League for Innovation in the Community College tag:www.league.org,2015:/blog/ Mango 1.4.3 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 2015-03-02T06:03:00Z 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 entitled 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 2015-03-03T08:03:00Z <p>View the current schedule of upcoming webinars from League partner Innovative Educators.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><strong>March 2015</strong><br /><br /> <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3319.htm">3 </a><a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3312.htm">Strategies For Developing &amp; Maintaining A Robust Student Ambassador Program</a><br /><br /> 3 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3311.htm">Online Teaching: Quick &amp; Easy Formative Assessment Strategies That Foster Student Success</a><br /><br /> 4 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3302.htm">Frontline Customer Service In Higher Education: 10 Key Responses To Diffuse Frustration &amp; Anger</a><br /><br /> <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3302.htm">4 </a><a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3313.htm">Enhancing Student Engagement With A Virtual Teaching Assistant &amp; Other Online Tools</a><br /><br /> 5 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3315.htm">Partnering With The Academic Library To Increase Enrollment &amp; Student Success In STEM Education</a><br /><br /> 5 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3324.htm">Strategies for Supporting Students with Asperger's Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder)</a><br /><br /> 6 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3289.htm">Reflective Practice: Action-Based Skills For Personal &amp; Professional Development - Complimentary Webinar</a><br /><br /> 6 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3337.htm">Enrollment Management For Graduate Programs: Best Practices in Marketing, Recruitment &amp; Retention</a><br /><br /> 10 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3304.htm">Designing An Inclusive &amp; Comprehensive Professional Development Program - Flexible Date</a><br /><br /> 10 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3327.htm">FERPA Regulations For The Online Environment: A Toolkit For Faculty &amp; Staff</a><br /><br /> 11 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3349.htm">Implementing Coaching Techniques That Support &amp; Empower Distressed Students</a><br /><br /> 12 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3341.htm">Supplemental Instruction: Improving Student Engagement, Performance &amp; Course Completion</a><br /><br /> 13 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3323.htm">How To Create A Unique &amp; Memorable Campus Visit Experience</a><br /><br /> 17 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3326.htm">Strategies For Supporting Trans Students: Is Your Campus A Welcoming Place?</a><br /><br /> 17 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3329.htm">Addressing Title IX Compliance In The Online Environment</a><br /><br /> 19 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3333.htm">How To Provide Meaningful Feedback In An Online Environment</a><br /><br /> 20 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3301.htm">Practical Strategies For Facilitating Interaction In The Cross-Cultural Classroom</a><br /><br /> 23 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3375.htm">Support Student Success 24/7: StudentLingo Demo &amp; Implementation Strategies - Complimentary Webinar</a><br /><br /> 24 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3340.htm">Off-Campus Student Life: Community Partnerships, Model Programs &amp; Best Practices</a><br /><br /> 25 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3342.htm">Student Organization Advising: Theory, Liability &amp; Risk Management</a><br /><br /> 31 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3334.htm">How Microlectures Can Increase Online Student Engagement, Motivation &amp; Success</a></p> <p><strong>April 2015</strong><br /><br /> 1 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3344.htm">Understanding LGBT Gender Violence: Compliance, Procedures &amp; Prevention Efforts</a><br /><br /> 1 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3347.htm">How To Develop &amp; Improve A Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)</a><br /><br /> 2 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3352.htm">5 Ways To Increase Student Engagement In Online Classes</a><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 /> 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 /> 16 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3331.htm">Using The What Works Clearinghouse Standards To Assess Student Programs &amp; Outcomes</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/3346.htm">Supporting Survivors: Sexual Violence Victimology &amp; Advocacy</a><br /><br /> 23 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3332.htm">Best Practices In Research Design: Power Calculations &amp; Sample Size</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></p> <p><strong>May 2015</strong><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 /> 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 /> 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 /> 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><strong>July 2015</strong><br /><br /> 10 <a href="http://www.innovativeeducators.org/product_p/3304.htm">Designing An Inclusive &amp; Comprehensive Professional Development Program - Flexible Date</a></p> <p> </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> Developmental Education: A Policy Primer urn:uuid:BBA7F2C1-1422-1766-9A65517E7D3B61F1 2015-01-04T12:01:40Z 2015-01-05T01:01:00Z <p>As a tribute to Bob McCabe, the League republishes his February 2001 <em>Leadership Abstracts</em> article, Developmental Education: A Policy Primer.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/leadership_abstracts.gif" alt="" /></p> <p>January 2015, Volume 28, Number 1<br /><br /> <em>From the editor: With great sadness we learned of the passing of a giant in the higher education field, our dear friend and colleague, Robert H. McCabe, on December 23, 2014. Bob served on the League for Innovation Board of Directors from 1980 to 1995 and as Board Chair in 1987. He was a major voice for community colleges, and his work in developmental education has been fundamental to reform efforts in that area. As a tribute to Bob McCabe, this month we republish his February 2001 </em>Leadership Abstracts<em> article, “Developmental Education: A Policy Primer.” The article reports on findings from the </em><em>National Study of Community College Remedial Education</em><em>, which he led.</em><br /><br /> <em>By Robert H. McCabe</em></p> <p> Few educational programs are more misunderstood and less appreciated than community college developmental education. Both legislatures and colleges afford it a low priority, yet it is essential to our nation's well being. Developmental education can be cost effective and productive, and it is easily one of the most important services provided by community colleges. With these high-yield programs already established in most community colleges, the question to ask may be, "Why aren't we paying more attention to developmental education?" As institutions examine ways to better meet the needs of their communities, community college trustees and presidents would serve their constituents well by focusing on developmental education programs. This abstract reviews the need for developmental education and the success of developmental education programs in community colleges. It concludes with steps trustees and presidents can take to ensure that developmental education is a priority at their institutions. <br /><br /> <strong>Developmental Education: A Growing Need for a Changing Nation</strong> <br /><br /> America is in a period of amazing change. We enjoy unprecedented prosperity and wondrous technology. Yet on the cusp of a new century, with all the opportunities and advancements, our nation still faces daunting challenges. To remain competitive in the global economy, we must reverse the growth of what seems to be a permanent underclass and we must develop a highly skilled workforce. The task of raising the competencies of our citizens falls on the educational system, and community colleges have a particularly important role. They educate the most deficient students, those who would otherwise be lost to our society, and prepare them for employment and personal advancement. <br /><br /> In his inaugural address, President Bush described the grandest of our ideals as the promise "that everyone belongs, that everyone deserves a chance, that no insignificant person was ever born." That belief in the value of every human being and the commitment to fully develop the talents of all of our citizens sets us apart from other nations. It is our greatest strength, and in the information-rich America of the 21st Century, fulfilling that commitment demands universal access to postsecondary education. It redefines the mission of American education, and it can be achieved through reinvention of the K-12 system and effective community college developmental and remedial education. <br /><br /> <strong><em>Business, Industry, and Work. </em></strong>In the global economy, business and industry operate wherever costs are lowest, and the trend among manufacturers moving from the U.S. to countries with lower wage structures is expected to continue. Sustaining America's future will depend on innovations in the knowledge industries and on developing a more productive workforce. Brainpower and technology can multiply individual productivity to compensate for our higher wages and help America retain economic leadership. The countries that remain competitive in the 21st Century will be those with the highest overall literacy and educational levels and those with a strong bottom third of the population, such as Germany and Japan. <br /><br /> The workplace of tomorrow will be quite different from that of today-the result of both revolutionary and evolutionary changes. Revolutionary changes will occur as new jobs require markedly different and higher competencies. Existing jobs will continue to evolve, requiring different behaviors and job skills from those that employees now possess. Simple jobs will become high-performance jobs that require workers to reason through complex processes rather than follow rote instructions or complete the discrete steps of larger processes. These workers will need higher-order information skills as a foundation for lifelong learning. <br /><br /> It is forecast that 80 percent of new jobs will require postsecondary education. Our educational system is falling far short of matching that requirement. As young Americans enter adulthood, only 42 percent have the skills to begin college work. Throughout the country, businesses report underskilled workers and shortages of competent job applicants. They have pressured Congress to allow the importation of 300,000 highly skilled foreign workers each year to fill jobs for which Americans are not prepared. <br /><br /> <strong><em>Changing Demography. </em></strong>As the United States grows older, its population grows more diverse. By the year 2050, the nation will be nearly half minority, and the shift will be most dramatic among youth. For education, these changes are profound. Poverty has the highest correlation with educational underpreparation, and minorities, especially immigrants, have disproportionately high poverty rates. Tragically, at a time when schools are struggling to raise learning expectations, a greater number of less prepared young people will begin school. <br /><br /> Ethnicity is not the only demographic force at work, however. The graying of America will be equally important. Today, we are experiencing the impact of the post-World War II baby boom as 76 million Americans prepare to retire. Through 2030, the number of Americans in their prime work years is expected to remain constant at 160 million, while the number of individuals over 65 will increase from 33.5 million to 69.3 million. To support the growing elderly population, all Americans in their prime work years must be highly skilled and increasingly productive. <br /><br /> <strong><em>Lack of Progress for Minorities. </em></strong>Minorities have made some educational progress in recent years, but the achievement gap between minority and majority students is still troubling. Among Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and white non-Hispanic Americans, for example, Hispanic Americans comprise approximately 14 percent of the 15- to 19-year-old population, but they earn only 7 percent of the associate degrees and 6 percent of the bachelor's degrees. African Americans are approximately 16 percent of the 15- to 19-year-old population, but earn only 10 percent of the associate degrees and 9 percent of the bachelor's degrees. White non-Hispanics comprise 70 percent of the 15- to 19-year-old population and earn 83 percent of the associate degrees and 86 percent of the bachelor's degrees. Hispanic Americans and African Americans lose ground at every step of the educational ladder, from high school graduation and college enrollment to earning degrees and certificates. These results are unacceptable. They are contrary to America's fundamental goals and represent a great loss of talent that our nation desperately needs. <br /><br /> <strong><em>The Need for Education Reform. </em></strong>With the recent aggressive efforts in many states, the school reform movement, which began in the 1980s, is finally showing some progress. The current Bush administration and Congressional initiatives will provide additional momentum; however, the task of preparing all young Americans for universal access to postsecondary education is monumental. Even with reform, our secondary schools will not be able to do it all. Currently, only 64 percent of youth earn a standard high school diploma (another 18 percent earn an alternate diploma at an average age of 25) and a significant gap exists between current high school graduation standards and the competencies needed to begin college. Given the projected demographic changes, if there are no improvements in the schools, the 42 percent of young Americans who possess the competencies to begin college work will decrease to 33 percent. <br /><br /> <strong>A Path to Success: Community College Developmental Education</strong> <br /><br /> The evolving educational pattern is a continuum that includes college entry. Four of five Americans will need some postsecondary education and most will return for upgrading, retraining, or personal growth. The majority will enroll in community colleges. Nearly half of all entering community college students have some basic skills deficiency. Community college enrollment will skyrocket and even more students will lack academic preparation. They will depend on community college developmental education as the lifeline to their future. <br /><br /> <strong><em>Results for </em></strong><strong><em>Underprepared </em></strong><strong><em>Students. </em></strong>Although the majority of underprepared students are white non-Hispanics, two-thirds of the seriously academically deficient are minorities; nearly half are 24 years of age or older. The nature of deficiencies is dramatic: one-third are deficient in all basic areas, one-third in two of the three basic areas, and one-third in only one area. Approximately half of the academically deficient students successfully complete remediation. Those who succeed do as well in standard college classes as those who began without deficiencies. One-sixth earn academic associate and baccalaureate degrees and one-third earn occupational associate degrees and certificates. Successfully remediated students become constructive contributors to society. Ten years after beginning developmental courses, 98 percent are employed and 90 percent are in above minimal level jobs. Nearly two-thirds are in new technical and office careers-the areas of greatest growth. They commit less than one-third the number of felonies than other Americans with similar demographics. Half are continuing their education. <br /><br /> <strong><em>Cost of Developmental Education Programs. </em></strong>Contrary to common belief, developmental education programs are cost effective. They serve one million students a year and successfully remediate half that number for an expenditure of only one percent of the national higher education budget and four percent of federal student financial aid. The average academically deficient student enrolls in developmental courses for the equivalent of approximately one-fourth of an academic year. In a community college with an annual FTE cost of $6,000 and student fees at 25 percent of cost, the public cost per student for remediation would be $1,125. Considering the constructive future of successfully remediated students, the cost and benefit are exceptional. <br /><br /> <strong><em>Meeting Student Needs. </em></strong>Developmental programs are frequently given a low priority by both legislatures and colleges and are typically underfunded. As productive as these programs are, they should and can be successful with more students. To succeed, academically deficient students need personal support, which requires more resources than standard college course work. The community colleges that are most successful have integrated programs involving classes, counseling, learning laboratories, and other support services. In addition, they work closely with secondary schools to increase the percentage of entering students who are academically prepared. <br /><br /> Mandatory assessment and mandatory placement are essential. Students must have the appropriate competencies for the classes in which they enroll. Permitting students to enroll in classes for which they are underprepared results in high rates of failure or decreased expectations at the expense of college standards. For this reason, developmental education is essential to achieving college excellence. These services prepare half of our students for academic success and permit colleges to establish and maintain high standards. Dramatically stated, the students who will enroll in developmental education courses are not only half of the students entering college, they are half of America's future high-skill workforce. <br /><br /> <strong>What</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Can</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Community College</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Trustees and Presidents Do?</strong> <br /><br /> Excellent developmental education programs exist only in colleges where a priority is clearly established by the trustees and the president. Trustees and presidents can take several important steps toward ensuring a focus on strong, effective developmental education programs at their institutions: </p> <ul> <li>Gain an understanding of the role of community college developmental and remedial education, including the reasons these programs are needed, the costs and benefits of these programs, and the contributions these programs make to our society. </li> <li>Support developmental education as a priority for the institution. Quality developmental programs exist only where the board and president are clearly supportive in words and deeds. </li> <li>Be sure that your college establishes close working relationships with the K-12 school system, particularly assisting with programs designed to prepare students for college.  </li> <li>Help members of your community understand the function and importance of developmental education programs. </li> <li>Advocate to your legislators for appropriate support and policies. </li> <li>Be well informed and knowledgeable about the college developmental education program. </li> <li>By board policy, state a clear position in support of the developmental education program. </li> </ul> <p>America has no one to waste. Our nation's future depends upon communities recognizing the importance of developmental education and raising it to the priority it needs and deserves. Community college trustees and presidents can begin this process at their own institutions, thereby ensuring that members of their communities have opportunities to thrive in a vibrant economy rather than stagnate in a desolate wasteland.</p> <p><em>Opinions expressed in </em>Leadership Abstracts<em> are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> Partners Unite to Build Petroleum Processing Pilot Plant at Del Mar College urn:uuid:5DA62B67-1422-1766-9A03F7187A7D5629 2015-01-04T07:01:46Z 2015-01-05T06:01:00Z <p><strong>Partners Unite to Build Petroleum Processing Pilot Plant at Del Mar College</strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/showcase.gif" alt="Innovation Showcase" /></p> <p>January 2015, Volume 10, Number 1</p> <p><em>By Michael Bratten</em><br /><br /> An unprecedented public-private partnership is bringing a petroleum processing pilot plant to <a href="http://www.delmar.edu/" target="_blank">Del Mar College</a> that will be used to train technicians for well paying careers in burgeoning industries. Essentially a working model of a distillation unit like those at the petrochemical plants and refineries that dot the landscape near the Port of Corpus Christi, the facility arrives during a perfect economic storm.<br /><br /> “There are multi-million dollar industrial expansions going on here and workers are retiring, so the increase in demand for a skilled workforce is exponential,” said Lenora Keas, Del Mar Vice President of Workforce Development and Strategic Initiatives. “Thirty-eight billion dollars in direct foreign investment is coming into the region due to the low price of natural gas and the stability of the government. This is a boom.”<br /><br /> On Oct. 20, 2014, all the major partners—education, industry and government—gathered at Del Mar’s West Campus to give oversized, gold-painted wrenches a heave in the same direction, symbolically powering up the pilot plant. <br /><br /> “I wish this would ignite other areas in Texas,” said state Rep. Todd Hunter, a guest speaker at the ceremony.<br /><br /> <strong>Hands-On Experience</strong><br /><br /> When it’s installed next spring on the West Campus, the pilot plant will distill glycol from water in the same way gasoline is distilled from crude oil at full-scale facilities. It will be operated by an array of electronic instrumentation indoors—process control systems—that connect to the business-end apparatus outside, including a 32-foot-tall distillation tower. <br /><br /> “With the pilot plant we can give students more hands-on experience versus theory in the classroom,” said Denise Rector, Associate Professor of Process Technology at Del Mar. “They will have to climb and communicate with each other by radio, just like in the industry. It will be very lifelike.”</p> <p>Graduates will still have to go through normal hiring processes when they apply for jobs, but the pilot plant will help make them “road ready” for the workplace, Rector said.<br /><br /> Del Mar received a $1.3 million grant from the Corpus Christi Business and Job Development Corp. to build the pilot plant. Also known as the Type A Board, they help oversee economic development projects for the City of Corpus Christi with funding from a 1/8-cent sales tax.</p> <p>“Because of the boom we’re experiencing, giving kids coming out of school training opportunities that will help them get jobs and stay here in town is something we have to take advantage of,” said homebuilder Bart Braselton, President of the Type A Board. <br /><br /> <strong>Seeking Support</strong><br /><br /> Obtaining buy-in from the Type A Board may have been the easy part for Keas, the driving force behind the project. She also needed support from companies operating refineries and plants locally, such as Flint Hills Resources, CITGO, Valero, DuPont, and Occidental Petroleum Corp., who would be hiring Del Mar’s graduates. <br /><br /> For a year, Keas played the role of pied piper, leading each industry partner to envision reduced costs for on-the-job training and high-quality applicants trained with state-of-the-art equipment. <br /><br /> “It was a hustle,” she said with a smile. “We knocked on doors. We did presentations. The community needs it. Industry needs it. In the end, no one said ‘No.’” <br /><br /> Houston-based Cheniere Energy was an early advocate for a training facility, Keas said. The company, currently planning to build a $12 billion liquefied natural gas plant on the north side of Corpus Christi Bay, chipped in $250,000 for the pilot plant, plus professional support. <br /><br /> “This project offers an opportunity for people to further their skill set in the booming energy industry at a time when the industry needs well-trained technicians and operators,” said Pat Outtrim, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Cheniere. “These are good jobs people can support families with.” <br /><br /> When complete, Cheniere’s plant will bring more than 200 permanent jobs to the area, Outtrim added.<br /><br /> <strong>Earning Power</strong><br /><br /> It’s not uncommon for a graduate with a two-year technical degree to earn $57,000 per year, Keas said, and a plant operator with technical experience can earn up to $80,000 or $90,000 per year.<br /><br /> To help students get an early start on these career paths, industry partners like Cheniere have helped develop curriculum for high school courses that count toward associate in applied science degrees at Del Mar. These dual credit courses, currently offered in two area school districts, align with industry needs and also meet Texas Education Agency standards.<br /><br /> For years, Del Mar has worked with industry representatives on an advisory committee to ensure the college’s programs provide graduates the skills they need for employment. The pilot plant is a cherry on top of those efforts.<br /><br /> “We as a college could have developed programs for oil drilling jobs, but we chose to focus on long-term industries such as liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas,” Keas said. “Production will ebb and flow, but the processing jobs don’t go away.”<br /><br /> <strong>Job Incubator</strong><strong> </strong><br /><br /> As the region transforms into a virtual job incubator, Del Mar is seeing an influx of students in its Process and Instrumentation Technology programs. More students enrolled this fall than in the past 20 years, said Hugh Tomlinson, Del Mar professor of Electronics and Communications Service at Del Mar, and he expects the number to continue rising.</p> <p>The search is on for additional qualified instructors, Tomlinson added, but finding people from the industry who are willing to teach isn’t easy.</p> <p> “Every semester I graduate students with a two-year degree who end up making more money than I do with a master’s,” he said. “One guy who graduated in the spring with an associate’s is making $135,000 a year at a local refinery. Some of these companies are paying above average because they want to attract quality employees who will stay with them.”<br /><br /> <em>Michael Bratten is a Communications Specialist at Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, Texas.</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> A Guide to Climate Resiliency & the Community College urn:uuid:5DA8B4A0-1422-1766-9A2D53EE92517BA7 2015-01-04T07:01:46Z 2015-01-05T10:01:00Z <p>Community colleges belong at the heart of the climate resiliency narrative.<strong> </strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/learning_abstracts.gif" alt="Learning Abstract" /></p> <p>January 2015, Volume 18, Number 1<strong> </strong><br /><br /> Editor’s note: This issue of <em>Learning Abstracts</em> is the Executive Summary from the American Association of Community Colleges publication, <a href="http://theseedcenter.org/ClimateResiliencyGuide" target="_blank"><em>A Guide to Climate Resiliency &amp; the Community College</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p><em>By Sarah White and Todd Cohen</em></p> <p>Resiliency is the word of the hour, a potent but ill-defined term of art in climate and community development circles. At its most fundamental, resiliency indicates a community’s ability to withstand a shock — economic, environmental, social. It encompasses a community’s work to avert, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. It is invoked, most commonly, in the aftermath of droughts, storms, wildfire, or floods — the kinds of cataclysm that annually cost billions of dollars to the US economy and untold suffering to its citizens. But resiliency is not the sad story of national decline. Nor can it be reduced to tales of episodic heroism in the face of hostile and impersonal forces of nature. It is, rather, a vision of municipalities around the country reinventing themselves as economically and environmentally vibrant centers of community self-reliance. America’s community colleges belong at the heart of this narrative. This <em>Guide </em>aims to put them there.</p> <p><strong>A Missing Link</strong></p> <p>Hundreds, if not thousands, of cities, states, and regions have developed climate adaptation or resiliency plans; few have consulted community colleges in developing them. Most plans call for improvements in education and training, and connection to local economic development, but none of dozens that we reviewed offer a concrete agenda for local workforce development. The major missing piece in these resiliency initiatives? The community college.</p> <p>Community leaders and elected officials, along with planners and scientists and other resiliency principals, should be calling on local colleges to help mobilize the community and train its workers.</p> <p>Public engagement in resiliency will turn on livelihoods, not science. Post-disaster redevelopment efforts aimed at public safety need to think also about economic prosperity, which shores up a community as much as sound bridges and reliable transportation. Jobs matter. As high-level resiliency planning pours millions and even billions (as in the case of post-Sandy efforts) of dollars into local redevelopment, who will ensure that the jobs go to local residents in impacted communities, and who is going to train them to do the work? Resilience requires updating the educational infrastructure to meet the technical demands of rebuilding — and preferably reinventing — the country’s physical infrastructure. This cannot be done without the active participation of its community and technical colleges.</p> <p>Wherever local decision-makers fail to see the importance of skill delivery in building resilient communities, college presidents and trustees should make this case. And every community college needs to pay close attention to emerging opportunities in community resilience planning. Because every college is sitting at the center of a community that is already or soon will be facing challenges from economic and climatic shifts. Each college should be asking itself: How can we add value and voice to the response network, investing in joint initiatives to draw in federal and philanthropic support? How many technical occupations for which we are already educating and training will be impacted by how our region takes shape over the next decade in response to climate change? This <em>Guide </em>points the way to some answers.</p> <p><strong>Into Action: Building Resilience</strong></p> <p>This <em>Guide </em>is designed to help college and community<strong> </strong>leaders establish a framework for dialogue and action<strong> </strong>on local climate resiliency.</p> <p>The Introduction <em>(Chapter 1) </em>links the goals of 21stcentury community college — equity, access, completion — to the emerging national movement to build resilient communities. Here we explore the scope of the challenge, including the sobering economics of extreme weather, and offer a glossary of related but often confusing terms — mitigation, adaption, vulnerability. And we ask:</p> <p>What does it mean, exactly, to build resilience? What are its determinants? The answer lies in many factors, some elusive: Critical intangibles like social cohesion, for example, and concrete imperatives like a functional communications infrastructure.</p> <p>The term climate resilience tends to invoke conversations about infrastructure. We are inundated with images of submerged houses, washed out roads, downed power lines, collapsed bridges. And it’s common knowledge that this country needs to repair its crumbling built environment, disaster or not. So the energy around resiliency puts a welcome focus on infrastructure — not just rebuilding it, but reinventing it through greener transit and power and building; sturdier substations, sewer systems, and cell towers — the new bones of an innovative, adaptive America.</p> <p>Beyond bricks and mortar (or swale and dune), we should also think of resilient infrastructure in terms of more efficient and effective systems for skill delivery, health care, food production, and emergency response.</p> <p>And there are other matters, equally important.</p> <p>Building resilience is something more than building sea walls (projected to be a $9B industry in the next decade) and raising roads. Resiliency relies on <em>social cohesion</em>. At its most basic, this means the ability to rely on one’s neighbors, which of course runs headlong into this country’s potent culture of self-reliance. On a more sophisticated level, however, social cohesion can reflect — and demand — shared power and opportunity, another classic American ideal. Locally, cohesiveness is a function of trust and respect, and is built through informal networks in civil society — congregations, classrooms, neighborhoods, family. Building an individual’s or community’s <em>social</em> <em>capital </em>— measured in part by the extent of their networks — leads to a sense of <em>agency</em>, of power, of some measure of control over decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods. Which is why building resilience requires <em>community</em> <em>engagement</em>.</p> <p>A city or state can enhance its physical resilience to climate change by upgrading material infrastructure and improving management of natural capital. A society becomes resilient through improvements in median income, education, health, and wealth, and equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the activity that produces them. If opportunity, then, is a primary adaptive strategy, community colleges are clearly positioned to play a leading role.</p> <p><strong>Resources and Opportunities: How Local Colleges Can Engage in a National Dialogue</strong></p> <p>Indeed, while this report is about changing weather, it is not about weathering change. The point is not to bounce back, but — particularly in low-income communities already battered by high unemployment, chronic disease, and environmental decay — to leap forward. So while we write about disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, we are at the same time addressing demands for something larger: vision and leadership and empowerment. Hence the critical role of community colleges — in related curriculum and career pathways, in community leadership and networking, in campus creativity and practice.</p> <p>Institutions and communities around the country are joining together to create local food systems, urban forests, solar gardens; to redefine land use, integrate transit, green infrastructure, and improve community health networks; to reinvent education by building career pathways that move workers of all skill levels into family sustaining jobs while improving the climate resilience of the neighborhoods in which they live.</p> <p>In and around this local activity runs an emergent national dialogue on resilient systems. Inquiry and investment have begun to flow in earnest from federal agencies and local governments, philanthropy and academia, labor, business, and non-profit organizations with concerns ranging from environmental justice to national security. In particular, the past few years have witnessed a wave of serious attention to cities as centers of innovation.</p> <p>This resiliency conversation — and the useful tools it is generating for officials, planners, industries, and activists (including, e.g., adaptation plans, risk assessments, policy recommendations, and engagement strategies) — inevitably, at some point, raises or begs the question of jobs and training. And inevitably stops short of details.</p> <p>Community colleges have the answers. Some are already at the table; more need to be.</p> <p><em>Chapter 2 </em>sets the table, looking at the state and local openings where colleges can enter this conversation, and lifting up opportunities emerging nationally in sectors as diverse as energy, water, housing, hazard mitigation, and healthcare. It also describes, for community leaders in public and private sectors, the critical role of community and technical colleges in building local resilience. The community college model offers a unique combination of practical, applied education and nimble, interdisciplinary, learning. It is here, in this very American institution, that we are most likely to design a new way of working that brings resilience into a community-focused future. And it is here, in a system founded on principles of local empowerment, that we can find an institutional basis for social cohesion. On a more tactical level, community colleges are ideally situated to be community leaders in the resiliency space: they can and do disseminate reliable information on the social and economic impacts of climate change, help communities prioritize their needs in the context of resiliency, and provide critical material support in times of crisis.</p> <p><strong>Leadership, Innovation, and Resilience: A Practical Framework for Transformative Change</strong></p> <p><em>Chapter 3 </em>dives into what all of this means for the individual community college, with particular attention to jobs and economic development.</p> <p>Adaptation to global climate disruption, in the U.S. and around the world, will involve job creation and dissolution, as well as a concomitant shift in skills across the economy. While we don’t know exactly what this looks like, we do know that it demands a cross-sectoral approach — all occupational and educational programs need to determine which elements of work and learning contribute to resiliency — and a holistic one, in which colleges splice resiliency and whole-systems thinking into the very DNA of the institution and its programs of study. It is less a matter of teaching engineers to build green vs. grey infrastructure than of adjusting the entire way that the nation’s problem-solvers are taught to think. It is about creating the educational environment that fosters expansive and imaginative new approaches to solving the infrastructure challenges of tightly interconnected systems. Resiliency will not demand eponymous technicians. It will, however, require technically-trained experts of every sort: front-line workers in health and construction, urban planners and civil engineers, landscape designers and installers, farmers and food system entrepreneurs. Training for a resilient future will be benchmarked in large part by technical diplomas, apprenticeships, and associates and applied bachelor’s degrees. Public services, community health, urban infrastructure, emergency response — these are industry sectors in which a preponderance of workers are trained in community colleges.</p> <p>In addition to considering the necessary response of community colleges to the job and training impacts of resiliency in specific industry sectors, this chapter looks at the role of the college as community leader and campus innovator. It includes a framework for action in each of these spaces. Not simply theoretical, this framework — a practical resiliency agenda — considers jobs, economic development, training partnerships, and evolving programs of study in case studies of five areas: energy efficiency, emergency response, green infrastructure, healthcare, and cross-sector planning for student success. Each tells the same story: college presidents, administrators, and faculty need to assess the relevance of coursework and campus initiatives, and, more importantly, step into their role as community leaders on climate resilience.</p> <p>Finally, in Conclusion, the <em>Guide </em>outlines critical next steps, including:</p> <ul> <li>Resiliency leadership training for community college presidents and trustees</li> <li>A resiliency prioritization and planning rubric for community and technical colleges</li> <li>A framework and action plan to connect community and college resiliency efforts</li> </ul> <p><strong>Towards a Resiliency Agenda for the 21st-Century Community College</strong></p> <p>The initiatives described in this <em>Guide </em>only hint at the rich field of action and possibility for community colleges willing to engage the great work before us: building resiliency. The resiliency conversation, while urgent, is young. This paper intends only to frame the subject, not forge a set of clear and comprehensive answers. Community colleges, we hope, will in fact rewrite the questions. In the meantime, a few lessons emerge, suggesting directions for engagement.</p> <p><em>In Programming</em></p> <ul> <li>Integrate resilient systems-thinking into every program of study, and develop curricula responsive to the particular skill implications of local climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives.</li> <li>Update existing coursework in emergency response, public service, urban planning, engineering, information technology, landscape, water, construction, environment, health, and transportation programs; and seek interdisciplinary opportunities between them.</li> <li>Pay attention to emerging opportunities nationally and regionally (including, e.g., 111(d), ACA, and the Administration’s Climate Action Plan) as policy changes open doors for collaboration, action, and funding.</li> <li>Build <em>climate resilience </em>through education and training: Review local and regional adaptation plans and populate the vague sections on workforce development with an actual agenda for skill delivery.</li> <li>Build <em>community resilience </em>through economic opportunity: Work with local industry partnerships, high schools, and community programs (e.g. pre-apprenticeship, adult literacy, English language learning, and employment readiness) to align education with demand, establish or expand stackable credentials, and build career pathways to actual jobs.</li> <li>Join labor-management partnerships in training incumbent workers for advancement; seize the resiliency dialogue as an opportunity to improve college relationships with labor unions and other worker institutions.</li> <li>Define climate resiliency for your region; work with local government, workforce intermediaries, and industry partnerships to assess emerging labor market demand and skill needs driven by climate resiliency initiatives.</li> <li>Explore new partnerships in customized training for incoming and incumbent city and county workers, particularly in environmental services, engineering, urban planning, transportation, emergency response, and public health.</li> <li>Above all, hew to the college’s core mission, and share it with all community stakeholders: <strong>Post-secondary success leads to economic opportunity, and initiatives to advance it should thus be a keystone strategy in the architecture of community resilience.</strong></li> </ul> <p><em>On Campus</em></p> <ul> <li>Become a living laboratory of resilience; use the campus as a demonstration and teaching asset for engaging students and the community, modeling, for example, stormwater management or renewable energy systems.</li> <li>Fortify and expand sustainability work — both mitigation and adaptation initiatives — already happening across campuses; use existing college sustainability committees to initiate and expand the resiliency conversation.</li> <li>Align college adaptation and hazard mitigation planning, which colleges are already required to do, with local and regional efforts.</li> <li>Establish the campus as a safe haven — whether this is because of high ground, microgrids, or weaponfree zones — and a stable, reliable operations center for times of crisis.</li> <li>Enhance campus awareness and preparedness through education, training, and simulations; develop an all-hazards response plan that engages and supports the different capacities for resilience of individuals on campus: administrators, faculty, staff, and students.</li> <li>Insert resiliency conversations into campus planning on green initiatives; and also work to embed resiliency in institutional strategic planning at every level.</li> <li>Build on the last decade’s advances in sustainability education to prepare students to help their own communities mitigate and adapt to the most severe impacts of climate change.</li> <li>Assess vulnerability and prepare adaptive responses in collaboration with other community colleges around the country: <strong>Join the Alliance for Resilient Campuses </strong><strong><em>(see page 13 [of the report])</em></strong><strong>.</strong></li> </ul> <p><em>With Community</em></p> <ul> <li>Colleges are anchor institutions and community assets that can serve as regional catalysts in the movement to build resilient places. Prepare campuses not only to be an operations base during a disaster, but to serve as an operational base for quotidian community transformation.</li> <li>Use the bully pulpit to explore resiliency — its imperatives and its possibilities — with a broad audience.</li> <li>Provide educational resources on climate change and adaptation to the community at large.</li> <li>Partner with community groups; mediate conversations to ensure that outsiders bearing resilience plans build up and onto local projects and priorities — which may or may not go under the formal title of “resilience.”</li> <li>Broker conversations. Adaptation strategies developed in rooms dominated by scientists and environmentalists tend to seek technical solutions to social problems; community groups will return the resiliency dialogue to community health and economic inclusiveness.</li> <li>Practice local workforce development in new ways — work with cities and transit authorities and regional planning bodies in addition to individual employers.</li> <li>Include all voices. Community activists and environmental justice groups need to share power with economic development and employer interests; colleges have the clout to keep everyone at the big table — where the investment decisions are made — when some seek to busy the more plebeian voices with tangential “community” conversations.</li> <li>Convene scientists, industry and community leaders, and policy-makers to shape climate action plans and determine workforce implications; <strong>Make the college visible as an essential partner in any resiliency planning process. </strong></li> </ul> <p><em>Sarah White is a Senior Associate at the </em><a href="http://www.cows.org/" target="_blank"><em>Center on Wisconsin Strategy</em></a><em> (COWS). Todd Cohen is the Director of American Association of Community College’s </em><a href="http://theseedcenter.org/default.aspx" target="_blank"><em>Sustainability Education and Economic Development</em></a><em> (SEED) Center.</em><br /><br /> <em>Opinions expressed in</em><strong> </strong>Learning Abstracts<strong> </strong><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em><strong> </strong></p> Member Spotlight: Bellevue College urn:uuid:5DA9CC0A-1422-1766-9A7EF120726EE54B 2015-01-04T07:01:46Z 2015-01-05T10:01:00Z <p>Bellevue College’s RISE Institute enhances and expands the college’s undergraduate research program.<strong></strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><strong>Bellevue College: Bringing Research to Undergraduates</strong></p> <p>Not long ago, it was rare for an undergraduate student to become involved in scientific research. These days, however, most graduate school-bound undergraduates do laboratory or field work beyond what's required. Undergraduate research gives students a taste of what a career in science would be like and an edge in applying for graduate schools and jobs. But the edge isn't what it used to be, because many graduate schools and employers have come to expect it.</p> <p>In a move to ensure that <a href="http://www.bellevuecollege.edu/" target="_blank">Bellevue College</a> students are school- and work-ready, campus leaders are working to develop the Bellevue College RISE (Research, Innovation, Service and Experiential Learning) Institute and have named Dr. Gita Bangera as Dean of Undergraduate Research. In this newly created position, Bangera will support campus undergraduate research efforts through grant-funded projects, curriculum development, faculty support, and partnerships with other research labs, industry, and community organizations.  </p> <p>“This position is designed to enhance and further the college’s existing program in undergraduate research, pioneered by Dr. Bangera, including the creation and oversight of a new RISE Institute, which will have a campus-wide approach to infusing research experiences into a wide variety of curriculum,” said Bellevue College President Dr. David Rule. “Our own data, which is strongly supported by information received from local employers and national organizations such as the National Science Foundation, show that this type of hands-on, original research is one of the best ways to significantly improve student success and retention.”</p> <p>Bangera will develop RISE from the ground up—including physical planning, coordinating faculty research projects, coordinating and developing undergraduate research projects, developing curriculum to support undergraduate research classes and programs, and identifying funding and partnership opportunities on both the local and national level. Bangera will also serve as the college's primary liaison with the National Science Foundation.</p> <p>“The idea is to empower students to take control of their educational experience—to understand that learning is so much more than sitting in a lecture and that sometimes your teacher doesn’t know the answer—but that you can find one (or many) together,” Bangera said.  </p> <p>In addition to her new role, Bangera is a prolific genomics researcher and the driving force behind Bellevue College’s current participation in the Community College Genomics Research Initiative (ComGen), which <em>Science</em> magazine identified as one of the pioneering community college research projects in the nation. In this course, students perform original research by sequencing the genome of a bacterium that fights a wheat fungus. They also analyze primary research articles and interact frequently with scientists. Bangera also participates in CURE-NET, a nationwide faculty consortium developing classroom-based undergraduate research experiences. </p> <p>The establishment of RISE on the Bellevue College campus comes as Dr. Rule joined President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden, along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders, on Dec. 4, 2014, to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college during The White House College Opportunity Day of Action.  <br /> <br /> Through this event, Bellevue College committed to creating more opportunities for students to engage in STEM education and pursue careers in STEM-related fields. </p> <p>In addition to the RISE Institute, Bellevue College is constructing of a state-of-the-art 70,000-square-foot health sciences building, and putting further resources into robust programming in healthcare careers, including three bachelor’s degrees, six associate’s degrees, and numerous certificates.</p> <p>“STEM education is vital to our future—the future of our country, the future of our region, and the future of our children,” Dr. Rule said. “The U.S. Labor Department predicts the 10 fastest growing occupations from 2008-2018 to be STEM-related and with median salaries that will help fuel our economy. At Bellevue College, we’ve taken these trends to heart; we’re actively working to meet these current and future needs and the RISE Institute is one of the main ways in which we plan to do just that!” </p> Member Spotlight: TCC Offers First Textbook-Free Degree urn:uuid:5DB44F6A-1422-1766-9AF4E87A49B88BC2 2015-01-04T07:01:46Z 2015-01-05T06:01:00Z <p>Tidewater Community College is the first accredited U.S. institution to offer an entire degree program with no textbook cost.<strong> </strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><a href="http://www.tcc.edu/" target="_blank">Tidewater Community College</a> (TCC) became the first institution of higher learning to launch its associate of science in business administration as a textbook-free degree program in 2013. Known as the Z-Degree—z for zero textbook cost—the program eases the pain of soaring textbook costs for college students by allowing students to complete the degree and spend no funds on textbooks and course materials.</p> <p>Students in the program use high-quality open textbooks and other open educational resources (OER), which are freely accessible, openly licensed materials specifically designed for teaching, learning, assessment, and research. It is estimated that a TCC student who completes the business degree through the textbook-free initiative saves a student $2,400 on the cost of college.</p> <p>TCC partnered with <a href="http://www.lumenlearning.com/" target="_blank">Lumen Learning,</a> a Portland, Oregon-based company that helps educational institutions integrate OERs into their curricula.</p> <p><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015-01_MemberSpotlight_Tidewater.png" alt="" hspace="10" vspace="0" width="260" height="212" align="left" />Although many colleges offer OER courses, TCC is the first regionally accredited institution in the United States to offer an entire degree in which students pay nothing for required textbooks. TCC’s textbook-free pilot project launched in the 2013-2014 academic year and continues this academic year.</p> <p>Z-Degree courses have resulted in higher student satisfaction, retention, and achievement of learning outcomes, preliminary data show.</p> <p>“Our use of OER is changing the conversation about student success and learning outcomes as we measure results and identify what are the best resources to teach a particular outcome,” said Daniel DeMarte, TCC’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer. “That is the real power of open educational resources.”</p> <p>TCC’s President, Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani, described the initiative as a significant step toward making higher education more accessible and affordable. “We won’t stop working with our bookstore partner to provide options like used books, rentals, and e-texts, but neither will we stop our bold experiment to improve teaching and learning through free resources.”</p>