<br /><br /> Aud, S., Hussar, W., Johnson, F., Kena, G., Roth, E., Manning, E., Wang, X., &amp; Zhang, J. (2012). The condition of education 2012 (NCES 2012-045). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC. Retrieved from <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch</a><br /><br /> Clewell, B. C., de Cohen, C. C., &amp; Murray, J. (2007). Promise or peril?: NCLB and the education of ELL students. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute. <br /><br /> DiCerbo, P., Anstrom, K.A., Baker, L.L. &amp; Rivera, C. (2014). A review of the literature on teaching academic English to English language learners. Review of Educational Research 84(3), 446-482. <br /><br /> Fang, Z., &amp; Schleppegrell, M. J. (2010). Disciplinary literacies across content areas: Supporting secondary reading through functional language analysis. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 53, 587–597.<br /><br /> Harklau, L., Losey, K. M., &amp; Siegal, M. (Eds.) (1999). Generation 1.5 meets college composition. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.</p> <p>Kieffer, M.J. &amp; Lesaux, N.K. (2008). The role of derivational morphology in the reading comprehension of Spanish-speaking English language learners. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 21(8), 783-804.<br /><br /> Kieffer, M.J., &amp; Lesaux, N.K. (2012). Effects of academic language instruction on relational and syntactic aspects of morphological awareness for sixth graders from linguistically diverse backgrounds. The Elementary School Journal, 112(3), 519-545.<br /><br /> Lems, K., Miller, L.D. &amp; Soro, T. M. (2010). Teaching reading to English language learners: Insights from linguistics. New York: Guilford Press. <br /><br /> Nagle, J., &amp; MacDonald, R. (2011). Using functional language analysis to develop scientific thinking. AccELLerate: The quarterly review of the National Clearinghouse for English language acquisition 3(4), 4-5.<br /><br /> Roberge, M., Siegal, M., &amp; Harklau, L. (Eds.) (2009). Generation 1.5 in college composition: teaching academic writing to U.S.-education learners of ESL. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. <br /><br /> Scheppegrell, M.J. (2005). Helping content area teachers work with academic language: Promoting English language learners' literacy in history. Davis, CA: University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute.<br /><br /> Stegemoller, W. J., &amp; Miller, L. D. (2012, February). Language, culture, and ELL academic success in STEM subjects. Presentation at the annual meeting of Illinois TESOL-Bilingual Education, Lisle, IL.<br /><br /> Swanson, H.L., Orozco, M. J., Lussier, C. M., Gerber, M. M., &amp; Guzmán-Orth, D. A., (2011). The influence of working memory and phonological processing on English langauge learner children's bilingual reading and language acquisition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 838-856.</p> </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Kristin Lems and Jason Stegemoller are an ESL/Bilingual Education professor and assistant professor, respectively, at National Louis University in Chicago, Illinois.</em></p> <div> <div> <p><em>Opinions expressed in</em><em> </em>Learning Abstracts<em> </em><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> </div> </div> Improving Retention of the Modern Student urn:uuid:6B100C5E-1422-1766-9A3D42CD20903870 2015-04-01T07:04:21Z 2015-04-02T07:04:00Z <p>Download a free white paper highlighting key research on ways to increase engagement and retention for community college students</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p align="center"><strong>Improving Retention of the Modern Student</strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015_04_TechSmith_Pic1.jpg" alt="" width="300" /></p> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.ccsse.org/publications/national_report_2010/36379tw/cccse_2010_national_report.pdf" target="_blank">Community College Student Survey on Engagement</a>, less than a third of incoming, full-time students achieve their degree or certificate within three years.  Even after six years, only 45 percent have achieved their goal.    </p> <p>It can be tough to balance college with life's demands - work, child care, finances, as well as transportation to and from campus. Given the hectic schedules of today's students, it's no surprise that retention is a significant issue. The challenge stands for colleges to find effective ways to increase engagement and retention for a better learning experience, and improved outcomes at the institution level as well. Based on the latest research, here are the top five ways to increase engagement. </p> <ol> <li><strong>Offer Flexible Courses</strong><br /> Due to increasingly busy lifestyles, modern students respond well to flexible instruction that is accessible at various times and locations, and allows them to work at their own pace.  Offering course material online - in whole or in part - is a well-received and impactful way to increase engagement. Whether through supplemental blended learning or entirely online distance courses, accessible content encourages students to be more invested in completing their degree...  </li> </ol> <p><a href="http://discover.techsmith.com/college/" target="_blank">Read the full white paper</a> highlighting key research on ways to increase engagement and retention for community college students. </p> <p><a href="http://www.techsmith.com/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more about TechSmith, a League for Innovation Silver Corporate Partner.</p> The Marketing Power of the Church Newsletter urn:uuid:6B12DAAE-1422-1766-9A4D24DF3DB9550D 2015-04-01T07:04:21Z 2015-04-02T07:04:00Z <p>A series of continuing education courses are developed as a result of a grassroots effort in Gallatin, Tennessee.<strong> </strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/showcase.gif" alt="Innovation Showcase" /></p> <p align="left">April 2015, Volume 10, Number 4<br /><br /> <em>By Eric Melcher</em></p> <p align="center"><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015-04_InnovationsShowcase_Pic1.jpg" alt="" width="220" /></p> <p> Television, radio, newspapers, and social media; community college marketers use many channels to communicate these days. But perhaps they should be considering a more grassroots approach: the humble church newsletter. <a href="http://www.volstate.edu/" target="_blank">Volunteer State Community College</a> (Vol State) administrators learned this lesson thanks to a group of dedicated learners. The older residents and their unique communication approach helped to make the Keep Educating Yourself (KEY) Lifelong Learning continuing education program at Vol State a resounding success in its inaugural session. It began when Shirley Arrendale of Sumner County, Tennessee, was talking to friends about continuing education classes she was taking at other colleges in the Nashville area.</p> <p>“We were saying it’s a shame that we can’t have this in Gallatin,” Arrendale said. “I’m ready to do this and we have a wonderful college right here to support us.”</p> <p>They proposed holding continuing education classes for older adults at Vol State. The first step for Arrendale was a bit of old-fashioned market research with her friend Pat Highers.</p> <p>“We decided to reach out to people to see if they would be interested,” said Arrendale. “I had my church on board and she had her church on board. We started sending out information to church newsletters and we had a lot of churches participating.”</p> <p>They quickly determined there was interest. The next step was contacting the college.</p> <p>“It was very much a grassroots type of thing,” said Hilary Marabeti, Assistant Vice President for Continuing Education and Economic Development. “We formed an advisory council. They gave us topic ideas and time suggestions, and helped us to publicize the lectures.”</p> <p>What developed was a series of lectures on topics such as genealogy, art, and books. Each topic had several lecture sessions over the course of a few weeks. The fee to enroll in one or all of the lectures was $49.</p> <p>“We had 85 people attend our first meeting,” said Arrendale. “It all added up to 110 people who gave us their information.”</p> <p>They once again employed the church newsletters as part of their publicity campaign, with the continuing education staff at Vol State registering people. </p> <p>“The college has come through. We had 98 people register for our first program,” Arrendale said.</p> <p>Allene Byars of Gallatin, aged 101, attended several of the lectures with her daughters. “I’m interested in history and genealogy, almost anything along those lines,” Byars said. “I’m a born student. I read a lot. I’ve read all of the books in the lecture series and I want to see what the speakers say about them.”</p> <p>The lecture series and the process has proven worthy of another session this winter. The topics are: Spiritual Storytelling, A Proactive Approach to Health, Music Genre – A Count of Four, and School and Life of the Civil War Soldier. Many classes are taught by Vol State faculty members.</p> <p>“I think we need to keep our minds active and we need to keep learning,” Arrendale said. But she also stresses: “It’s open to all adults. Some come over their lunch hour. The biggest part is retired people, but you also have mothers and fathers who are at home with kids.”</p> <p>Many colleges already have such older adult learning programs, but the Vol State story shows the power of grassroots organizing and the value of having energized ambassadors conducting word of mouth publicity. Church newsletters, email listservs, and even talkative groups of friends can all serve as effective methods for publicizing new programs. They’re usually free and come with an important added benefit: trust. </p> <p>“People often put more trust in smaller social group communications than larger social media or mass media publicity,” said Tami Wallace, Director of Public Relations at Vol State.</p> <p>Marabeti says the program earned the college money, but adds there are benefits for the college in the long-term. “These lectures gave this group of well-connected people an insight into the talents of Vol State faculty. They’re telling their kids and grandkids about us now.”</p> <p><em>Eric Melcher is the Coordinator of Communications and Public Relations at Volunteer State Community College, Tennessee.</em><br /> <em></em></p> <p><em>Opinions expressed in</em><em> </em>Innovation Showcase<em> </em><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> Member Spotlight: Chandler-Gilbert Community College Boeing Engine urn:uuid:CB777B2E-1422-1766-9A9966497BF4B101 2015-03-01T07:03:49Z 2015-03-02T06:03:00Z <p>Hands-on training of CGCC aviation program students is enhanced by a donation from Boeing.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><strong>Boeing Engine Donation Helps CGCC Aviation Program Hit New Heights</strong></p> <p>Hands-on experience is essential for aviation students at <a href="http://www.cgc.maricopa.edu/Pages/Default.aspx" target="_blank">Chandler-Gilbert Community College</a> (CGCC), and thanks to the generosity of one of the program's most valued partners, students are taking the controls like never before. The Boeing Company's recent donation of four new A160 helicopter engines will expose students to the latest industry technology and prepare them for a career in today's aviation field. </p> <p>The A160 engine was originally designed for Boeing's A160 Hummingbird, an unmanned aerial vehicle helicopter used by the military from 2002-2012 for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, communications relay, and battlefield resupply during military mission. Its design incorporated many new technologies never before used in helicopters, allowing for greater endurance and altitude. </p> <p>"We are pleased the technology developed for the A160 platform will continue to support Chandler-Gilbert Community College and its students," said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing Unmanned Systems. "Our hope is that these engines provide valuable experience for students pursuing a career in aerospace, helping them to develop the skills that they need to be prepared for the 21st century workforce."</p> <p>Students in the Aircraft Maintenance Technology program will begin working on the new engines this spring during the lab portion of their Aircraft Turbine Engine Technology class, taught by CGCC Aviation Chairman Mike Hutto. </p> <p>"It is our responsibility to provide the very best training in a highly complex field," said Hutto. "A gift of this magnitude allows us to give our students advanced, hands-on exposure to technology that they will see in the aviation industry for many years to come."</p> <p>This donation is just one more milestone in a long-time partnership between these two institutions. For more than 20 years, Boeing and CGCC have worked together to prepare students for successful careers in the field of aviation. Boeing is a member of CGCC's aviation advisory council; it provides thousands of dollars annually in student scholarships and offers internship opportunities for students looking for industry experience. In return, CGCC has become a source of qualified talent for Boeing. To date, Boeing has hired over 80 CGCC graduates to work at their Mesa plant, which builds Apache helicopters for the U.S. Army and electrical components for Boeing commercial and military products.</p> <p>"Our mutually beneficial partnership also serves the broader community as graduating students transition easily into high skill, high wage jobs and channel those resources back into their communities" said Hutto. </p> <p>The <a href="http://www.cgc.maricopa.edu/aviation" target="_blank">aviation program at CGCC</a> is the only one in the East Valley and is designed to meet the aviation industry's need for well-prepared pilots and technicians in aircraft maintenance, electronics/avionics, and aircraft construction. </p> Rapid Book Publishing for Educators On-Demand MOOC urn:uuid:C647DF3A-1422-1766-9A48AA4E85516210 2015-03-01T07:03:58Z 2015-04-02T10:04:00Z The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><strong>Rapid Book Publishing for Educators On-Demand MOOC</strong><strong> </strong></p> <p>League for Innovation partners Open Doors Group and SoftChalk LLC have announced the release of an on-demand online course titled Rapid Book Publishing for Educators. This affordable learn-at-your-own-pace course is designed to boost the careers of instructors, administrators, librarians, and other educators in K-12, higher education, and life-long learning.</p> <p>Creating and marketing a book provides nearly instant recognition as an expert thereby accelerating promotions, insuring better summer positions, and increasing enrollment in the educator's courses and private lessons.</p> <p><a href="http://www.opendoorsgroup.org/educators/" target="_blank">Click here</a> for more information.</p> <p><a href="http://www.opendoorsgroup.org/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more about Open Doors Group, a League for Innovation Platinum Corporate Partner.</p> GenEd and Democracy urn:uuid:C62D3708-1422-1766-9A779885424260F3 2015-03-01T06:03:34Z 2015-03-02T07:03:00Z <p>Community colleges were born to serve democracy, and general education remains their principal instrument for this service. </p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/leadership_abstracts.gif" alt="" /></p> <p>March 2015, Volume 28, Number 3<br /><br /> <em>By Bernie Ronan</em><br /><br /> A look back at their origins confirms that community colleges were born for democracy, a destiny to be fulfilled through General Education (GenEd). <br /><br /> In the aftermath of the Second World War, President Truman was convinced that the flourishing of democracy was the key to the future, and that higher education was the means. In 1947 he convened a presidential commission to make recommendations “to insure that higher education shall take its proper place in our national effort to strengthen democracy at home, and to improve our understanding of our friends and neighbors everywhere in the world” (Truman, 1947).<br /><br /> The lasting legacy of the Truman Commission was the national system of community colleges. The strategy was obvious, and compelling. If democracy was to flourish across the land, a system of colleges was needed that was as close and accessible to citizens as possible. America set about to bring “education for all,” as the Commission put it, to towns and cities across the land through colleges based in and serving their local communities. Typifying this dramatic post-war growth was an eight year period in which a new community college was established every week in the U.S.<br /><br /> The democratic imperative seen in this flourishing of higher education institutions across the land was to be coupled, in the Truman Commission’s vision, with a focus on GenEd: “education for a fuller realization of democracy in every phase of living…for international understanding…for the application of creative imagination and trained intelligence to the solution of social problems” (President's Commission on Higher Education, 1947, p. 8).<br /><br /> It was General Education, not specialized disciplines, in which the skills of democracy could be taught. GenEd is about developing a framework for students—both a scaffolding in which to place knowledge and a way to think about the world. It includes knowledge acquired from science and the arts, from literature and history, from math and philosophy, and acquiring some appreciation of how to think in those disciplinary ways. As a scientist and educator said, the goal of GenEd science should not be “to enable them to do problem sets…but to enable students to appreciate more deeply the beauty of, and to think more intelligently about, the natural world…to enrich their lives and their experience of going about the world...not to teach them to become scientists” (Randel, 2010, p. 20). Through GenEd, students become more familiar with what the ancients referred to as the invisibles of mathematics, to probe what matters for humans in the pursuit of happiness, to read the human story of triumph and tragedy in this pursuit, to learn how art illuminates life and gives it meaning, and why active engagement in this world is so crucial.<br /><br /> GenEd is practical; it is about doing, about putting knowledge to work in the world. In the Commission’s words (1947, p. 8), it is “education for the application of creative imagination and trained intelligence to the solution of social problems and to the administration of public affairs.” <br /><br /> Over a century and half ago, John Stuart Mill (1867) said that students</p> <blockquote> <p>...may be competent lawyers without general education, but it depends on general education to make them philosophic lawyers – who demand, and are capable of apprehending, principles…it makes a man a more intelligent shoemaker, if that be his occupation, but not by teaching him how to make shoes; it does so by the mental exercise it gives, and the habits it impresses. (p. 7)</p> </blockquote> <p> The Truman Commission saw GenEd as liberal education with a focus: “General education is liberal education with its matter and method shifted from its original aristocratic intent to the service of democracy,” since it “seeks to extend to all…the benefits of an education that liberates” (1947, p. 49).<br /><br /> This education for democracy which the Commission hoped would be achieved for the student through GenEd is holistic; it entails educating the whole person.</p> <blockquote> <p> Too often he is ‘educated’ in that he has acquired competence in some particular occupation, yet falls short of that human wholeness and civic conscience which the cooperative activities of citizenship require…the ethical values, scientific generalizations, and aesthetic conceptions…that will equip him to live rightly and well in a free society. (1947, p. 48)</p> </blockquote> <p> GenEd tutors head, heart, and hands—it teaches students how to think about the world, how to relate to each other as civic friends and collaborators, and how to act together in concert (Ronan, 2011).<br /><br /> This is why the community colleges in <a href="http://thedemocracycommitment.org/" target="_blank">The Democracy Commitment</a> (TDC)—a national initiative to educate all students for democracy—are focused on renewing and reinvigorating the GenEd programs on their campuses. The quality and richness of their GenEd courses are pivotal to civic learning and democratic engagement for their students. For example, TDC has partnered with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities titled Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Difference, Community, and Democratic Thinking. The goal of TDC’s Bridging Cultures project is to engage humanities faculty from ten community colleges—Lonestar/Kingwood, Kingsborough, Morris, Kapi’olani, Middlesex, Chandler-Gilbert, Santa Fe, Miami Dade, Georgia Perimeter, and Mt. Wacchusetts—in enriching their high-enrollment GenEd courses with readings, themes, and projects that tap the diversity of America and its cultural richness to enable students to develop the skills to work across differences in democratic life. The faculty in Bridging Cultures, for example, developed innovative curricula for high enrollment GenEd courses that involved:</p> <ul> <li>students in Developmental English in Texas reading about the Palestinian <em>intifada</em>;</li> <li>students in Art History in New York investigating how politics influences art through visits to the Metropolitan Museum; and</li> <li>students in American History in New Jersey researching democratic practices in their own town during the Great Depression. </li> </ul> <p>The curricular innovation that is reinvigorating GenEd courses in these community colleges through the Bridging Cultures project must be perennial, and nationwide. GenEd must be renewed in every age, and colleges must constantly recommit themselves to its original purpose in educating students for their lives as democratic citizens. Encouraging efforts to forge a new generation of general education curricular pathways for students are underway through AACU’s <a href="http://www.aacu.org/gems" target="_blank">General Education Maps and Markers</a> (GEMs) project. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities is also pursuing a <a href="http://www.aascu.org/programs/RedBalloonProject/" target="_blank">Red Balloon Project</a> that seeks to reimagine and reshape undergraduate education, with a special focus on the first year when GenEd is the primary agenda. In addition, the <a href="http://www.luminafoundation.org/publications/DQP/DQP2.0-draft.pdf" target="_blank">Degree Qualifications Profile</a> encourages colleges in think together about the broad and integrative learning that should undergird associate, bachelors, and masters degree programs, as well as the different levels of civic and global learning that should result from these degrees.<br /><br /> A renewed focus on GenEd for community colleges is needed, partly to counter the contemporary focus on workforce training as being their preeminent mission. In fact, the Truman Commission’s emphasis on the centrality of GenEd serves as a timely corrective over 65 years later to the discipline-driven emphasis in transfer education, and the siloing of colleges into career centers. “Specialization is a hallmark of our society… and it has made of…college little more than another vocational school, in which the aim of teaching is almost exclusively preparation for advanced study in one or another specialty” (1947, p. 48). With its parsing into distributions and its disassembly into a list of disconnected courses a student must “get out of the way” in order to fulfill a major—which a state higher education administrator recently characterized darkly as its “disintegration” (Freeland, 2014)—GenEd in colleges must be refocused on achieving what Martha Nussbaum (2010) describes so cogently: “not a cultivated gentleman, stuffed with the wisdom of the ages, but an active, critical, reflective, and empathetic member of a community of equals, capable of exchanging ideas on the basis of respect and understanding with people from many different backgrounds” (p. 141).</p> <p> Community colleges were born to serve democracy, and GenEd remains their principal instrument for this service. Perhaps it is not too fanciful to imagine, if President Truman could walk into classrooms of the over 1,100 community colleges across America that his historic commission willed into being, that he would find American Literature courses in which students are readied for their lives as citizens by reciting these words from Walt Whitman’s poem, For You O Democracy (1892):</p> <blockquote> <p>I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America, and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,<br /> I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other’s necks,…<br /> For you these from me, O Democracy, to serve you ma femme!<br /> For you, for you I am trilling these songs.</p> </blockquote> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>References</strong></p> <p>Freeland, R. (2014, October 16). Remarks at White House Civic Learning and National Service Summit, Tufts University.<br /><br /> Mill, J. S. (1867). Inaugural address delivered to the University of St. Andrew, Feb. 1st, 1867. London: Longmans, Green, Reader &amp; Dyer.<br /><br /> Nussbaum, M. A. (2010). Not for profit: Why democracy needs the humanities. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.<br /><br /> President's Commission on Higher Education. (1947). Higher education for American democracy. New York: Harper &amp; Brothers Publishers.<br /><br /> Randel, D. M. (2010). Science in the liberal arts curriculum. In J. Meinwold &amp; G. Hildebrand (Eds.) Science and the educated American: A core component of liberal education (pp. 9-22). Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts &amp; Sciences.<br /><br /> Ronan, B. (2011). The civic spectrum: How students become engaged citizens. Dayton: Kettering Foundation.<br /> <br /> Truman, H. S. (1947, December 15). Statement by the President Making Public a Report of the Commission on Higher Education. Online by G. Peters and J. T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=12802" target="_blank">http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=12802</a><br /><br /> Whitman, W. (1892). Leaves of grass (9th ed.). Philadelphia: David McKay Publications. </p> </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Bernie Ronan is Associate Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs of the Maricopa Community Colleges, and helped to launch The Democracy Commitment.</em><br /><br /> <em>Opinions expressed in</em><em> </em>Leadership Abstracts<em> </em><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> Portfolios That Work: A Counseling, Assessment, and Retention Tool urn:uuid:C62B7A18-1422-1766-9A2A53B2112FA5C2 2015-03-01T06:03:21Z 2015-03-02T07:03:00Z <p>An electronics engineering technology instructor at Sinclair Community College leads a portfolio project to improve student organization and success.<strong> </strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/showcase.gif" alt="Innovation Showcase" /></p> <p>March 2015, Volume 10, Number 3<br /><br /> <em>By Abdullah O. Johnson</em><br /><br /> In fall 2012, I applied for a Learning Challenge Grant to develop and present a hands-on workshop that would introduce a counseling, assessment, and retention tool (CART) system to the Electronics Engineering Technology (EET) department faculty and staff at <a href="http://www.sinclair.edu/" target="_blank">Sinclair Community College</a> (SCC). After this workshop, the goal was to offer it to the Science, Mathematics, and Engineering (SME) division, then to all SCC faculty. </p> <p>The workshop was requested to:</p> <ol> <li>Develop teamwork within the EET department;</li> <li>Enhance the overall success rate of students and faculty by implementing a system to increase the effectiveness of managing students and course material; and</li> <li>Help the department to better assess itself, as well as student success and retention rates, thus providing another positive tool for Completion by Design initiatives.</li> </ol> <p>During the project, each EET faculty member instituted the CART system, using specifically designed portfolios in their respective courses. Each student was given portfolio instructions, and the three-ring binders and dividers that constituted their portfolio. Faculty members monitored students’ progress, and physically checked each portfolio during the midterm and final weeks of the semester. Throughout the project, department personnel met regularly to address any issues.</p> <p>At the end of the semester, both student and faculty participants were given a survey to solicit feedback related to the use of the CART system. Each faculty participant was required to provide a written report of his or her individual experiences during the project. </p> <p>After project data had been analyzed and compiled, an internal report was written and presented to SCC’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). Ultimately, my goal was to use data to show how this method can be used across the curriculum as a counseling, assessment, and retention tool. Furthermore, I wanted to track the use of the portfolios as a department and formulate our findings in a report that could be presented at SCC and other institutions.</p> <p><strong>Learning Challenge Grant</strong></p> <p>After CTL approval and funding of the Learning Challenge Grant (LCG), EET department participants were briefed on the project that would begin in the 2013 spring semester. During fall break, all logistics for the start of the LCG were completed; supplies were received and provided to faculty participants by the first week of the spring semester.</p> <p>We initially planned to issue 300 portfolios and tabbed dividers to EET students based on previous semesters’ enrollments and course sections. However, due to decreased enrollment, 252 were issued. </p> <p>Faculty participants were given the freedom to utilize the portfolios in ways suitable to their particular courses, based on suggestions from previous implementation of the portfolio system. During the grant period, weekly emails were sent out and contact was made with faculty participants to assess their progress. Department meetings were used to provide updates and solicit feedback from each participant.</p> <p><strong>Feedback</strong><br /><br /> Toward the end of the semester, surveys were administered to participating students to solicit feedback. After analysis of survey data, we concluded that:</p> <ul> <li>Students used a portfolio of some kind at least twice, on average. </li> <li>Ninety-nine percent of participating students would recommend the use of the portfolio to other students.</li> <li>Students saved, on average, at least four hours of studying or organizing time each week as a result of the portfolios.</li> <li>The use of the portfolio had a positive effect on students’ confidence in being successful.</li> <li>Ninety-one percent of the students plan to use the portfolio in other classes.</li> <li>If graded, the portfolio should be at least 22 percent of their grade.</li> <li>Eighty-six percent of students stated that the portfolio had a positive impact and 14 percent stated it had a negative impact.</li> </ul> <p>In addition to implementing the portfolios in the EET department, we tested our process with students in first-year student experience courses. A comparison of EET department student survey responses with first-year experience student survey responses shows that:</p> <ul> <li>Ninety to 100 percent of first-year experience students and 99 percent of EET students would recommend the use of the portfolio;</li> <li>First-year experience students  saved 3 to 4 hours and EET students saved 3.9 hours of study time per week as a result of using the portfolios</li> <li>Ninety percent of first-year experience students and 86 percent of EET students stated there was no negative impact using the portfolio.</li> </ul> <p>In summary, survey responses and comments remained consistent and positive for the continued use of portfolios to organize their coursework.</p> <p>Participating faculty stated that the portfolios were a positive influence on students and helped with the organization of their coursework. The majority of the faculty plan to continue using the portfolio and adapting it to individual courses. A few faculty members indicated that they will use the portfolio system as a graded component in all of their courses.</p> <p><strong>Outcomes</strong></p> <p>This LCG has allowed the EET department, as a team, to help students become successful in their coursework. However, the portfolio is just a container for the paper unless used in a standard way and with some strategy in mind. The portfolio as a CART is a well-thought out and tested system which relies only on the three-ring binder and tabs as tools to organize. The real value in this system is how the instructors and students use the information. For a CART to be effective, faculty must use the system to monitor the progress of each student and counsel them as needed during the course.</p> <p>The cornerstone of the portfolio is the course-specific worksheets placed in the front of the binders, which must be filled out, monitored, and used to counsel each student. In some courses, faculty who have refined this system use portfolios in one-on-one meetings with each student. </p> <p>Each instructor sets the tone. Organization, management, and individual accountability can be adjunct to any course of study and can relate to assessing how an instructor and student are successful or effective in their course.</p> <p>Based on the project data, our expected outcomes were met or exceeded. Although we did not have a valid way to measure grade performance during the LCG, we are confident, based on student comments, that a correlation exists between the use of the portfolio system and an increase in student success, which may lead to an increase in grade point averages.</p> <p>We expect, based on previous informal implementation of this system, that students and faculty will find their coursework more manageable, comprehensive, and organized. For students, this will result in lower stress levels, better understanding of course material, and a greater sense of accomplishment and control of the success of their course. We predict that students’ performance, as well as their overall GPA, will increase.</p> <p>We are encouraged to continue the process in 100 level courses, where attention to management and organization is needed the most. If we get students to organize early in their courses, they will, based on our data, become more confident, and subsequently, more successful. Data indicate that stress levels can be reduced and significant time saved each week. Our plan is to continue the process in our department, and we hope to provide the three-ring binders and tabs. The material cost is low compared to the benefits to students, and to instructors who will have better organized students. Using portfolios will save faculty the need to repeatedly answer the same questions, provide additional copies of syllabi and handouts, and hear excuses such as, “I can’t find my notes.”</p> <p> With initial success behind us, think of the possibilities if we use portfolios for all first-year experience courses, where, in theory, students are new to the college environment and need a mechanism to stay organized in all their courses.<br /><br /> <strong>Benefits</strong><br /><br /> At a minimum, we know that the portfolio system works for both faculty and students; but ultimately, SCC and the business community at large will benefit as well. The table below reflects some of the benefits for faculty and students.<br /><br /> <strong>Table 1. Faculty and Student Benefits of Using the Portfolio</strong></p> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="blue" width="312" align="center" valign="middle"><strong>Faculty</strong><strong></strong></td> <td width="312"> <p class="blue" align="center"><strong>Students</strong></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="312"> <p> Organization</p> </td> <td width="312"> <p>Organization</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="312"> <p>Management</p> </td> <td width="312"> <p>Management</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="312"> <p>Continuity</p> </td> <td width="312"> <p>Study</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="312"> <p>Change</p> </td> <td width="312"> <p>Archives</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="312"> <p>Updates</p> </td> <td width="312"> <p>Interviews</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="312"> <p>Archives</p> </td> <td width="312"> <p>Reflection</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="312"> <p>Assessment</p> </td> <td width="312"> <p>Tracking</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="312"> <p>Reflection</p> </td> <td width="312"> <p>Disputes/Grades</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="312"> <p>Mentor Faculty</p> </td> <td width="312"> <p>Sense of accomplishment</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="312"> <p>Certifications</p> </td> <td width="312"> <p>Confidence</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Lessons Learned</strong><br /><br /> Throughout the process we observed and learned the following:</p> <p><em>Project Leaders</em></p> <ul> <li>Ensure that faculty participants believe in the process.</li> <li>Regularly make contact (i.e., email, face to face, department meetings) with faculty.</li> <li>Start implementing portfolio use in 100 level classes, where students are least likely to have used the portfolio system.</li> <li>Not all faculty will give the project their full attention.</li> </ul> <p><em>Faculty</em></p> <ul> <li>You have to believe in what you are doing so that students will take the portfolio seriously.</li> <li>Assign a grade, points, or other incentive to help ensure that students believe the portfolio is worth doing.</li> <li>Keep track of students who drop courses in which portfolios are used, regardless of the reason for dropping the course.</li> <li>Regularly mention the portfolio to keep students on task.</li> <li>Show students a sample of what you expect.</li> <li>Develop a written standard for students to follow.</li> <li>Use binders that are the right size to match your class content requirements.</li> <li>Advise students that you are willing to check their portfolios any time they want.</li> <li>Have hole-punches and staplers available.</li> <li>Keep in mind that some students will lose their portfolios.</li> <li>Do not accept unorganized portfolios.</li> <li>Survey student participants once to get a more accurate reading.</li> <li>If you survey students more than once, check the consistency of the answers.</li> <li>Keep survey questions short.</li> <li>Give surveys early enough to get them done and collected.</li> <li>Start compiling your data early.</li> <li>Not all students will provide you with good survey data.</li> <li>Be patient—take what you have and make it happen.</li> </ul> <p><em>Abdullah O. Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Engineering and Electronics Technology department at Sinclair Community College.</em><br /><br /> <em>Opinions expressed in</em><em> </em>Innovation Showcase<em> </em><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> Improving Online Instruction: A Case Study urn:uuid:C629CDB1-1422-1766-9A1DDDBD0250530D 2015-03-01T06:03:22Z 2015-03-02T07:03:00Z <p>Chattanooga State Community College revamps its online mathematics courses to improve student success. <strong></strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/learning_abstracts.gif" alt="Learning Abstract" /></p> <p>March 2015, Volume 18, Number 3<strong></strong><br /><br /> <em>By </em><em>John Squires and Anita Polk-Conley</em><br /><br /> In fall 2009, the <a href="http://www.chattanoogastate.edu/" target="_blank">Chattanooga State Community College</a> math department faced a problem not uncommon to colleges around the nation: Online course offerings had high failure rates and were not a quality experience for students. After examining the data, the department made a bold decision to put a moratorium on online math courses for two years. This move provided time to improve the quality and success of online courses. Since re-offering online mathematics courses again in fall 2011, the college has seen a significant increase in student learning and success. This article outlines the reasons for the decision, the steps taken to improve the program, and the results since reintroducing the courses.<br /><br /> When department leadership examined the state of online math courses in fall 2009, the data revealed that these courses had unacceptably high failure rates. From fall 2005 to spring 2008, students in online math courses had a success rate of 36 percent and a GPA of 1.29. Some classes had failure rates as high as 90 percent. It was clear that the online courses did not incorporate best practices; in fact, they consisted of little more than a traditional course in look and feel. After examining the data and the courses, a decision was made to put a moratorium on offering all online math courses, effective spring 2010. This critical first step provided a fresh start, which was much needed in order to change the status quo. The decision was highly controversial and raised eyebrows among the campus community. In the long term, though, the moratorium proved to be the correct solution. <br /><br /> Once the moratorium was put into place, the department began working to redesign the online courses. Over a period of three years, a total of ten college math courses were redesigned by faculty. The emphasis was primarily on four best practices—course organization, quality resources, proactive faculty, and student engagement—each of which is outlined below. For faculty members wishing to dig deeper, there are a number of resources outlining best practices for online instruction, including the University of Maryland’s <a href="https://www.qualitymatters.org/rubric" target="_blank">Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric</a>. <br /><br /> <strong>Course Organization</strong><br /><br /> Course layout makes a huge difference in student engagement and is very important in online courses. The National Center of Academic Transformation (NCAT) has five principles of successful course redesign (n.d.); two of these principles—continuous assessment and time on task—are directly linked to course structure. Too often, online courses simply list a series of two or three big exams dates, often with very little else in terms of assessment. Continuous assessment means regular homework, quizzes, and exams throughout the course. Constant quizzing is listed as one of the characteristics of a great online course (Williams, 2013). This stands in stark contrast to the typical approach of a few exams, which often leads to a night-before-the-test syndrome in which students do no work until the last minute. The course should be organized into bite-sized topics, with the appropriate resources for each topic appearing and organized in a manner that are both easily accessible and integrated as an essential part of the course. Weekly deadlines must be established and student progress must be monitored throughout. Proper course organization can go a long way toward keeping students on task and on track. <br /><br /> <strong>Quality Resources</strong><br /><br /> Resources should be fully integrated into online courses in a seamless manner, providing students with a guided learning path. While there may be some flexibility in the organization of the course which reflects different learning styles, access to learning resources is critical to providing students with a quality online experience. Students should not be provided with a plethora of resources with little or no instruction on how to actually use them. Rather, faculty should locate quality resources to integrate into courses and develop resources locally when needed. These resources must follow best practices; for example, videos should be 5–10 minutes in length, and care must be taken to avoid color combinations that will not be discernible to color-blind students. When making videos, instructors should follow the 90-second rule for media, not spending more than 90 seconds on the same screen. This attention to detail makes a difference in the overall quality of the resources; if these practices are not followed, the student experience will be frustrating, thereby negatively impacting student success. <br /><br /> <strong>Proactive Faculty</strong><br /><br /> Faculty engagement is crucial to the success of any course, traditional or online. The faculty member’s approach in an online course should be active, not passive. According to NCAT’s Five Principles of Course Redesign, faculty members must be vigilant in both monitoring student progress and providing individual assistance to each student (n.d.). If a faculty member only responds to emails from students, the online course will most likely fail due to a lack of faculty engagement. The faculty member teaching an online course should be consistently trying to keep students on task while also offering them assistance as needed. While some of this assistance can be done at scheduled times, most of it will need to be provided on an ad hoc basis due to the asynchronous nature of an online course. Student work must be reviewed promptly by faculty and strengths and weaknesses discussed. Faculty engagement is also directly linked to student engagement. The more proactive the faculty member is, the more engaged the students will be. Rita Sowell, a faculty member at Volunteer State Community College, has taught online courses successfully for many years and was consulted as a resource for Chattanooga State’s online math program. When asked about the key to having a successful online program, her response was straightforward: “The key is that the faculty members have to be willing to do a lot of hard work…period” (R. Sowell, personal communication, 2012).<br /><br /> <strong>Student Engagement</strong><br /><br /> In any course, traditional or online, student engagement is the key to student success. Students that stay engaged, working in the course regularly throughout the semester, tend to succeed at much higher levels than students who procrastinate and are not engaged. Given this, the question becomes, what can be done to increase student engagement? The answer is that course layout, quality resources, and proactive faculty members can all contribute to increasing student engagement. When students understand how they are to go about learning course concepts, when they are provided with quality resources, and when they perceive that the faculty member cares about their success and is willing to assist them and teach them as needed, then they tend to be more engaged. Strategies that can be used to increase student engagement include giving points for posts on discussion boards and course activities, making involvement and activity a requisite part of the course, and encouraging peer-to-peer assistance and cooperation. Another important factor in student engagement at Chattanooga State is the Math Center. The center provides a connection to the campus and the individual assistance that students need for success, while also providing scheduling flexibility for students in online classes.<br /><br /> <strong>Math 1410 Structure of Number Systems I</strong><br /><br /> Math 1410 Structure of Number Systems I is a general education mathematics course that targets students majoring in elementary education. All homework, quizzes, and exams are completed using Pearson’s MyLabsPlus software. All exams are proctored and taken in the Math Center on the main campus. At first glance, it sounds just like any other online math course. The philosophy behind this course is that every assignment must be related to mathematical ideas that strengthen students’ understanding of processes behind many of the math short cuts and memorized problem solving steps, therefore deepening their conceptualization of mathematics. Additional instructional videos within homework assignments are helpful to students as well. Included in this course are lecture notes from on-ground classes and PowerPoint presentations that provide overviews of the main ideas. Teachers closely examine each student’s work and provide written feedback to ensure a quality experience. Another important course requirement is the incorporation of group assignments. Students in Math 1410 have seven group activities that are completed, scanned, and submitted as a part of the work ethic grade. Students must submit at least one paragraph describing how and with whom each assignment was completed, and what mathematical concept/knowledge they gain from the group work. Some students become creative and enlist the assistance of children, husbands, boyfriends, spouses, significant others, neighbors, friends, or family, and then send a photo of their work and discuss how group members reacted to the activity. Finally, course instructors send text reminders as deadlines approach to keep students on track in the course. The results have been very positive, with a 70 percent success rate and 2.4 GPA since fall 2012.<br /><br /> <strong>Summary</strong><br /><br /> Prior to the moratorium in fall 2009, the math department offered three college courses online. Over a period of five years, these courses served a total of 704 students, with a 36 percent success rate and 1.29 GPA. The department now offers seven redesigned college-level math courses online. Since fall 2011, these courses have served a total of 1,494 students, 61 percent success rate and 2.15 GPA. Before, online math courses had success rates below 50 percent, much lower than on-ground classes. Now, online math courses have success rates from 50 to 70 percent and are comparable to on-ground classes. By giving the program a fresh start, and by focusing on course organization, quality resources, proactive faculty, and student engagement, the Chattanooga State math department has seen a significant increase in student success in online courses. The department has been able to increase access to these courses while also improving the quality of the student experience.</p> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>References</strong></p> <p>National Center for Academic Transformation. (n.d.). Five principles of successful course redesign. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.thencat.org/PlanRes/R2R_PrinCR.htm" target="_blank">http://www.thencat.org/PlanRes/R2R_PrinCR.htm</a><br /><br /> Williams, C. (2013, May 24). 5 best practices for designing online courses [Web log post]. Retrieved from <a href="http://blog.heatspring.com/designing-online-courses/" target="_blank">http://blog.heatspring.com/designing-online-courses/</a><br /><br /> John Squires is the mathematics department head and Anita Polk-Conley is a mathematics professor at Chattanooga State Community College. </p> </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>John Squires is the mathematics department head and Anita Polk-Conley is a mathematics professor at Chattanooga State Community College.</em><br /><br /> <em>Opinions expressed in</em><em> </em>Learning Abstracts<em> </em><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></p> Innovative Educators Webinar Schedule urn:uuid:626C5677-1422-1766-9AF40708EB9E56F2 2015-02-01T01:02:13Z 2015-04-17T07:04:00Z <p>View the current schedule of upcoming webinars from League partner Innovative Educators.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><strong>April 2015</strong><br /><br /> 8 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3345.htm">Campus SaVE Act Compliance: How To Strategically Plan Your Educational Campaigns</a><br /><br /> 9 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3330.htm">Online Student Conduct: Procedures, Compliance &amp; Assessment</a><br /><br /> 9 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3350.htm">Intrusive Tutoring: Utilizing Advising, Coaching &amp; Counseling Strategies To Enhance Tutoring Sessions</a><br /><br /> 10 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3335.htm">Strategies To Make Online Group Work More Manageable, Efficient &amp; Effective</a><br /><br /> 14 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3351.htm">How &amp; When To Use “Trigger Warnings”: To Shield Or Not To Shield</a><br /><br /> 14 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3379.htm">Collaborative Partnerships: Strengthening The University &amp; Community Relationship</a><br /><br /> 15 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3338.htm">How To Assess &amp; Improve Your Academic Advising Program</a><br /><br /> 15 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3353.htm">Partners For Success: Developing An Effective Peer Mentoring Program To Support First-Generation College Students</a><br /><br /> 17 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3356.htm">First-Year Students &amp; Libraries: Assessing The Impact Of Information Literacy</a><br /><br /> 20 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3376.htm">Support Student Success 24/7: StudentLingo Demo &amp; Implementation Strategies - Complimentary Webinar</a><br /><br /> 21 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3355.htm">How To Write Case Notes: Practical Guidance &amp; Risk Mitigation For Case Managers, Counselors &amp; BITs</a><br /><br /> 22 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3380.htm">Generation Me: Defining &amp; Addressing The Effects Of Entitlement On Today’s College Campuses</a><br /><br /> 22 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3346.htm">Supporting Survivors: Sexual Violence Victimology &amp; Advocacy</a><br /><br /> 23 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3369.htm">Removing Suicidal Students From Campus: The Significance Of Recent Changes In Federal Policy</a><br /><br /> 24 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3373.htm">Shorten The Pipeline: How To Teach An Integrated, Accelerated Developmental Reading &amp; Writing Course</a><br /><br /> 28 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3357.htm">A Practical Guide To Threat Assessment: How To Reduce Violence On Campus</a><br /><br /> 28 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3385.htm">Are You Compliant? How To Train Your Title IX Appeals Officers</a></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>May 2015</strong><br /><br /> 1 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3319.htm">FERPA &amp; Email: How To Effectively Communicate With Students &amp; Avoid Liability</a><br /><br /> 1 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3382.htm">Using Humor To Enhance Learning, Teaching &amp; Leadership - Complimentary Webinar</a><br /><br /> 5 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3364.htm">Developing &amp; Providing Integrated Student Services In Higher Education: Creating The "One Stop Shop” For Students</a><br /><br /> 5 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3393.htm">Training Part-Time Faculty: How To Create An Online Teacher Training Course</a><br /><br /> 6 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3365.htm">Retaining International Students: Designing Effective Instruction To Meet Their Needs</a><br /><br /> 6 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3371.htm">Tutor Training: Best Practices &amp; Strategies To Cultivate A Community Of Learners</a><br /><br /> 7 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3370.htm">Are Your Students Prepared? How To Improve Support Services To Enhance Workforce Preparation</a><br /><br /> 7 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3372.htm">Creating An FYE Student Success Course For Men Of Color: Methods, Implementation &amp; Results</a><br /><br /> 8 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3305.htm">How To Create An Integrated Website &amp; Service Delivery Strategy</a><br /><br /> 12 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3374.htm">10 Strategies For Outreach &amp; Recruitment: How To Increase Your Return On Investment</a><br /><br /> 13 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3366.htm">Retaining International Students: How To Design Targeted Support Services</a><br /><br /> 14 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3381.htm">The New "At-Risk" Student Seminar: Increasing Retention, Success &amp; Institutional Support</a><br /><br /> 15 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3367.htm">Strategic Enrollment Management: Developing &amp; Implementing An Integrated, Results-Driven Plan - Part 1</a><br /><br /> 19 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3383.htm">Persistence Vs. Retention: Legislation &amp; The Changing Paradigm Of Student Success</a><br /><br /> 19 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3386.htm">Title IX Investigations: Case Studies In Sexual Misconduct &amp; Harassment</a><br /><br /> 20 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3378.htm">How To Advise Students Online: Protocols &amp; Pitfalls Of Email Advising</a><br /><br /> 21 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3388.htm">Empowering At-Risk Probationary Students Using Appreciative Advising Inside &amp; Outside The Classroom</a><br /><br /> 26 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3392.htm">Helping Foster Youth &amp; Other At-Risk Students Overcome Barriers To Success</a><br /><br /> 29 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3367.htm">Strategic Enrollment Management: Developing &amp; Implementing An Integrated, Results-Driven Plan - Part 2</a></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>June 2015</strong><br /><br /> 3 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3397.htm">How To Develop and Implement A Summer Bridge Program For First-Generation College Students</a><br /><br /> 4 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3384.htm">Building A Model Of Student Success Based On Students’ Strengths</a><br /><br /> 4 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3395.htm">The Violence Against Women Act: Developing Educational Programs For Compliance</a><br /><br /> 9 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3387.htm">Title IX Investigations: Case Studies In Intimate Partner Violence &amp; Stalking</a><br /><br /> 11 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3394.htm">Enhancing Outcomes-Based Assessment For Student Affairs: A 3-Part Series - Part 1</a><br /><br /> 18 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3394.htm">Enhancing Outcomes-Based Assessment For Student Affairs: A 3-Part Series - Part 2</a><br /><br /> 25 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3394.htm">Enhancing Outcomes-Based Assessment For Student Affairs: A 3-Part Series - Part 3</a></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>July 2015</strong><br /><br /> 9 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3398.htm">Developing An Effective Academic Advising Protocol For Military Veterans</a><br /><br /> 10 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3304.htm">Designing An Inclusive &amp; Comprehensive Professional Development Program</a><br /><br /> 16 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3389.htm">Testing &amp; Online Learning: Tools &amp; Techniques For Fostering A Culture Of Academic Integrity</a></p> Creating Stories From the Margins: A Cultural Anthology by and for Students urn:uuid:32086F9B-1422-1766-9A082DCC9D9B207D 2015-02-01T12:02:57Z 2015-01-30T01:01:00Z <p>A community college project encourages student self-discovery and personalized cultural celebration through literature. </p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/learning_abstracts.gif" alt="Learning Abstract" /></p> <p>February 2015, Volume 18, Number 2<strong></strong><br /><br /> <em>By Lisa Shaw</em><br /><br /> In <em>Pedagogy of the Oppressed</em> (1970), educator Paolo Freire criticized the traditional classroom dynamic of student-teacher as “banking education,” that is, the teacher “deposits” information to the student, who passively “banks” or stores it. He offers a list of teacher behaviors that ensure the status quo of teacher as subject and student as object. “The teacher thinks and the students are thought about…. The teacher teaches and the students are taught” (p. 73). This is often the case in literature courses: read, answer reading comprehension questions, discuss, analyze. This project discards that model in favor of the creative process even in an appreciation course. Apropos to my proposal is Freire’s claim that the banking concept is a tool to “annul the students’ creative power” (p. 73). This project attempted to counter this approach, focusing instead on creating a mining model: identifying, gathering, and celebrating the students’ creative power. </p> <p>I envisioned the empowerment of my students if they themselves wore the writer’s shoes. A profound truth about writing and self-discovery is that very often, until we reflect deeply on our experience, our surroundings, and our reactions, we do not fully meet ourselves. Reflective first person narrative is a potent tool for the deepest levels of self-awareness.</p> <p>According to my college’s Office of Institutional Research, students at North Campus rank the lowest among all Miami Dade College campuses in terms of socioeconomic levels. These students and their families confront complex barriers such as immigration (both legal and illegal), language, culture, finances, direction, and family structure, all pressures which erode self-esteem and strand people on the fringes of the larger society. The psychological conjecture here is that celebrating the struggle through story validates the struggler. In what are viewed as marginal populations, students often feel alienated from the standard literature canon; as second and third language speakers, immigrants, and the children of immigrants, they feel detached from materials to which they do not easily relate. We fail if we merely expect them to appreciate William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor without a sociopolitical understanding of the South. Exposing them to additional literary selections which mirror their families’ struggles and linguistic style not only engages them, but inspires them to tell their own stories.</p> <p>As we see in light of the current speedway of curricular demands few institutions resist, literature and the arts have been displaced in favor of more “marketable” and “useful” workplace skill related courses. As priorities shift, basic writing skills deteriorate because students don’t recognize their urgency, and therefore, they invest little of themselves in these courses. However, when we provide a compelling forum, they experience an emotional impetus to write and grow devoted to both story and craft, taking proud ownership of their work.</p> <p>I specifically geared this project toward students whose primary interest remained outside the humanities. It was designed for STEM students to create linguistic objects, allowing them to honor and showcase their feelings and perspectives, and to discover abilities they didn’t know they possessed. </p> <p>The project had the potential to benefit the North Campus community as a whole. First, it could serve as an accurate demographic map of our population with anecdotal rather than statistical evidence. Useful as an ethnographic study for sociologists, anthropologists, ethnographers, it is a creative census of sorts. Most of all, I hoped the final project would emerge as a unique artistic representation of a specific community in a very specific place and time—one that could not be replicated. Politically, I had an agenda as well: This project and final product would be a testament to the value of arts during a politically-driven era of STEM and business priorities. The college itself could benefit from the final product, which would be a lively marketing tool as well as a national model for other community colleges who serve similarly diverse populations. It would help us remember the original purpose of the community college: to reach those in the working and underclasses who have limited, if any, access to higher education.</p> <p>The core of this literature project is the encouragement of student self-discovery and personalized cultural celebration through literature. The project sought to synthesize student reading and writing of creative biography and autobiography using poetry and creative nonfiction. </p> <p>The sixteen week course unfolded in four stages: </p> <ol> <li>Studying the autobiographical fiction and creative nonfiction of culturally diverse writers </li> <li>Using those works as models for student writing </li> <li>Applying skills and cultivating talent for students to write their own autobiographical journeys </li> <li>Compiling and publishing the results into an anthology that answers the question: Who is the Miami Dade North Campus student? </li> </ol> <p>The art of writing stands distinct from basic communication as practiced in the traditional objective analysis of a literary piece. This is a creative project, an entry into the literary arena for students as practitioners rather than as audience. Student engagement, especially in an English class which students perceive as unconnected to self, requires personal investment. By seeing their experiences in the writing of others, I hoped students would recognize the power of their own narratives, thus bolstering their self-image and self-esteem, introducing them to their own creative prowess, and allowing them to preserve, like a literary photograph, the struggles and victories of their families. I sought to give voice to the experience that often hides in the margins of the larger society.</p> <p>The premise also contrasted with standard composition practice; in the usual sequence of courses, primarily English Composition I and II, we discourage narrative in favor of objective analysis and expository writing. However, there exists a very visible paradox that remains unaddressed: Every freshman composition reader published includes a comprehensive chapter on narration. In fact, we often assign narrative readings, which our students see as models, but then forbid them from writing in the first person and rarely assign even third person narrative essay. In our literature courses, including the required Literature and Culture, we read narrative and autobiographical literature in the form of short story, essay, and poetry, but we usually limit our assignments to explication and analysis. We rarely, if ever, invite our students to use these selections as models for their own creations. Sheldon George (2012) developed a freshman writing course that uses this approach: “Beginning with personal narratives and moving on to analytic and research essays, it discusses the role of fact and fiction in the stories we tell (or embellish) about ourselves in our writing, and it seeks to enable students to adopt into their own writings literary strategies that allow them more consciously to manipulate, as they write, their relation to themselves, their text, and their audience” (p. 323). </p> <p>A secondary benefit of this project was to dispel the stereotypes found in professional anthologies that purport to be multicultural. Fernando Rodriguez-Valls (2009) claims that most adopted anthologies do precisely that, citing one California district that assigned literature in which “main Latino characters were either dishwashers or bullfighters (para. 6),” and which left students “unable to construct an accurate sense of pride in their own culture” (para. 6). By allowing my students to tell authentic stories for this project, I opened a wider gate, as the stories reflect human experiences that are only dressed in surface cultural garb; the core of the experience is both universal and compelling. These are just some of the threads of their stories:</p> <ul> <li>A wealthy Haitian girl who was the subject of a kidnap plot</li> <li>A Chinese grandfather sold as a child because his family couldn’t afford him</li> <li>A Puerto Rican pilot who miraculously survived an ocean plane crash</li> <li>A Cuban American student whose brother was imprisoned for protecting him during a robbery</li> <li>An African American woman who was abused by her mother’s white “sugar daddy”</li> <li>A Nicaraguan boy surprised by his mother’s reaction to his homosexuality </li> <li>A Jamaican lesbian trying to overcome her family’s disavowal of her lifestyle</li> </ul> <p>The students themselves worked in stages. They read and discussed the narratives of writers from diverse backgrounds, selected and wrote their own stories and family histories, and edited them. The final anthology answers the question, “Who Are We?” relative to the population of Miami Dade North Campus, situated between Opa-Locka and Hialeah.</p> <p>My work was completed in four phases. In the summer of 2013, I researched creative nonfiction, prepared a preliminary reading list, and revised the syllabus as the project unfolded. That fall, I taught the material, worked with students writing and editing each piece in class and in conferences. Some of the students visited me twice a week to review their work and just to chat. One of them was so enthralled by her storytelling that she announced, “Even though I am a medical student, now I think I will write for the rest of my life.” During the spring semester, I edited the material and secured consent-to-publish forms from all the students. Remarkably, each student in both of the classes had at least one publishable piece by the end of the semester. In the summer I compiled the anthology, solicited cover art from an award winning art student on our campus, and published the work as a Kindle e-book. It is currently available under the title, <em>The Secret in His Heart: Stories from the Margins</em>, by Miami Dade College Students.</p> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>References</strong></p> <p>Auten, J. (2012). Teaching as text--the pedagogy seminar: LIT 730, teaching composition. <em>Composition Studies</em>, <em> 40</em>(1), 95-112.</p> <p>Freiere, P. (2006). <em>Pedagogy of the oppressed</em>. New York, NY: Continuum.</p> <p>George, S. (2012). The performed self in college writing. <em>Pedagogy</em>, <em>12</em>(2), 319-341.</p> <p>Matrix. Merriam-Webster.com/dictionary/matrix</p> <p>Rodriquez-Valls, F. (2009). Culturally relevant poetry: creating esperanza (hope) with stanzas. <em>Multicultural</em><br /> <em>Education</em>, <em>17</em>(1), 11-14. Retrieved from<a href="http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Multicultural-Education/217433049.html" target="_blank"> http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Multicultural-Education/217433049.html</a></p> </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Lisa Shaw is an English professor at Miami Dade College North Campus.</em></p> <p><em>Opinions expressed in</em><em> </em>Learning Abstracts<em> </em><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> Prior Learning and STEM: Ingredients for Student Success urn:uuid:3209EA15-1422-1766-9AF402A93D7FF910 2015-02-01T12:02:57Z 2015-01-30T02:01:00Z <p>Prior learning assessments are particularly beneficial for returning student veterans.<strong> </strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/showcase.gif" alt="Innovation Showcase" /></p> <p>February 2015, Volume 10, Number 2<br /><br /> <em>By Kent Seaver</em><br /><br /> Having spent the last 16 years working in metropolitan community colleges, I have had the opportunity to see all types of students: new-to-college eighteen year olds, fifteen year old non-driving dual credit students, and returning students who would rather not divulge their ages. All bring with them the sum of their life experiences. But one group that brings a set of experiences and skills like no other is returning student veterans. Because of the nature of the service, these men and women are arriving on our college campuses with more technical knowledge than most generations of students that came before them. This knowledge can be measured by us in academia via Prior Learning Assessments, or PLAs. </p> <p>Trish Paterson, Executive Director for College Access Initiatives for the University System of Georgia, states that</p> <blockquote> <p>Prior learning isn’t just giving students credit for life experience. Colleges that choose to offer the credit measure what students know, review how that corresponds with courses students are required to take, and determine whether their knowledge merits college credit. We are honoring what a student knows even if we are not the reason why they know it. (qtd. in Diamond, 2012)</p> </blockquote> <p>PLAs can be broken down into four basic types, with the first being evaluation of previous coursework. Often, this coursework comes from the corporate or military world. The American Council on Education (ACE) has reviewed and provided academic credit recommendations for more than 35,000 courses, examinations, and certifications offered by employers, federal agencies, professional associations, apprenticeship programs, online education providers, and other organizations. Their National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training contains ACE credit recommendations for formal courses or examinations offered by various organizations, from businesses and unions to the government and military (American Council on Education, 2014). ACE’s College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT) connects workplace learning with colleges and universities by helping adults gain access to academic credit for formal courses and examinations taken outside the traditional classroom.</p> <p>Since 1945, ACE’s Military Evaluations program has evaluated formal military training in terms of academic credit, allowing thousands of soldiers and veterans to earn credit for college-level learning acquired in the military. The results of these evaluations, along with learning outcomes, course descriptions, and recommendations for the type and amount of credit that may be awarded, are gathered from the veteran’s Joint Services Transcript (JST) (United States Army, 2014). A military transcript, the JST lists military coursework and occupations in terms of equivalent college credits as evaluated by ACE. The primary purpose of the JST is to assist soldiers in obtaining college credit for their military experience (American Council on Education, 2014).</p> <p>Portfolios, or written narratives describing a particular training, provide another method for assessing prior learning at the college level. A portfolio is not a traditional college paper, nor is it solely a listing of job experiences. It is a thoughtful, well crafted, and focused document designed to convince a faculty evaluator that a student has gained knowledge, abilities, and skills outside the classroom that are, at a minimum, equivalent to the knowledge gained by students who have completed college-level coursework. The student must demonstrate 70 percent mastery to receive credit and is graded on a credit/no credit basis, which does not affect the student’s grade point average. To protect the academic integrity of the awarding of college credit for portfolios, the required supporting documentation for submission to earn equivalent college credit is extremely high, usually containing five or more pieces of documentation detailing experience (Zalek, 2013).</p> <p>The next method of prior learning used at the collegiate level is the Course Challenge Exam, sometimes called the departmental exam. It is designed for the individual who may already know the material covered in an introductory level course offered at a college or university. The Course Challenge Exam provides an alternative to traditional classroom course work and is written by course instructors or academic departments, which directly relates the tested material to the course being challenged. Such exams are used to determine student competency in a specific course of study. Each department determines the specific credit award and the acceptable passing grade, which must be C or above. </p> <p>Another form of prior learning assessment, the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), offer students a cost-effective, time-saving way to use knowledge acquired outside of the classroom--perhaps from reading, on-the-job training, or independent study--to accomplish their educational goals. The DSST  audience has changed over the years, but since 2006, DSST exams have been available to anyone seeking college credit outside the traditional classroom, including college students, adult learners, high school students, and military personnel. Over 2,000 colleges and universities recognize the DSST program and award college credit for passing scores. Colleges, universities, and corporations throughout the United States and in some other countries administer tests year-round.</p> <p>The test fee to take a DSST is as low as $80 at many institutions, and administering schools may charge a modest test administration fee according to their school policy. Several upper- and lower-level courses are available in a variety of subjects, from social sciences and history to business. Because the cost of classes per credit hour can reach into the hundreds of dollars, DSST exams offer a steep cost savings compared with a typical $700-750 three-credit class. DSST exams can not only save students money, but can also accelerate degree completion. The <strong>American Council on Education’s CREDIT </strong>has evaluated and recommended college credit for all 30+ DSST exams (Prometric, 2014).</p> <p>The College-Level Exam Program (CLEP) is a well-known provider Of prior learning assessment. According to the College Board’s CLEP website (2014), over 1,700 college test centers administer CLEP exams, which are accepted at roughly 2,900 colleges and universities. Approximately 176,000 CLEP exams were administered in the 2013-2014 academic year, with well over seven million exams taken by students since the inception of CLEP exams in 1967. This credit-by-examination program serves a diverse group of students, including adults, nontraditional learners, and military service members; of the 176,000 exams taken in the 2013-2014 academic year, approximately 60,000 were taken by military service members. Not only does the program serve a broad-based cohort, but it also validates knowledge learned through independent study, on-the-job training, or experiential learning, and it translates that learning into college credit that is commonly recognized. The 33 CLEP exams are organized into five general categories: history and social sciences, business, composition and literature, science and mathematics, and foreign languages. Much like the DSST, the cost of the exam (also $80), when compared to credit hours, books, and fees, make CLEP a very economically friendly alternative to unnecessary classes. </p> <p>Amy Sherman, Associate Vice President for Policy and Strategic Alliances at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), sums up what others in the education field view as the value of prior learning. She states,</p> <blockquote> <p>Many people come to higher education with learning that has taken place…outside of the traditional higher education structure. Think of all the learning that takes place at employer training facilities, in jobs, in the military, through a lifetime of self-study or volunteer work. Some of that experiential learning is equivalent to what takes place in the classroom, and the learning outcomes are measurable. That’s important to remember: this is not simply giving credit for experience, but for the learning outcome. (Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, 2012) </p> </blockquote> <p>At Montclair State University in New Jersey, this measuring of outcomes as they relate to the STEM classroom has been set in motion. Montclair has created a Checklist for Inclusive Teaching in STEM Disciplines that begins with a system titled Accurate Problem Definition. It functions as an inclusive teaching framework for science, technology, engineering, and math. Simply put, it clearly identifies goals, rationales, starting conditions, appropriate design, and principles of implementation to achieve optimal learning outcomes (Reddick, Jacobson, Linse, &amp; Yong, 2007). This process is, then, expanded at Montclair by the inclusion of Accurate Solution, a sort of part II in regard to the inclusive teaching model. Accurate Solution identifies problem-solving procedures as goals and creates exams that focus on recall of detailed facts. By establishing students’ prior knowledge and skills coming into a course, Montclair’s STEM curriculum has successfully been able to bridge any gap between recognized prior learning skills and classroom/curriculum needs. </p> <p><strong>CLEP Research and Student Success</strong></p> <p>While the Montclair model is certainly thought provoking, I wanted to see what outcomes would occur in regard to my own test takers at <a href="http://www.northlakecollege.edu/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">North Lake College</a> (NLC). In the fall of 2011, 67 NLC students tested via CLEP and were placed into at least one of the following introductory STEM classes: college algebra, pre-calculus, calculus, chemistry, and biology.</p> <div> <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="319" valign="top"> <p align="center"><strong>Retention Rate From</strong><br /> <strong>Fall 2011 to Fall 2013</strong></p> <div> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="156" valign="top"> <p>PLA/STEM Students</p> </td> <td width="42" valign="top"> <p align="center">85%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="156" valign="top"> <p>Non-PLA Students</p> </td> <td width="42" valign="top"> <p align="center">58%</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> </td> <td width="319" valign="top"> <p align="center"><strong>Average GPA</strong><br /> <strong>After Two Years</strong></p> <div> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="156" valign="top"> <p>PLA/STEM Students</p> </td> <td width="42" valign="top"> <p align="center">3.23</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="156" valign="top"> <p>Non-PLA Students</p> </td> <td width="42" valign="top"> <p align="center">2.78</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p>By the fall of 2013, when many students were preparing to graduate, transfer, or complete a certificate program, 57 (85 percent) had been retained. By contrast, the retention percentage of 439 non-PLA students who took the same STEM courses that semester was only 58 percent. In addition, after two years, the average GPA of the retained 57 PLA/STEM students was 3.23, while the overall GPA for the non-PLA/STEM students was 2.78.</p> <p>After two years, the average GPA of the retained 57 PLA/STEM students was 3.23, while the overall GPA for the non-PLA/STEM students was 2.78. This improved grade point average applied to the students who took not only the introductory STEM courses, but also advanced STEM courses, thus demonstrating that PLA student success.</p> <p><strong>PLA, STEM, and the Workforce</strong></p> <p>We, in education, have read numerous articles detailing how the number of new scientists and engineers graduating from U.S. universities is significantly declining. The coinciding current shortage of scientists and engineers in the U.S. and flux of technically-trained servicemen departing the military offers an important opportunity for U.S. employers, including the Tennessee Valley Corridor’s (TVC) former Non-Traditional Emerging Workforce in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (NEW-STEM) Initiative<sup><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:10px;"> 1 </span></sup>. TVC’s website notes, “Due to their maturity, technical training, and hands-on experiences, these individuals separating from the military in the next five years provide an excellent near-term source of potential engineers for the country” (Tennessee Valley Corridor, 2013). Returning student veterans offer multiple benefits to federal agencies and private sector companies, including, but not limited to, access to experienced, skilled workers with active security clearances, and the opportunity to grow their pool of experienced engineers from a nontraditional population, thus increasing the overall number of scientists and engineers in the region. Finally, a contractual relationship and service agreement with participants who accept the terms of the NEW-STEM program can create a lasting, meaningful relationship between the veteran workforce and the TVC.</p> <p>In today's climate of decreased funding, lower retention and graduation rates, and increased scrutiny from a government perspective, it is time we in higher education use all of the tools in our arsenal to create strong veteran student success in those increasingly valuable STEM fields, and allow that group to achieve the dream of a college education. Prior learning assessment is such a tool. </p> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>References</strong></p> <p>Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. (2012). <em>Pathways to success: Integrating learning with life to increase national college completion</em>. Washington, D.C.: Author. Retrieved from <a href="http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/acsfa/ptsreport2.pdf" target="_blank">http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/acsfa/ptsreport2.pdf</a> </p> <p>American Council on Education. (2014). Adult learners: Using your ACE credit recommendations. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Adult-Learners-Using-Your-ACE-Credit-Recommendations.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Adult-Learners-Using-Your-ACE-Credit-Recommendations.aspx</a></p> <p>College-Level Examination Program. (2014). Retrieved from <a href="http://clep.collegeboard.org/" target="_blank">http://clep.collegeboard.org/</a></p> <p>Diamond, L. (2012, July 9). Out of class learning equals college credit. <em>Atlanta Journal and Constitution</em>. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.valdosta.edu/academics/amp/documents/amp-in-ajc.pdf" target="_blank">https://www.valdosta.edu/academics/amp/documents/amp-in-ajc.pdf</a></p> <p>Prometric. (2014). About DSST. Retrieved from <a href="http://getcollegecredit.com/about/" target="_blank">http://getcollegecredit.com/about/</a></p> <p>Reddick, L. A., Jacobson, W., Linse, A., &amp; Yong, D. (2007). An inclusive teaching framework for <br /> science, technology, engineering, and math. In M. Ouellett (Ed.), <em>Teaching inclusively: Diversity </em><br /> <em>and faculty development</em>. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press.</p> <p>The NEW-STEM Program. (2013, August 12). Retrieved from <a href="http://tennvalleycorridor.org/" target="_blank">http://tennvalleycorridor.org/</a></p> <p>United States Army. (2014). Military training evaluated for credits. Washington, D.C.: Author. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.goarmyed.com/public/public_programs_services-college_credit_for_mos.aspx" target="_blank">https://www.goarmyed.com/public/public_programs_services-college_credit_for_mos.aspx</a></p> <p>Zalek, S. (2013, May 2). <em>Achieving dreams: Results from a survey of students using LearningCounts portfolios to earn college credit</em>. Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.Retrieved from <a href="http://www.cael.org/pdfs/pla-surveyreportfinal" target="_blank">http://www.cael.org/pdfs/pla-surveyreportfinal</a></p> </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Kent Seaver is Director of Learning Resources at North Lake College in Irving, Texas.</p> <p><em>Opinions expressed in Innovation Showcase are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> <p> <span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"><sup> 1 </sup>According to the Tennessee Valley Corridor, <a href="http://www.boeing.com/boeing/" target="_blank">Boeing</a> now manages the NEW-STEM Program, and program information has been removed from the TVC website.</span></p> Breaching the Perimeter: The Role of Social Engineering in Cyber Breaches urn:uuid:320ACC46-1422-1766-9AD1E8F48D96E673 2015-02-01T12:02:57Z 2015-02-27T09:02:00Z <p>Explore the role that social engineering plays in allowing those with malicious intent to breach the defenses of a computer system.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/leadership_abstracts.gif" alt="" /></p> <p>February 2015, Volume 28, Number 2<br /><br /> <em>By Jane LeClair</em><br /><br /> In the society that we currently live and work in, we are frequently connected to the technology of computers and the Internet. We utilize the convenience of technology and the Internet for much of our daily living, including shopping, communicating, education, Web surfing, social media, business, financial transactions, and a host of other activities that we are hardly aware of. Many of us think nothing about purchasing with the swipe of a card or sharing our lives on social media.</p> <p> With this great convenience has come the loss of security that we were accustomed to in the past. Before the advent of current technology, we employed checkbooks or paid with cash for our purchases, used landline telephones, wrote letters, and knew the security of a bank account for our savings. Now, we rely on technology to guard our finances and personal activities on the Internet.</p> <p>Sadly, history has shown us that wherever there is money to be easily had, nefarious individuals will find a way to acquire it illegally. In the case of technology, despite efforts to secure data, cybersecurity often fails to do the job it is advertised to do. The recent breaches at Target, Home Depot, the Post Office, PF Chang's, SONY, and even the White House, point to security inadequacies. It is estimated that the annual loss to cyber crime currently tops $400 billion dollars and every indication is that the trend is going to continue and escalate in intensity.<br /><br /> <strong>Threat Vectors</strong><br /><br /> There are five primary avenues that those with malicious intent follow in their attempts to breach the security of a digital network.</p> <ul> <li>Breaches through a wired communication pathway between the digital network and the Internet.</li> <li>Breaches through a wireless communication pathway between the digital network and the Internet.</li> <li>Breaches through the connection of a portable media device (e.g., flash drive, smartphone) or other computing device to the digital network.</li> <li>Breaches through physical access (authorized or unauthorized) to the digital network.</li> <li>Breaches through the supply chain via hardware and software provided by a vendor.</li> </ul> <p>Many of the attacks on the digital systems can often be thwarted to some degree by identifying vulnerabilities, applying defensive barriers with properly configured hardware and software, and with diligent monitoring of network activities by system administrators. However, those actions, no matter how diligent, are lacking in their ability to control the weakest link in the security system: humans.<br /><br /> <strong>Social Engineering</strong><br /><br /> Social engineering is defined as an action or activity that manipulates or influences a member of an organization to violate or ignore set procedures; the consequences of these actions is to expose the digital system to someone with malicious intent.</p> <p>Humans are simply <em>humans, </em>and they make mistakes because they are inherently trusting, can be manipulated, and are easily taken advantage of. Malicious people, or bad actors, prey on human weaknesses and, with their practiced talents, are very skilled at getting people to bypass procedures. They may misrepresent themselves as people with authority, as someone seeking assistance, or as a delivery or repair person. <br /><br /> <em>Scenario</em>: Martha, a newly hired administrative assistant, receives a call from Bill Smith in the IT department who asks her if she has set up her corporate password. If she responds ‘yes,’ Mr. Smith informs her that it was not properly done and a great deal of problems could occur because of it; but not to worry, as this often happens with new hires. He offers his assistance in establishing her new system password and she, due to her new status, complies with his authority. If Martha responds ‘no,’ Mr. Smith has another well-rehearsed dialogue to apply to her situation. In either case, someone from outside (or inside) the organization has now gained access to the company's network with a valid password.<br /><br /> Essentially, social engineers are just old-fashioned con artists wrapped in new technology. Social engineering can take many forms as these bad actors prey on individuals or members of an organization. They may try to gain information via social media by friending an unsuspecting person and using tidbits of information to gain greater access. Likewise, they may send an 'official' company email asking for information, drop a flash drive with a malicious piece of software near the entrance to the building, or act as a flower delivery person on Valentine's Day with a huge gift that needs to be placed on a desk. All of these tricks can, and have, been used by skilled social engineers.<br /><br /> <strong>Countering Social Engineering</strong><br /><br /> Human performance errors are not a new problem in the working world. For generations managers have been seeking remedies to employees doing things one way, incorrectly, when they know they should be doing things another way, correctly. The two important keys to success are training and creating a culture of security. The nuclear industry is an excellent example of this concept. In that unique industry, there is no room for error. Employees are constantly drilled, trained, and educated on safety, which has created a firmly grounded culture of safety. Using that as an extreme example, organizations need to initiate cybersecurity training programs that result in a culture with a high awareness of the dangers of cyber threats, especially social engineering. This training can come in many forms, including that supplied by skilled trainers, cybersecurity coursework, and low-cost or free support from government agencies and nonprofit programs. <br /><br /> The first step, however, is for the leaders in an organization to realize how important cybersecurity is, to become enlightened, and to act on the issue before it is too late. The facts are startling for businesses; research indicates that</p> <ul> <li>75 percent of breaches are caused by human error</li> <li>85 percent of breaches occur at small businesses, and</li> <li>60 percent of businesses that are breached go out of business in a short time period.</li> </ul> <p>Since resources should be applied to where the greatest need exists, clearly the issues revolving around human performance errors and social engineering should be addressed. This is not a problem that can be overcome overnight, but through diligent training and carefully crafting a culture focused on cybersecurity, defenses against cyber breaches by those with malicious intent can be strengthened.<br /> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>References</strong></p> <p>Freeman, E. Q. (2014, September 23). <em>10 lessons learned from major retailers' cyber breaches</em>. New York, NY: Property Casualty 360. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2014/09/23/10-lessons-learned-from-major-retailers-cyber-brea" target="_blank">http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2014/09/23/10-lessons-learned-from-major-retailers-cyber-brea</a><br /><br /> McAfee. (2014). <em>Net losses: Estimating the global cost of cyber crime</em>. Santa Clara, CA: Author. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/reports/rp-economic-impact-cybercrime2.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/reports/rp-economic-impact-cybercrime2.pdf</a><br /><br /> McCann, E. (2014, May 19). <em>Keylogger hack at root of HIPPA breach</em>. Healthcare IT News. Retrieved from<a href="http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/keylogger-hack-root-hipaa-breach" target="_blank"> http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/keylogger-hack-root-hipaa-breach</a><br /><br /> News Agency Partners. (2014). Cyber Data Breach – Is Your Company Ready? Retrieved from <a href="http://www.newagencypartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/New-Agency-Partners-Cyber-Liability-Infographic-Printable.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.newagencypartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/New-Agency-Partners-Cyber-Liability-Infographic-Printable.pdf</a></p> Withers, P. (2104). Information Security Threat Vectors.  Retrieved from <a href="https://www.isaca.org/chapters5/Virginia/Events/Documents/Past%20Pres%202011-03%20Threat%20Vectors.pdf" target="_blank">https://www.isaca.org/chapters5/Virginia/Events/Documents/Past%20Pres%202011-03%20Threat%20Vectors.pdf </a></span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br /> Dr. Jane LeClair is Chief Operating Officer at the National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior College, in Washington, DC.<br /><br /> <em>Opinions expressed in</em><em> </em>Leadership Abstracts<em> </em><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> Watchful Eyes: A Comparative Look at Online Test Proctoring Models urn:uuid:3205FA77-1422-1766-9A79F33475E467F5 2015-02-01T12:02:13Z 2015-01-30T03:01:00Z <p>Software Secure offers a complimentary copy of <em>Watchful Eyes: A Comparative Look at Online Test Proctoring Models</em>.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p align="center"><strong><a title="'Software Secure, Inc.' t " href="http://marketing.softwaresecure.com/acton/form/10395/0012:d-0001/0/www.softwaresecure.com" target="_blank"><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015-02_SoftwareSecurePic.jpg" border="0" alt="http://league.org/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015-02_SoftwareSecurePic.jpg" /></a></strong></p> <p>As the demand for online education increases, institutions are being challenged by how to effectively verify the validity and quality of their online programs.<br /><br /> Proctoring exams is a key component of establishing a credible online education program; when a program's assessments are secure, institutions can trust that student performance on exams is an accurate representation of learning and not the result of cheating.<br /><br /> This white paper will investigate the pros and cons of live and on-demand online proctoring technologies. <br /><br /> <a href="http://marketing.softwaresecure.com/acton/form/10395/0012:d-0001/0/index.htm" target="_blank"><strong>Click here</strong></a><strong> to order your complimentary copy of </strong><strong><em>Watchful Eyes: A Comparative Look at Online Test Proctoring Models</em></strong><strong>.</strong></p> <p> </p>