League for Innovation in the Community College tag:www.league.org,2015:/blog/ Mango 1.4.3 Breaking Down Barriers: First-Generation College Students and College Success urn:uuid:B10E35B5-1422-1766-9A576FCA03334EE3 2015-06-01T02:06:07Z 2015-06-02T01:06:00Z <p>First-generation college students face barriers to success which can be overcome with a combination of factors.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/showcase.gif" alt="Innovation Showcase" /></p> <p>June 2015, Volume 10, Number 6</p> <p><em>By </em><em>Lauren Falcon </em></p> <p>Graduating high school students across the nation are faced with deciding whether to continue their education or enter the workforce. Many seek higher education in order to improve career opportunities and gain economic prosperity and social mobility (Blackwell &amp; Pinder, 2014). The College Board claims that the average annual income for individuals who have a baccalaureate degree is $53, 976. The unemployment rate among these graduates is 4.7 percent, which is lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.7 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). While these statistics look promising, the opportunity to go to college and obtain a degree is not immediately apparent to all students.</p> <p>College provides a pathway for students to explore themselves and their interests, to expand their social and cultural experiences, and to build a more promising career. While higher education is rich in diversity and rewards, it can be particularly arduous for first-generation college students (FGCS). Historically, postsecondary education opportunities have been limited for certain ethnic and racial populations and for those of lower socioeconomic status (SES) (Pitre &amp; Pitre, 2009). Factors that have helped first-generation college students include school integration, government assistance programs, and a population shift that has increased minority presence in schools (Pitre &amp; Pitre, 2009). During their time in college, however, FGCS confront distinctive challenges, including lack of college readiness, financial stability, familial support, and self-esteem. Despite these barriers, FGCS can succeed in college (Stephens, Hamedani, &amp; Destin, 2014; Próspero, Russell, &amp; Vohra-Gupta, 2012). The common denominators of success include participation in high school and college preparation programs, college assimilation, familial support, and positive personal characteristics (Hudley et al., 2009; Sommerfeld &amp; Bowen, 2013; Sandoval-Lucero, Maes, &amp; Klingsmith, 2014; Wilkins, 2014). </p> <p><strong>Obstacles First-Generation College Students Face</strong><br /><br /> Many obstacles affect the FGCS enrollment and graduation rate. A 2001 National Center for Education Statistics study found that among students whose parents had completed high school, 54 percent enrolled in college immediately after graduation, while only 36 percent of students whose parents had less than a high school diploma immediately entered college (Balemian &amp; Feng, 2013). <br /><br /> Obstacles FGCS face include lack of college readiness, familial support, and financial stability. Racial underrepresentation, low academic self-esteem, and difficulty adjusting to college can manifest while enrolled, contributing to a lower rate of college completion than that for students who have at least one parent with a four-year degree (Stephens, Hamedani, &amp; Destin, 2014). <br /><br /> <em>College Readiness</em><br /><br /> College readiness is defined as the academic and practical knowledge needed to be successful in higher education (Pitre &amp; Pitre, 2009). High percentages of FGCS are from low-income families and attend low-performing PreK-12 schools (Hudley et al., 2009). Many low-performing schools do not have enough highly qualified teachers and are often underfunded; this, in turn, affects the quality of education many FGCS receive. Research indicates that first-generation SAT and ACT test-takers tend to have less core academic preparation and score lower than later-generation test-takers (Balemian &amp; Feng, 2013). SAT/ACT scores, along with high school GPA, serve as predictors of college persistence and academic success in college. <br /><br /> There is a lack of familiarity with the importance of high school curriculum and how it relates to college preparation and readiness among FGCS parents (Gamez-Vargas &amp; Oliva, 2013). FGCS parents are less likely to demand that their child do well in school or take advanced placement courses. A combination of these factors affects FGCS college readiness. Many FGCS do not know how the college system works or how to apply to college, receive financial aid, or choose a major. Further, this population is less likely to know the difference between various higher education institutions, and may select one that does not suit specific educational needs and goals (Arnold, Lu, &amp; Armstrong, 2012). <br /><br /> Unfamiliar with the rigor and expectations of the college curriculum, parents of FGCS may be unable, and at times unwilling, to help their child to adequately prepare for college. The FGCS must, therefore, rely on high school personnel and peers for guidance and information (Hudley et al., 2009). This may be problematic since FGCS spend less time talking with high school personnel about their college aspirations than do students with college-educated parents. It is rare for high school staff to discourage college aspirations or limit access among students of color and low-income students (Hudley et al., 2009), but when they do, FGCS are forced to rely on themselves for academic success. <br /><br /> <em>Financial Challenges</em><br /><br /> Part of the decision to attend college involves answering the question, "How am I going to pay for this?" If the prospective student does not know how the financial system works, this can be a daunting question. Many FGCS come from a low SES and may lack the financial knowledge and resources that students with college-educated parents have. It is not uncommon for FGCS to work full time while going to school due to loans and family dependence on their income (Bers &amp; Schuetz, 2014). Employment may interfere with time dedicated to class, homework, and school engagements that are critical to success. Many FGCS leave college so they can work more hours to support themselves or their family, or because college is not economically feasible.<br /><br /> <em>Racial Disparity</em><br /><br /> Racial and ethnic disparity is well documented over the course of U.S. history and has been the subject of many studies, and postsecondary education is no exception. Pitre and Pitre (2009) explained that, "Over several decades in the United States, African American, Hispanic, Native American, and low-income students have completed high school and attended college at consistently lower rates than their White and higher income student counterparts" (p. 98). "In 2008, White students comprised 63 percent of students enrolling in postsecondary education, a proportion 4.5, 5.25, and 9 times greater than their Black, Hispanic, and Asian peers (Sommerfeld &amp; Bowen, 2013 p. 47). Around forty percent of Hispanic and African American college students graduate with a four-year degree, whereas over fifty-five percent of White and Asian students graduate nationwide (Sommerfeld &amp; Bowen, 2013). Despite increases in the U.S. minority population from 22 percent to 43 percent between 1972 and 2006 (Pitre &amp; Pitre, 2009), the underrepresentation of minorities in college and those who persist to graduation still exists. <br /><br /> <em>Lack of Self-esteem, College Adjustment, and Family Support</em><br /><br /> First-generation students may feel uncomfortable in the collegiate atmosphere. They may come from a different cultural background or SES and have different levels of college preparation than their college-going peers. Reasons for limited communication and interactions among peers and faculty include the absence of similar interests, experiences, and resources. These differences contribute to low levels of academic self-esteem and difficulty adjusting to the college setting. <br /><br /> First-generation students often require developmental coursework and tend to have lower grade point averages than their peers with college-educated parents (Huerta, Watt, &amp; Reyes 2012). This results in lack of confidence in their own ability to be academically competitive and successful. In many interviews with minority FGCS, they discuss feeling that their non-minority peers question whether they have the grades to have earned admission into college (Wilkins, 2014). An African American student interviewed by Wilkins (2014) stated, "Non-Black students assumed that all Black students benefitted from non-merit based admissions programs, even though most did not" (p. 184). Minority students may face the stigma that their college admittance is based solely on affirmative action, rather than their academic abilities (ASHE, 2013). This factor also contributes to low academic self-esteem and feeling of alienation from peers. <br /><br /> Having less exposure to the college-going culture causes difficulty in assimilating into the college setting both academically and socially. FGCS are more likely to struggle to find their place and may feel left out (Stephens, Hamedani, &amp; Destin, 2014). "Perceptions of a hostile climate, negative student-faculty interactions, and limited cross-racial communications can have counteractive effects to a FGCS's academic self-concept and sense of belonging, which may lead to dropping out" (ASHE, 2013 p. 51). FGCS also tend to cause their own estrangement by not separating from their families to become more socially engaged with the college culture (Boden, 2011). <br /><br /> Lack of family support is another issue for many FGCS. While parents of FGCS have a range of personal opinions about college, many low-income parents view college as a venture for the rich (Korsmo, 2014) and may look upon their child's desire to go to college as offensive or arrogant. Furthermore, whether they support their children's college aspirations or not, parents without college experience may not understand the amount of time and academic focus required. This can lead to insufficient levels of emotional support or limited understanding of the commitment necessary for a student to thrive in college (Sparkman, Maulding, &amp; Roberts, 2012). The result is that FGCS may begin to consider taking a lighter academic load or dropping out.<br /><br /> <strong>Factors That Contribute to First-Generation College Student Success</strong><br /><br /> Despite the obstacles that FGCS face, 23 percent obtain an associate's or certificate and 24 percent achieve a bachelor's or higher (Chen, 2005). Multiple elements contribute to the success of these students and are the subject of discussion in much of the literature (Bers &amp; Schuetz, 2014; Boden, 2011; Hudley et al., 2009; Pitre &amp; Pitre, 2009; Próspero, Russell, &amp; Vohra-Gupta, 2012; Sandoval-Lucero, Maes, &amp; Klingsmith, 2014; Sommerfeld &amp; Bowen, 2013; Stephens, Hamedani, &amp; Destin, 2014; Wilkins, 2014). Contributing factors include levels of participation in high school and college readiness programs, as well as academic and social integration, personal characteristics, and family support. Most successful FGCS report that a combination of these factors helps them finish college and obtain a degree. <br /><br /> Research shows a relationship between a student's level of high school involvement and college success (Hudley et al., 2009). FGCS can be active in high school college-readiness programs, make connections with school professionals, or surround themselves with like-minded people. Supportive peer relationships are connected to the continued pursuit of academic goals and school-appropriate behavior (Hudley et al., 2009). When students surround themselves with other students who have the same educational aspirations, they receive support and opportunities to grow. During these encounters, FGCS develop academic skills and learn how to navigate social encounters with other students who are going to college (Hudley et al., 2009). FGCS also see their college-bound peers interacting with school personnel and feel more comfortable asking for help in regards to college. <br /><br /> Participation in college-readiness programs also helps FGCS in their pursuit of a college education. "Fifty years ago, the Federal Higher Education Act was passed, and the U.S. Department of Education instituted the first federally supported education programs designed to increase the college enrollment and completion rates of economically disadvantaged and underrepresented ethnic background students" (Pitre &amp; Pitre, 2009, p. 96). The federally funded TRIO Programs and nonprofit Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) are examples of programs that provide FGCS college preparation, support during the application process, and tutoring to ease the transition between high school and college (Pitre &amp; Pitre, 2009). Involvement in these types of programs increases opportunities for FGCS to learn about financial aid and college entrance requirements, and to develop social and academic skills necessary for college. <br /><br /> Additionally, some colleges offer programs that support minorities in their pursuit of education. "FGCS need psychological resources that support the belief that people who have backgrounds like theirs deserve to attend college and can thrive there" (Stephens, Hamedani, &amp; Destin, 2014, p. 944). Intervention from culturally competent programs that focus on differences in achievement motivation among diverse racial minorities provide valuable educational support (Próspero, Russell, &amp; Vohra-Gupta, 2012). These programs are able to address barriers and tap into the motivations to go to college that are particular to a certain group. While not many programs exist, intervention has a proven to have a positive effect on college success (Stephens, Hamedani, &amp; Destin, 2014). <br /><br /> <em>College Assimilation and Family Support </em><br /><br /> Many FGCS go to college not knowing how to fit into the culture of a higher education setting. Finding support organizations, work-study jobs, and friends in college increases the level of individuals' social integration in college. There appears to be a correlation between positive social/academic assimilation, family support, and FGCS college success. Students with high college social integration have greater college enrollment and retention (Sommerfeld &amp; Bowen, 2013), and FGCS who develop academic confidence and a sense of belonging in the student community via integration succeed at higher rates. <br /><br /> Crucial interactions also occur with professors and other school personnel. Positive initial engagements with college personnel, advisors, and staff create FGCS confidence during the transition into college (Bers &amp; Schuetz, 2014), and instructors who are helpful, accessible, and motivational increase FGCS' connection to college (Sandoval-Lucero, Maes, &amp; Klingsmith, 2014). These academic interactions also contribute to higher grades and academic success. <br /><br /> Along with college social capital and positive academic relationships, FGCS are more likely to be educationally successful with family support. Most FGCS perceive college as a way to acquire job-specific skills and credentials (Wilkins, 2014). Typically among FGCS there is a strong sense of familial obligation, and students often express an aspiration to pursue careers that will increase their ability to become financially independent and assist their families (Boden, 2011). FGCS perform better in college when family members are willing to help financially, take on more household responsibility, and provide moral support and encouragement (Sandoval-Lucero, Maes, &amp; Klingsmith, 2014). <br /><br /> <em>Personal Characteristics and Self-Efficacy</em><br /><br /> Due to social and familial circumstances, FGCS develop the problem-solving skills to navigate the college process on their own. FGCS often describe themselves as hard working, goal oriented, independent, and mature (Wilkins, 2014). One student expressed, "It's hard, it's expensive to go to school, so when you have it, you have to take it serious" (Wilkins, 2014, p. 182). Another valuable quality is self-efficacy; students who believe they are capable of being academically successful are more likely to engage in learning strategies that lead to better academic performance (Naumann, Bandalos, &amp; Gutkin, 2003). Confidence and personal qualities play an active role in persistence and academic performance necessary for college success. <br /><br /> Despite distinctive, often numerous obstacles, a growing number of FGCS attain college success with a combination of college readiness, college culture assimilation, family support, and personal characteristics. Through interventions initiated by colleges and high schools, FGCS can find resources to develop these attributes and overcome their challenges.</p> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>References</strong></p> <p>Arnold, K. D., Lu, E. C., &amp; Armstrong, K. J. (2012). The ecological view of college readiness. ASHE Higher Education Report, 38(5), 91-107.<br /><br /> Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). (2013). Challenges to Latino student success. ASHE Higher Education Report, 39(1), 39-52.<br /><br /> Balemian, K., &amp; Feng, J. (2013, July 19). First generation students: College aspirations, preparedness and challenges. Research College Board. Retrieved from <a href="http://research.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/publications/2013/8/presentation-apac-2013-first-generation-college-aspirations-preparedness-challenges.pdf" target="_blank">http://research.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/publications/2013/8/presentation-apac-2013-first-generation-college-aspirations-preparedness-challenges.pdf<br /> </a><br /> Bers, T., &amp; Schuetz, P. (2014). Nearbies: A missing piece of the college completion conundrum. Community College Review, 42(3), 167-183. <br /><br /> Blackwell, E., &amp; Pinder, P. (2014). What are the motivational factors of first-generation minority college students who overcome their family histories to pursue higher education? College Student Journal, 48(1), 45-56. <br /><br /> Boden, K. (2011). Perceived academic preparedness of first-generation Latino college students. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 10(2), 96-106. <br /><br /> Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2014, March 24). Earnings and unemployment rates by educational attainment. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm" target="_blank">http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm</a><br /><br /> Chen, X. (2005). First generation students in postsecondary education: A look at their college transcripts. National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, NCES 2005–171. <br /><br /> Gamez-Vargas, J., &amp; Oliva, M. (2013). Adult guidance for college: Rethinking educational practice to foster socially-just college success for all. Journal Of College Admission, (221), 60-68.<br /><br /> Hudley, C., Moschetti, R., Gonzalez, A., Su-Je, C., Barry, L., &amp; Kelly, M. (2009). College freshmen's perceptions of their high school experiences. Journal Of Advanced Academics, 438-471.<br /><br /> Huerta, J., Watt, K. M., &amp; Reyes, P. (2013). An examination of AVID graduates' college preparation and postsecondary progress: community college versus 4-year university students. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 12(1), 86-101. <br /><br /> Korsmo, J. (2014). When schooling doesn't matter at home. Educational Leadership, 71(9), 46-50.<br /><br /> Naumann, W. C., Bandalos, D., &amp; Gutkin, T. B. (2003). Identifying variables that predict college success for first-generation college students. Journal of College Admission, 181, 4.<br /><br /> Petty, T. (2014). Motivating first-generation students to academic success and college completion. College Student Journal, 48(2), 257-264. <br /><br /> Pitre, C. C., &amp; Pitre, P. (2009). Increasing underrepresented high school students' college transitions and achievements. NASSP Bulletin, 93(2), 96-110.<br /><br /> Próspero, M., Russell, A. C., &amp; Vohra-Gupta, S. (2012). Effects of motivation on educational attainment: Ethnic and developmental differences among first-generation students. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 11(1), 100-119. <br /><br /> Sandoval-Lucero, E., Maes, J. B., &amp; Klingsmith, L. (2014). African American and Latina(o) community college students' social capital and student success. College Student Journal, 48(3), 522-533.<br /><br /> Sparkman, L, Maulding, W.S., Roberts, J. G. (2012). Non-cognitive predictors of student success in college. College Student Journal, 46(3), 642-652.<br /><br /> Sommerfeld, A. K., &amp; Bowen, P. (2013). Fostering social and cultural capital in urban youth: A programmatic approach to promoting college success. Journal of Education, 193(1), 47-55.<br /><br /> Stephens, N. M., Hamedani, M. G., &amp; Destin, M. (2014). Closing the social-class achievement gap: A difference-education intervention improves first-generation students' academic performance and all students' college transition. Psychological Science (Sage Publications Inc.), 25(4), 943-953. <br /><br /> Wilkins, A. C. (2014). Race, age, and identity transformations in the transition from high school to college for Black and first-generation White men. Sociology of Education, 87(3), 171-187. </p> </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> <br /> <em>Lauren Falcon is pursuing a master's degree in counseling from Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College.<br /><br /> 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> Unlocking Solutions to the Iron Triangle: The Golden Key urn:uuid:9AF38605-1422-1766-9A09897D3B5B9CFF 2015-06-01T07:06:16Z 2015-06-02T09:06:00Z <p>Community colleges can address the iron triangle by collaborating with National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) programs.<strong> </strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/leadership_abstracts.gif" alt="" /></p> <p>June 2015, Volume 28, Number 6</p> <p><em>By </em><em>Glenn Cerny and Elizabeth LaForest</em></p> <p>In the information age, where should a college spend its time and effort to provide maximum payoff for students, faculty, and staff? Resource constraints have run rampant over the past five years in the community college world. An analysis by Thomas G. Mortenson (2012) shows that state funding has been in a constant decline since the 1980s, and projections show that funding will bottom out completely around fiscal year 2059—even sooner for some states.</p> <p>Property tax, another major funding source for community colleges, has also taken a hit in recent years. Additionally, local funding for colleges has significantly impacted the bottom line in a negative fashion (Dadayan, 2012). In order to address the financial conditions within higher education while increasing the quality and accessibility of education, we contend that a “golden key” is needed.</p> <p><strong>The Iron Triangle</strong></p> <p>As Immerwahr, Johnson, and Gasbarra (2008) presented in their discussions with university and college presidents, the cost of college will impact both access and quality; and there is tension among the components of what has been coined the iron triangle—access, quality, and cost. For example, President Obama, Congress, and other accreditors, such as the Higher Learning Commission, want to see the quality of the educational process improve, while keeping costs down. Another major challenge facing community colleges is the need to maintain open access while improving quality and completion rates. The Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation has done a great deal of work to identify methodologies that can either offset the impact of the iron triangle or work through the various challenges that exist between the three factors (Jarrett, 2012). Figure 1 illustrates the challenges that each component will face over the next decade. The visual demonstrates that the iron triangle can provide a structure by which problems and opportunities can be vetted. It is vital to identify solutions for getting to the optimum place of lower costs and higher quality and access, as shown in Figure 2.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015-06_Leadership_Pic1.jpg" alt="" width="337" height="288" /></p> <p align="center"> </p> <p align="center"><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015-06_Leadership_Pic2.png" alt="" /></p> <p>Beyond financial constraints impacting community colleges, industry is currently unable to fill over 300,000 technician-based jobs due to the lack of qualified candidates (Haass &amp; Kleinfeld, 2012). </p> <p><strong>The Golden Key Identified</strong></p> <p>The iron triangle dilemma circles back to the original question: Where can community colleges effectively spend time and effort to offset these forces? One suggestion can be to immerse the college in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) programs. Awareness of this valuable network of centers that dot the United States just may be the golden key that can unlock some of the core issues plaguing the community college world.</p> <p>The ATE administration operates much like a venture capital firm. Over the past twenty years, it has put into place a distributed network of over 40 centers. </p> <p align="center"><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015-06_Leadership_Pic3.png" alt="" width="462" height="369" /></p> <p>Its mission is focused on educating technicians in the following categories:</p> <ul> <li>Advanced Manufacturing Technologies<strong> </strong></li> <li>Learning, Evaluation &amp; Research<strong> </strong></li> <li>Energy &amp; Environmental Technologies<strong> </strong></li> <li>Engineering Technologies <strong> </strong></li> <li>Information Technologies<strong> </strong></li> <li>Agricultural &amp; Bio Technologies<strong> </strong></li> <li>Micro &amp; NANO Technologies<strong> </strong></li> <li>Security Technologies</li> </ul> <p>ATE is concentrating on bridging the gap between industry and higher education, specifically for two-year colleges, to create and update advanced technician education curriculum. The centers concentrate specifically on science and engineering technicians that are in demand across the country. Dr. Kevin Fleming (2013) spoke to a ratio of jobs within our current economy—1:2:7—and what education level is needed for those jobs. He argues that for each professional job that needs a master’s degree or higher, there are two professional jobs that need a bachelor’s degree and seven technician jobs that need a certificate or associate’s degree (Fleming, 2013).</p> <p>Fleming’s analysis shows that there is a need to leverage all assets at the college’s disposal to ensure that the institution is creating opportunities and educational pathways for the 7 out of 10 students hitting these technical fields. ATE programs are focused squarely on this mission. ATE administration believes strongly in leveraging curriculum and professional development in the various technical areas outlined above. The key to the success of deploying these assets is ensuring that networking and collaboration occur between the ATE Centers and the 1,000-plus community and technical colleges across the country. </p> <p>The golden key to this resource, as mentioned previously, is understanding the overall structure of the NSF ATE program and beginning to network within this close-knit community and make use of its various resources and materials. </p> <p><strong>ATE Program Navigation</strong></p> <p align="left">Entering the ATE world can be quite daunting, somewhat like joining an expensive country club. Everyone seems to know everyone else and if you are not a card-carrying member, you might find yourself on the outside looking in. For colleges that persist and learn the intricacies of the ATE system, the rewards can be vast. Seasoned veterans will gladly welcome committed colleagues into the club and offer assistance in the creation of successful projects.</p> <p>ATE centers and projects operate as a well-oiled machine when it comes to collaborating and networking. With the guidance of ATE leadership, all centers are available to disseminate information, collaborate, or assist colleges that need support. This network of professionals believes that sharing resources will facilitate a stronger, more competitively positioned U.S. economy. As illustrated in Figure 2, spending less money in the future while raising access, completion, and quality can result from the effective sharing and collaborating that is at the forefront of the ATE philosophy. </p> <p><strong><em>ATE Central.</em></strong> The mission of ATE Central, at the University of Wisconsin, is to archive all curriculum and professional development materials from centers across the county over the past twenty years. Colleges can access curriculum in specific technical areas as well as obtain professional development tools to assist faculty. Institutions can also create paths for their students to gain access to these materials. Additionally, an ATE Center located at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo provides best practices for reviewing and evaluating curriculum design and assessment. The ATE methodologies of collaboration, review, assessment, and evaluation all follow best practices and can be excellent resources for colleges.</p> <p><strong><em>Mentor Connect.</em></strong> Colleges that identify technician education program gaps and have not received an ATE grant in the past 10 years are eligible for assistance from Mentor Connect to prepare competitive grant proposals for ATE funding. Mentor Connect provides one-on-one access to experienced principal investigators, conferences, and step-by-step processes necessary for successful proposals to develop or strengthen deficient STEM technician education programs.</p> <p>ATE does not remain stagnant; it is continually evolving and renewing its centers. A center may sunset if it is not demonstrating continued progress and development. Other centers may be renewed many times if they continue to fit industry needs. Additionally, ATE encourages collaboration across like and unlike subjects to see if new and innovative ideas for educating technicians can be developed. </p> <p>The major demographic shift with the baby boomers retiring will see a shortage of experienced ATE collaborators who can produce results, share them as resources across the country, and put a dent in the number of open technician positions that are projected to significantly increase. ATE is seeking the next set of leaders to continue in their predecessors’ footsteps. </p> <p><strong>Future Success</strong></p> <p>Successful navigation of ATE programs requires an understanding of how these operations have been developed and a commitment to join NSF and ATE networking circles. This close-knit circle invites participation in activities that promote collaboration and can be immensely beneficial. </p> <p>Colleges that invest the time to learn ATE methodologies are guaranteed immediate return on that investment, as procurement of funds from ATE is not necessary to garner an early benefit. By joining the community, the college will have achieved the golden key as ATE accepts each college into the family of members, which should provide a winning situation for all parties involved.</p> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>References</strong></p> <p>Dadayan, L. (2012, July). The impact of the great recession on local property taxes. Rockefeller Institute Brief. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.rockinst.org/pdf/government_finance/2012-07-16-Recession_Local_ Property_Tax.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.rockinst.org/pdf/government_finance/2012-07-16-Recession_Local_%20Property_Tax.pdf<br /> </a><br /> Fleming, K. (2013). Success in the New Economy: How prospective college students can gain a competitive advantage. Funded by Title IC grant #12-CO1-009 awarded to Citrus College by the California Community, Colleges Chancellors Office: Telos Educational Services. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.teloses.com/Success_in_the_new_Economy.html" target="_blank">http://www.teloses.com/Success_in_the_new_Economy.html</a><br /><br /> Haass, R., &amp; Kleinfeld, K. (2012, July 3). Lack of skilled employees hurting manufacturing. USA Today. Retrieved from <a href="http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-07-02/public-private-manufacuting/56005466/1" target="_blank">http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-07-02/public-private-manufacuting/56005466/1</a><br /><br /> Immerwahr, J., Johnson, J., &amp; Gasbarra, P. (2008, October). The iron triangle: College presidents talk about costs, access, and quality. Educational Policy Institute of Virginia Tech.<br /><br /> Jarrett, J. (2012). Bigfoot, goldilocks, and moonshots: A report from the frontiers of personalized learning [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/JoshJarrett/educause-2012-talk" target="_blank">http://www.slideshare.net/JoshJarrett/educause-2012-talk</a><br /><br /> Mortenson, T. G. (2012, Winter). State funding: A race to the bottom. American Council on Education. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.acenet.edu/the-presidency/columns-and-features/Pages/state-funding-a-race-to-the-bottom.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.acenet.edu/the-presidency/columns-and-features/Pages/state-funding-a-race-to-the-bottom.aspx<br /> </a></p> </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Glenn Cerny is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Elizabeth LaForest is a Planning and Technology Coordinator at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. Cerny is also a doctoral candidate at Ferris State University.<br /><br /> Opinions expressed in Leadership Abstracts are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College. </em></p> Student Mentoring in Community Colleges urn:uuid:9AF45DE6-1422-1766-9AD276A4941E1FEE 2015-06-01T07:06:16Z 2015-06-02T09:06:00Z <p>Mentoring benefits students, mentors, and community colleges.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/learning_abstracts.gif" alt="Learning Abstract" /></p> <p>June 2015, Volume 18, Number 6</p> <p><em>Editor’s Note: This issue of </em>Learning Abstracts <em>features an excerpt from the new League Occasional Paper, </em><a href="/publication/whitepapers/files/Student%20Mentoring%20Occasional%20Paper.pdf" target="_blank">Student Mentoring in Community Colleges</a><em>.</em></p> <p><em>By Eugenia Paulus</em></p> <p>The U.S has occupied a premier position in the world in part because of its prominence in education and innovation. For the U.S. to remain a competitive leader, particularly in science and engineering, it must engage its students and prepare its next generation of professionals for global competition. This matter of great urgency will require the adoption of a variety of approaches to prepare future students to maintain U.S. eminence both educationally and economically. It is imperative that all established strategies be tested and implemented to stem the decline in this country’s status in the global hierarchy.</p> <p>According to a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (2012), the U.S. labor market is projected to grow faster in science and engineering than in any other sector in the coming years. However, non-U.S. citizens have accounted for almost all growth in STEM doctorates awarded, and a number of science and engineering disciplines are heavily populated by international students. Relying on these students to fulfill U.S. science and technology needs is becoming increasingly uncertain for many reasons, including stricter visa requirements and the possibility that students will return to their countries of origin after completing their education. A greater focus must, therefore, be placed on embracing strategies that will prepare U.S. students for the challenges they will face today and in the future. </p> <p>Freeman Hrabowski III, chair of the committee that wrote <em>Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation</em> and President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, said, "It's well-documented that the United States needs a strong science and technology work force to maintain global leadership and competitiveness” (The National Academies, 2010, para. 2). He added, “The minds and talents of underrepresented minorities are a great, untapped resource that the nation can no longer afford to squander. Improving STEM education of our diverse citizenry will strengthen the science and engineering work force and boost the U.S. economy" (para. 2). National efforts to strengthen U.S. science and engineering must include all Americans, especially minorities, who are the fastest growing segments of the country’s population but the most underrepresented in science and technology careers. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (2012) projects that by the year 2022 the number of public and non-public high school graduates from minority populations will significantly increase. Van Der Werf and Sabatier (2009) predict that these trends will result in minority students outnumbering white students on college campuses as soon as 2020. According to a <em>Harvard Educational Review</em> article focused on women of color in STEM (Malcolm &amp; Malcolm, 2011), the patterns of participation in postsecondary education are very much shaped by race and gender; underrepresented women and minorities are more heavily concentrated in community colleges. Consequently, special efforts must be taken to support these groups in the community college system. An article on STEM persistence among women and underrepresented minorities by Lorelle Espinosa (2011), Assistant Vice President for Policy Research and Strategy at American Council on Education, highlights the crucial role of undergraduate institutional faculty mentoring and peer interactions among women and minorities for their successful graduation from the community college. The recent Gallup-Purdue Index Report (2014), a study of more than 30,000 college students across the U.S. supported by the Lumina Foundation, provides insight into the relationship between students and their college experience. Students who felt supported in college because they had a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams, a professor who excited them about learning, and whom they felt cared about them as a person, are thriving in all areas of their well being. Therefore, it is no surprise that mentoring helps community college students to persist in the pursuit of their education goals.</p> <p>The real key to a student’s economic opportunity and advancement depends not only on whether the student possesses a credential, but also on whether that student actually leaves college with a rich portfolio of learning that employers seek, higher education values, and society needs. Yesterday’s educators could focus on techniques that transmitted information to students, but educators of today and tomorrow are called to do much more as the competition for higher education, professional programs, and employment escalates. Students need to possess critical thinking, communication, computer literacy, networking, data analysis, and many other skills and competencies. In such a scenario, the role of a mentor cannot be underestimated. Educators who are passionate about student success will likely recognize that for students to be successful they need more than just a teacher; they need a mentor.</p> <p><strong>Defining the Mentor.</strong> A mentor is a member of the college community who is committed to student success through structured dialogue and reflection with individual students. The mentor’s hindsight can become the student’s foresight. The mentor is not necessarily someone a student knows well, but someone from whom the student can learn, a confidential advocate with an opportunity to transform the student’s life. Mentors help students realize their dreams and assist them in acquiring skills that can be used not only in the academic arena, but also in life.</p> <p>Community college can be a challenging prospect for new students, whether they enroll right out of high school or after being in the workforce for a number of years. Students at community colleges face many hurdles, and mentors can help them cross the finish line. Mentoring at the community college helps students grow into the types of learners who can succeed at a career or after transferring into a baccalaureate program or institution. Mentoring at a community college involves opening students’ eyes to available opportunities, helping students discover the strengths within themselves, leading students to resources that will help them develop necessary skills, guiding them to design their own pathways to success, and demonstrating to them how they can realize their potential and achieve their dreams. A mentor can encourage students to stay in college and pursue their education until they achieve their goals. Mentoring goes beyond advising, helping students find ways and means to do what they need to reach their goals.</p> <p>This description of a mentor may convey the idea that the mentor must be superhuman, well versed in academics and 21st century skills. That is definitely not the case. These overarching skills—collaboration/teamwork, written and oral communication, creativity, critical thinking/problem solving, cultural/global studies/diversity, humanities, information management, learning skills, mathematics, personal responsibility/management, and technology literacy (Wilson, Miles, Baker, &amp; Shoenberger, 2000)—are equally important for every student, whether they transfer to a four-year college or university or pursue a career path after leaving the community college. Since many of these skills are not necessarily learned in a classroom, they may have been acquired by the student elsewhere; the role of the mentor in the community college, therefore, may be to help students document and credential such prior learning (Ehrich, Tennent, &amp; Hansford, 2002). The mentor may be required to play several roles: role model, evaluator, analyst, and strategy planning manager (Galbraith &amp; James, 2004). Given that mentors help students identify skills that are lacking, develop marketable skills and study skills, chart future plans, assess progress, conduct feasibility studies, and support numerous other activities, it is quite possible that a student may require more than one mentor during the journey through community college.<br /> <br /> <strong>Why Be a Mentor?</strong> Faculty at community colleges encounter students with big dreams of improving their lives but who are faced with many challenges. Often, some of these challenges lie not in the academic abilities of students but in the lack of preparedness, the absence of information about available opportunities, the discrimination students encounter after transfer, and the training on strategies to be successful. The primary motivation for mentoring activities should be the success of students, including giving students hope and the chance to believe in themselves. Mentors should be passionate about supporting and encouraging students to reach their full potential, and helping them improve their opportunities to become whatever they aspire to be.</p> <p>At the beginning of the academic year, when students are overwhelmed with various commitments, they may ask how having a mentor, which would consume even more of their time, would be a benefit. Mentors can respond by telling them that in the United States, 75 percent of successful students have been mentored. These mentored students reached their goals, earned the degree they sought, were happier and satisfied with their work, and were highly likely to mentor others (Hicks, 2003).</p> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>Resources</strong></p> <p>Ehrich, L., Tennent, L., &amp; Hansford, B. (2002). A review of mentoring in education: Some lessons for nursing. Contemporary Nurse, 12(3), 253-264.<br /> <br /> Espinosa, L. L. (2011). Pipelines and pathways: Women of color in undergraduate STEM majors and the college experiences that contribute to persistence. Harvard Educational Review, 81(2), 209-241.<br /> Galbraith, M. W., &amp; James, W. B. (2004). Mentoring by the community college professor: One role among many. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 28(8), 689-701.<br /><br /> Gallup, Inc. (2014). Great jobs, great lives. The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report. Retrieved from <a href="http://products.gallup.com/168857/gallup-purdue-index-inaugural-national-report.aspx" target="_blank">http://products.gallup.com/168857/gallup-purdue-index-inaugural-national-report.aspx</a><br /><br /> Hicks, T. (2003). First generation and non-first generation pre-college students' expectations and perceptions about attending college. Journal of College Orientation and Transition, 11(1), 5-19.<br /><br /> Malcolm, L. E., &amp; Malcolm, S. M. (2011). The double bind: The next generation. Harvard Educational Review, 81(2), 162-171. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. (2012). Engage to excel: Producing one million additional college graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Report to the President. Washington DC: Executive Office of the President.<br /><br /> The National Academies. (2010, September 30). U.S. must involve underrepresented minorities in science and engineering to maintain competitive edge. Retrieved from <a href="http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12984" target="_blank">http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12984</a><br /><br /> Van Der Werf, M., &amp; Sabatier, G. (2009). The college of 2020: Students. Washington DC: Chronicle Research Services, The Chronicle of Higher Education.<br /><br /> Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. (2012). Knocking at the college door: Projections of high school graduates. Boulder, CO: Author. <br /><br /> Wilson, C. D., Miles, C. L., Baker, R. L., &amp; Shoenberger, R. L. (2000). Learning outcomes for the 21st century: Report of a community college study. Phoenix, AZ: League for Innovation in the Community College. </p> </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Eugenia Paulus is</em><em> a professor of chemistry at North Hennepin Community College, Minnesota.</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> iStream Sneak Peek urn:uuid:9AF59730-1422-1766-9AAE3B863ABCAF5D 2015-06-01T07:06:16Z 2015-06-02T09:06:00Z <p>This iStream Sneak Peek is available to <em>League Connections</em> subscribers for 30 days.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:10px;"><em>This Project Highlight from the March 2015 iStream update is available to </em>League Connections <em>subscribers through July 6. iStream is the League’s comprehensive, subscription-based online resource bank, learning community, and professional development tool for community college faculty, staff, administrators, and students.</em></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:10px;"><em><a href="/istreamsite/">Click here</a> or contact us at <a href="mailto:membership@league.org">membership@league.org</a> to learn more about iStream and to subscribe.</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p align="center"><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/istream.png" alt="" height="118" /></p> <table border="0" align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <div><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:16px;">A Responsible Pathway: Using Sustainability as a Hands-On Experience to Get Students Job Ready in South Dallas</span></div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> <a href="http://www.cedarvalleycollege.edu/default.aspx" target="_blank">Cedar Valley College</a> (CVC) of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) was one of the first community colleges to sign the <a href="http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/" target="_blank">American College and University President's Climate Commitment</a> (ACUPCC). Today, more than 685 higher education institutions have committed to exert leadership in addressing climate change in order to stabilize and reduce their long-term energy costs, attract excellent students and faculty, as well as new sources of funding, and increase the support of alumni and local communities.<br /><br /> <strong>Center of Excellence in Sustainability</strong><br /><br /> With the vision and leadership of CVC President, Dr. Jennifer Wimbish, the college's commitment to sustainability is evident. The CVC strategic plan (2014) specifically addresses sustainability with the following goal:</p> <blockquote> <p> We promote responsible stewardship of our resources, supporting sustainability as a survival strategy of our college, including operational effectiveness, quality of education, environmental protection, economic success, and social vitality with openness and mutual respect within the diverse stakeholders we serve and on which we depend. (p. 10)</p> </blockquote> <p> In order to advance the sustainability goal, a multilevel robust and nimble institutional framework was developed:</p> <ul> <li>The Sustainability Steering Committee, composed of selected administrators and faculty in charge of providing strategic direction, meets once a semester and reports to the President's Cabinet.</li> <li>The Sustainability Team, composed of students, faculty, and employees who want to serve for a one-year period, meets monthly to promote and support the sustainability awareness events.</li> <li>The Students’ Green Club,<strong> </strong>composed of students with two advisors, coordinates and supervises student-generated green activities and trips to sustainability conferences.</li> <li>The <a href="http://www.cedarvalleycollege.edu/CommunityMembers/SustainableCommunitiesInstitute/Lists/WebPages/DispForm2.aspx?List=f39d40f3%2Dc1c9%2D4861%2Dad2d%2D75ba2dd72d54&amp;ID=18" target="_blank">Sustainable Communities Institute</a> (SCI), whose director reports to the President and coordinates and represents CVC in all sustainable initiatives, provides exemplary service to increase sustainability awareness and practice at CVC and in nearby communities. The SCI: <ul> <li>Promotes and provides information on sustainability to the college, its employees, and students, and to the public;</li> <li>Designs and facilitates programs and events that will improve sustainability at CVC and the best southwest cities; and</li> <li>Researches current and future methods and techniques for improving sustainability.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Sustainability Progress</strong><br /><br /> <strong><em>Raising Awareness of Sustainability on Campus and in the Community</em></strong><br /><br /> As part of our Sustainability Awareness Campaign, since fall of 2013 CVC has held one sustainability awareness event per month, offering professional development for our employees and service learning hours for the student clubs that have helped promote and host these events. More than 940 people participated in these events during the 2013-2014 academic year, 48 percent of whom were community members. The 2014 CVC Sustainability Conference hosted more than 250 participants and had 45 speakers in breakout sessions. George Bandy, Vice President of Sustainability at Interface and chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), gave the keynote presentation. On March 20th, CVC will host the <a href="http://www.cedarvalleycollege.edu/CommunityMembers/SustainableCommunitiesInstitute/H32015/default.aspx" target="_blank">2015 CVC Sustainability Conference</a> with Dr. Elaine Ingham and Mr. Trammell S. Crow as keynote speakers and more than 20 breakout sessions.<br /><br /> <strong><em>Increasing Sustainability Principles in Curricula</em></strong> <br /><br /> A number of courses include sustainability principles in the syllabus and are labeled “green” in the college catalog. CVC now offers green courses in the following areas: real estate, marketing, government, human development, biology, energy management, and residential and commercial building performance technology. These courses are designated as green on the student transcript. Students who complete three green courses wear a green cord at graduation; in May 2014, CVC had its first "green" graduates.<br /><br /> The process for certifying instructors in Quality Teaching in Practical Sustainability (QTIPS) was simplified by making it available online and with an electronic format that simplifies the codification of data.<br /><br /> <strong><em>Living Lab Projects: Making Campus Construction and Operations More Sustainable</em></strong><br /><br /> Led by the Facilities department, CVC promotes a more sustainable operation of its campus. The college is reducing water and energy consumption by acquiring more efficient equipment and installing electricity sub-meters in each building; this will allow CVC to monitor and take actions to continue to improve. A new waste management strategy increased the amounts of recyclables, generating cash back and diverting 26,000 pounds of waste and 35 tons of scrap metal from the landfill in the fall 2013 semester. With the Living Lab projects, CVC is merging academics and campus facilities management to provide students with real-world skills and creating a path to meet its sustainability goals.<br /><br /> <strong><em>Strengthening Institutional Capacity and Alliances to Move Sustainability Forward</em></strong><br /><br /> In 2013, CVC became part of the Center of Green Schools Program of the USGBC. This program is geared toward the transformation of all schools into sustainable and healthy places to live, learn, work, and play. Twenty members (employees, faculty, students, and volunteers) of CVC and other DCCCD colleges were trained to study and present the exam of the U.S. Green Building Association (USGBC), LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) Green Associate, and LEED Accredited Professional certifications. These participants, once certified by the USGBC, will lead the journey to more sustainable construction, maintenance, and operation of all district buildings.<br /><br /> In 2013, CVC representatives had the privilege of attending the ACUPCC On-Site Campus Visits to DCCCD (Minority Serving Institutions), which strengthened the district’s capacity to meet ACUPCC reposting commitments. The meeting was the first time Presidents and/or Vice Presidents of all seven DCCCD colleges met to discuss sustainability. The opportunity provided to leadership a collective view of the measures that need to take place in order to achieve climate neutrality and increase sustainability awareness. The visit was also a great opportunity for ACUPCC to support district sustainability officers, faculty, employees, students, and volunteers who are working hard to create more sustainable campuses.<br /><br /> CVC is part of the Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS). The college leads the initiative to complete the TRACS Water Conservation Survey to produce a best practices document for the decision-making process on water consumption in higher education organizations in Texas.<br /><br /> CVC’s Sustainability Director, Dr. Maria V. Boccalandro, serves on the ACUPC Implementation Liaison (IL) Leadership Circle, a group of champions who provide peer support to signatory organizations that are facing challenges on their ACUPCC reports. These champions must have implemented innovative sustainability and climate action strategies on their campuses, overcoming challenges and creating an institutional framework to advance their community toward a sustainable future.<br /><br /> <strong>Future of Sustainability at DCCCD</strong><br /><br /> <strong><em>Living Lab Initiative</em></strong><br /><br /> According to the Texas Workforce Commission (2015), the state of Texas employment increased by 457,900 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in 2014, representing a 4 percent increase from 2013. The city of Dallas is one of one of the most prosperous and fastest growing cities in the U.S., but it is also ranked as the fourth highest in poverty. DCCCD Chancellor, Dr. Joe May, has chartered all seven district colleges to help prepare citizens for better jobs in order to improve their quality of life. The strategy that he has designed is anchored in providing an education experience that is:</p> <ul> <li>personalized for students </li> <li>aligned with transfer schools and potential employers </li> <li>innovating in order to adapt to changing demographics</li> <li>scalable so that the district can have a bigger impact in communities</li> </ul> <p>CVC, through the Sustainable Communities Institute, is creating experiential learning opportunities for students through the Living Lab Initiative. The concept of Living Lab that being used is the one developed by the SEED Center:</p> <blockquote> <p> Most colleges do not consider experiential learning opportunities as part of regular facilities improvement strategies, and sustainability-focused course projects are often employed only by faculty in environmental programs. It will require careful planning and collaboration—especially between facilities staff and faculty—for more colleges to develop these living laboratories in a way that maximizes all students’ learning experiences and yields benefits for the college’s bottom line. This guide highlights eight essential elements to building effective campus-wide living labs. It tackles some of the biggest challenges in these efforts, from breaking down internal institutional silos to addressing student safety to engaging industry. There is no single path to implementing living labs, but interviews with leaders of the most successful institutions revealed these common elements. (Cohen &amp; Lovell, 2013, p. 5) </p> </blockquote> <p> A workshop with CVC employees was created to obtain a list of areas of improvement that could be used as Living Lab Projects. These areas of improvement were then matched with courses and instructors who could incorporate them in the curricula. The list of sustainability opportunities identified through this process included: erosion problems caused by students and employees walking between buildings; processing the data of the electrical meters of each building; beautifying open spaces with solar powered ceramic sculptures; designing and constructing a bus stop with recycled materials for the community; promotion of a carpooling app to decrease the greenhouse gas emissions; community garden in the library balcony to improve nutrition and health the community; and alternative energy operated water fountain to beautify and improve water quality in the lake, etc. All these projects will give students hands on experiences that help them to become job ready, while developing technical, analytical and interpersonal skills and collaborating in solving college sustainability challenges.<br /><br /> With this initiative we are creating innovative ways of engaging our students at a personal level and giving them skills that will make them more competitive in the job market, while helping us achieve our sustainability goals. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3QmmjPUfuw&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">Click here</a> to watch a related video. <br /><br /> <strong><em>Becoming a Climate Resilient Campus</em></strong><br /><br /> In reference to the SEED Center’s 2014 report, <a href="http://theseedcenter.org/ClimateResiliencyGuide" target="_blank"><em>A Guide to Climate Resiliency &amp; the Community College</em></a>, the Center’s website states:</p> <blockquote> <p> Too many municipalities are writing climate adaptation and resiliency plans without workforce development strategies. Even fewer are collaborating with community colleges on these plans. As a workforce developer, a community educator, and convener, the community college should be central to designing a coherent and sustainable local response to these threats.<br /><br /> As part of the recovery from these incidents, and in preparing for future events, community colleges can be developing curriculum and career pathways in a variety of related occupational areas, providing leadership in prioritizing community needs, and brokering partnerships among community partners to shape climate action plans.</p> </blockquote> <p> As an ACUPCC signatory, CVC has a Climate Action Plan and can collaborate with the Best Southwest Cities in creating their plans and guaranteeing community needs are met, while attending the workforce educational demands of future career paths. The Sustainable Communities Institute will create a space for discussion to convene public officials, planners, businesses, and community to talk about the role that CVC must play in climate resiliency. These discussions will not only be an opportunity to serve our community on a larger scale, but will also serve as an instrument of data collection to be more competitive as a workforce developer, while making sure that the capital invested in our campus infrastructure is preserved for future generations. In other words, being sustainable and <em>doing things right and the right things for the people, the planet, and the economy.</em><br /><br /> For more information, contact <a href="mailto:mboccalandro@dcccd.edu">Dr. Maria V. Boccalandro</a> at 972.860.5204. </p> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>Resources</strong></p> <p>Cedar Valley College Strategic Plan. (2014-2017). Retrieved from <a href="http://www.cedarvalleycollege.edu/AboutCedarValley/StrategicPlan/default.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.cedarvalleycollege.edu/AboutCedarValley/StrategicPlan/default.aspx</a><br /> <br /> Cohen, T., &amp; Lovell, B. (2013). The campus as a living laboratory. Washington, DC: The SEED Center. Retrieved from <a href="http://theseedcenter.org/Resources/SEED-Resources/SEED-Toolkits/Campus-as-a-Living-Lab" target="_blank">http://theseedcenter.org/Resources/SEED-Resources/SEED-Toolkits/Campus-as-a-Living-Lab</a> <br /><br />Texas Workforce Commission. (2015). Texas ends 2014 with another month of job growth [Press release]. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/press/2015/012315epress.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/press/2015/012315epress.pdf</a> </p> </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Member Spotlight: Minnesota State Community and Technical College urn:uuid:9AF740E7-1422-1766-9A79165E3E48508E 2015-06-01T07:06:16Z 2015-06-30T08:06:00Z <p>M State’s Up2U and Up2Us programs support student learning and degree completion. </p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><strong>Up2U + Up2Us = Student Success</strong> <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.minnesota.edu/" target="_blank">Minnesota State Community and Technical College</a> (M State) has announced an ambitious and exciting initiative that uses the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) as a tool to identify student achievement. CLA+ is a performance-based assessment that measures critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written communication and mechanics. <br /><br /> <strong>Up2U</strong> <br /><br /> <a href="http://www.minnesota.edu/up2U/" target="_blank">Up2U</a> is an incentive-based program that supports student learning, increases persistence and motivation, and advances achievement in degree completion. Students who participate in Up2U are driven to finish school on time and with a high level of academic achievement. The program name implies that the student is responsible for his or her academic accomplishments. <br /><br /> “Students are responsible for their own success,” said Paul Carney, director of the Up2U program. “But we provide engaging, relevant learning opportunities to support their efforts.” <br /><br /> Students are offered a scholarship—ranging from $500 to $5,000 a year—for maintaining a high level of academic standing, finishing their two- and four-year degrees on time, and for their performance on CLA+. The scholarship can be applied when the student transfers to one of the two current Up2U partner universities. By providing a financial incentive for students to stay on course and complete their degree on time, participation in Up2U increases persistence and reduces student debt. <br /><br /> Up2U uses CLA+ as a measurement of a student’s aptitude in critical thinking, problem solving, analytic reasoning, and written communication. M State, four-year colleges, and employers consider these skills essential to succeed in the workplace.  <br /><br /> “This approach provides a reliable, authentic measurement of the general education skills that are taught and learned throughout a student’s first two years at M State,” Mr. Carney said. <br /><br /> After entering a partner four-year university, students must maintain positive academic standing and remain enrolled in a minimum number of classes in order to renew the scholarship. Students receive a checklist to ensure their courses meet program requirements. <br /><br /> <strong>Up2Us</strong>  <br /><br /> Up2Us, the professional development branch of Up2U, provides support and training to faculty and staff. While Up2U provides academic support and incentives for students to finish college and succeed in the workplace, Up2Us cultivates collaboration between faculty and library staff as they develop their own performance tasks to better engage student learning.  <br /><br /> Through frequent, thoughtful, and continuous collaboration, faculty create discipline-specific tasks to assess students’ critical-thinking and written-communication skills in their own classrooms. Faculty peer-review each other’s work using three criteria. They consider whether the task addresses the student’s breadth of knowledge, how clearly it is articulated, and how effectively it assesses the intended competencies. Instructors, then, deploy their original performance tasks in the classroom. The performance tasks challenge students to solve problems or propose solutions for realistic scenarios.  <br /><br /> Faculty have found that performance tasks align with their students’ learning goals because they need to perform research; evaluate the credibility of the research; and synthesize, organize, and outline the information. <br /><br /> “The experience has revolutionized the way I think about learning and how I teach my students,” said Roberta Freeman, speech/communication instructor at M State. <br /><br /> “The Up2Us faculty are enthusiastic and energized,” said Katie Trombley, communications instructor at M State. “The program encourages students to use critical thinking, increases rigor in our courses, and increases the completion rate for M State’s students.”  <br /><br /> Up2Us is unique in that it enables faculty to use the expertise of the library support staff while developing their own performance tasks. Librarian expertise in passage finding and document retrieval supports the faculty in the development of their tasks.  <br /><br /> “They found several key articles for my task,” said Roberta Freeman. “Some of the information I knew would be hard to find, but they found it.” <br /><br /> By enlisting faculty, students, and the college support services, Up2U and Up2Us elevate rigor and relevance for teaching and learning. Research demonstrates that performance tasks are the most authentic and realistic measurement of critical thinking skills. <br /><br /> “I am amazed by all of the skills I can assess in one assignment; that, perhaps, is one of the key reasons for using the CLA+ and performance tasks in our college classes,” said Ms. Freeman. <br /><br /> “Preparing students is different from other assessment preparation that indirectly tells students that they can succeed if they memorize and regurgitate information,” Ms. Trombley said. “Students and I engage in discussions that help them think critically about the information they read. Students learn how to analyze and evaluate evidence, which they use to support their position in a well-organized argument.” <br /><br /> Enthusiasm for both Up2U (students) and Up2Us (professional development) remains high among faculty, staff, and administration. “This is my twentieth year of teaching at the college, and I don’t think I’ve been this fired up about a new approach or assignment for a long time!” said Ms. Freeman. <br /><br /> “The Up2U program speaks to all of our external stakeholders while engaging faculty, students, and staff in the challenging and exciting process of building critical thinking and communication skills,” noted Dr. Jill Abbott, M State’s Associate Vice President of Academics. <br /><br /> M State is interested in replicating this Up2U/Up2Us model with other two and four-year schools. For additional information or to partner with M State, contact <a href="mailto:paul.carney@minnesota.edu" target="_blank">Paul Carney</a>, Up2U director and English professor. </p> Creative Inquiry and Undergraduate Research in the Community College urn:uuid:056A4E8C-1422-1766-9AAED17C38E00BC2 2015-05-01T05:05:19Z 2015-05-01T06:05:00Z <p>Greenville Technical College develops an undergraduate research program to strengthen student skills and address workforce needs.<strong> </strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/learning_abstracts.gif" alt="Learning Abstract" /></p> <p>May 2015, Volume 18, Number 5</p> <p><em>By Lee Edwards</em><br /><br /> What does an employer want to see in a college graduate? The <em>Chronicle of Higher Education</em> and American Public Media’s <em>Marketplace</em> conducted a <a href="http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf">survey</a> in 2012 of 50,000 employers who hire recent college graduates to understand employer perceptions of the role of colleges and universities in career preparation. The survey asked questions like, “What skills do college graduates need to succeed in the workplace?” and “Do you see these much needed skills in prospective job seekers?” The study found that the skills most needed by employers, such as written and oral communication skills, adaptability and managing multiple priorities, making decisions, and problem-solving were found to be lacking in recent college graduates. Many employers report that new college graduates can memorize facts and regurgitate them, but do not exhibit the ability to go past what they learned in class. Unfortunately, their education did not include much time spent on designing a detailed approach to addressing a problem or actually engaging their design plans and evaluating their attempts. One suggestion made by the <em>Chronicle</em> study (2012) for strengthening skills of graduates is for colleges and universities to support rich experiential opportunities that integrate content learned in classes with soft skills necessary in industry like those mentioned above. One way for students to acquire the soft skills so often lacking in recent graduates is for students to participate in undergraduate research programs. Undergraduate research provides students with the opportunity to go beyond classroom instruction and get involved in projects to investigate all parameters, including not only the subject of the research but also building communication skills, and developing the ability to work with others and reach out when they need help.</p> <p><strong>Undergraduate Research</strong></p> <p>Currently, undergraduate research doesn’t seem so far out, but that hasn’t always been the case. The concept of undergraduate research originated several decades ago, but wasn’t widespread. The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), a national organization of individuals and institutional members currently representing over 900 colleges and universities, was founded in 1978 by a group of chemists at liberal arts colleges who wanted to publicize the work that was being conducted by faculty often in collaboration with students at their schools. It took several years before undergraduate research was a widely accepted concept. For many years, colleges and universities expressed their views by stating that undergraduates weren’t ready for the rigors of research. This type of inquiry was best left to graduate students and their professors. But over time, these views began to change. Undergraduate research programs began springing up in the 1990s and became integrated into the mainstream undergraduate curricula by the 2000s. Now, most colleges and universities have some type of undergraduate research program and have high student participation. Just as four-year colleges and universities were slow to accept the concept of students working on projects outside of their established curricula, community colleges have been slow to see the benefits of faculty-mentored or career-related research for their students. But again, those ideas are changing.</p> <p><strong>Undergraduate Research at the Community College</strong></p> <p>Community colleges face the same obstacles as senior institutions in getting students ready for upper division course work, but also have the added pressure of readying a large portion of their students for the workforce. All students in the community college system have the need to think critically about challenges they face, either in a course that asks them to apply their knowledge to a particular problem or in a work situation in which there is no answer in a book. In current community college curricula there are limited opportunities to ask, “If this idea doesn’t work, what can I try next?” Or, “If I get an answer I didn’t expect, how do I interpret that unexpected information?” For students to be better prepared for their future, they need to have the experience of working with information over time and developing the ability to analyze and draw conclusions. Students need to develop critical thinking skills and the ability to ask the right questions. To help students be better prepared, community colleges are seeing the need for available undergraduate research programs to give students the chance to think on their feet, a skill much needed by future employers. According to the Council on Undergraduate Research, less than 10 percent of their members are community colleges, but those numbers will grow. Our own college just embarked on a collegewide undergraduate research program in fall 2014.</p> <p><strong>Greenville Technical College and Creative Inquiry</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.gvltec.edu/index.aspx" target="_blank">Greenville Technical College</a> (GTC) has heard the call from employers and senior collegiate institutions and has developed a new program—Creative Inquiry—to give our students the chance to pursue a topic outside of their coursework. Our program is modeled after the Clemson University program in that we have branched out from traditional research projects into projects in which students can investigate a topic that was posed during a classroom discussion or by a faculty member and turn out a product, not necessarily a research paper. Sometimes the investigation may culminate in an outdoor production of a play, or possibly a new office protocol to save time and money for a company. The mission for undergraduate research at GTC is to get students working in an area that holds particular interest for them and give them the opportunity to delve deeply into that area. In digging into a project, students learn how to work with their colleagues by keeping appointments, completing the task at hand on time, having to solve unforeseen problems by trial and error, and possibly presenting their products to an audience. Although community colleges are known for teaching—not research—GTC takes the stance that we are here to prepare our graduates for the workforce or to transfer to a senior institution to pursue a higher degree, and we need to change with the times. </p> <p><strong>History of Greenville Technical College’s Creative Inquiry Program</strong></p> <p>A group of instructors from across the college met during the summer of 2013 to discuss the feasibility of a collegewide undergraduate research program. We decided that there was sufficient interest in such a program, but ran into problems when we tried to implement the program throughout the institution. What may qualify as a quality research project in one major may not work for a student in a totally different field. Because we were including so many different possibilities for student projects, the team of instructors decided to call the program Creative Inquiry and not use the term “research.” Actually using such a broad term for the program helped solve a number of challenges we may have faced if we had kept the program a strictly research program. The term “research” tended to generate ideas of hypothesis testing only, and we wanted to stay away from such a restrictive definition at GTC. Once we had our focus in mind, we spent the next year addressing ideas such as how to promote the program, how to reward faculty for their participation, and how to choose students to work with faculty. We also ran into challenges to be addressed, such as having an institutional review board for some projects. In addition, we had to develop courses for students to enroll in to earn credit for their work. By fall 2014, we were ready to implement the program and enroll students. </p> <p><strong>Student Participation in Creative Inquiry</strong></p> <p>In the GTC Creative Inquiry program, students seek out a mentor, either a faculty member or a business community member who can guide their project. They work on a project developed by their mentor or propose their own topic of investigation. The student is expected to research the area and write a proposal, consisting of a review of the literature currently available, followed by a thorough description of their project and how the results of their project add to the current body of knowledge. The mentor and student discuss how the student is to progress throughout the semester, addressing certain benchmarks that need to be completed, and the student is expected to make progress toward the goal. By the end of the semester, the student will have a “product,” such as a paper, an oral presentation, a prototype, or a newly developed protocol, and skills developed that will prove valuable when looking for employment. GTC Creative Inquiry students sign up for a three-credit college course in order to complete their project and receive credit toward their degree. These students will be able to demonstrate to potential employers that they have experience with long-term information management and have developed problem-solving skills not learned from a textbook. During the course of their project they probably will have run into a dead end somewhere and have had to find their way around it to successfully complete the work and earn a grade. Students will have had to ask for help from other people, possibly a GTC librarian during the research phase or a GTC staff member well-versed in statistics or spreadsheet navigation, all the while learning cooperation, being on time for appointments, and communication skills in order to get answers to their questions. Students involved in the program learn valuable skills and have great things to say about their experiences so far. “I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to undertake in-depth explorations, under the guidance of two brilliant psychology professionals, through the Creative Inquiry course this semester” explains one student who completed her course during fall 2014.</p> <p>Greenville Technical College is the first technical college in South Carolina to implement a collegewide undergraduate research program. Our goal is to prepare students with the skills sought by employers, whether the student is working toward an associate degree or plans to transfer and earn a baccalaureate degree. We are now in our second semester of offering this program and already have students ready to participate in fall 2015. We feel that students who participate in Creative Inquiry will have an advantage over other community college graduates because they have had the opportunity to develop critical thinking and communication skills before entering the workforce or transferring to a senior institution. A comment made by another student who completed her work during the fall 2014 sums up what our team had in mind when we embarked on developing the Creative Inquiry project. “I feel immensely grateful to be given the chance to study through Creative Inquiry. I have been able to immerse myself in a subject I am truly interested in studying. Psychology classes have always been my favorite classes; however, through Creative Inquiry, I am able to expand further than an average class. Creative Inquiry allows me to be in a class without barriers, as I choose how far I wish to research.”</p> <p><em>Dr. Lee Edwards is a botany/biology instructor and director of Creative Inquiry at Greenville Technical College.</em><br /><br /> <em>Opinions expressed in</em> Learning 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> Teaching English Language Learners: Communication Between Home and School urn:uuid:0AD7EB59-1422-1766-9ACC936164E90071 2015-05-01T05:05:19Z 2015-05-04T11:05:00Z <p>Surveys can be used by instructors to improve communication and understanding between school and home.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/showcase.gif" alt="Innovation Showcase" /></p> <p>May 2015, Volume 10, Number 5</p> <p><em>By Jennifer Oxier</em></p> <p>When looking at national data about American students who are identified as English language learners (ELL), overlapping definitions from two prominent sources are important to note. The U.S. Census Bureau uses the American Community Survey (2013) to obtain information about factors that disproportionately affect ELL students and their families. The survey compares statistics between “native” and “foreign” households, definitions which are determined by where the householder was born. Not all children whose parents were born outside of the U.S. are identified as ELL. However, when organizations such as the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) gather information on this population, they note that students are identified as such when their parents report that they do not speak English at home, and when schools confirm that the students’ test scores reflect difficulty in English (Nwosu, Batalova, Auclair, 2014). <br /> <br /> <strong>How Many Students Are Affected?</strong><strong> </strong><br /> <br /> MPI reports that, “In 2012, there were 25 million English Language Learner (ELL) individuals ages 5 and older in the United States, accounting for 8.5 percent of the 294 million people ages 5 and older” (Nwosu, Batalova, Auclair, 2014, p. 5). Further, “In 2012, 17.4 million children under age 18 lived at home with at least one immigrant parent. They accounted for 25 percent of the 70.2 million children under age 18 in the United States” (p. 7). According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2013), about 50 percent of foreign-born individuals speak English “very well.” The reader can summarize these varied findings: Not all children reported in the census as being in foreign households are ELL, but nearly all ELL students come from families that would be included in the U.S. Census Bureau’s category of foreign households. The census points to some clear educational difficulties that affect students born into foreign households more strongly than those born into native households. <br /> <br /> <strong>Family Factors Facing ELL Students</strong><strong> </strong><br /> <br /> Overcoming the language barrier is only one concern with which educators deal. Also important are household income, housing conditions, and automobile ownership. The U.S. Census Bureau (2013) reports that the median household income for native households is $52,997, compared to $48,137 for foreign households. To give an idea of the quiet space typically available to ELL students, 1.9 percent of native households have more than one occupant per room in a household. In non-native households, that statistic goes up to 11.9 percent. McKool (2007) found that one factor deterring at-home reading in low-income families was the distraction of taking care of siblings. This report also pointed to the importance of children having the time, space, and atmosphere to read uninterrupted and to see other family members doing the same. Crowded housing does not make this impossible, but it does make it more difficult.<br /> <br /> Approximately 8 percent of native households have no car, whereas 13 percent of foreign households lack a car. While car ownership does not prevent school success or college attendance, the practicalities of day-to-day business become more complicated. The effort of obtaining transportation cuts into time students could otherwise spend on studies. Additionally, Flores, Batalova, and Fox (2012) uncovered the correlation that ELLs who worked in high school were more likely to go to college than ELLs who did not. Lack of access to a car can impact access to employment. In native households, 0.7 percent report that no one over the age of 14 speaks English only or speaks English “very well”; in foreign households, 27.2 percent report this (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). For foreign households, the language barrier impacts parents’ interaction with school activities. <br /> <br /> <strong>Relevance of Country of Origin</strong><strong> </strong><br /> <br /> In <em>Frequently Requested Statistics about Immigrants and Immigration</em> (2014), Nwosu, Batalova, and Auclair address questions about country of origin. The article notes that in 2012 the largest immigrant group came from Mexico, comprising 28 percent of all foreign-born individuals in the U.S. After this group, India, China, and the Philippines contributed about 5 percent each. A common question regarding teaching ELL is about the relevance of a child’s birthplace. While this question is too complex for a simple answer, a few facts are clear. When all demographic groups are taken together, results reflect that about 50 percent of people born outside the U.S. report speaking English ”very well” (U. S. Census Bureau, 2013). When broken down into groups, the Census records that about 39 percent of those from Latin America and the Caribbean report a high level of English familiarity. This is also confirmed by the 2012 National Survey of Latinos (2012, slide 86). However, as previously noted, by the time these families have been in the U.S. long enough for their children or grandchildren to be counted by the Census as native-born, nearly all have learned English. In other words, those newly arriving from Latin America may be less familiar with English than those from other areas, but nearly all acquire English by the second generation. This counters the popular, but unfortunate, misperception that some cultures try harder to learn English than others. Because immigrants from Mexico are the most numerous, it is statistically more likely that any given individual will interact with someone from Mexico who is still learning English. However, it would be a faulty assumption to attribute lower English skills to less effort. As MPI (Nwosu, Batalova, &amp; Auclair, 2014) notes, many people, presumably including educators, ask about the relevance of country of origin regarding a child’s education in English. It is crucial that educators bear in mind factual information rather than anecdotal experience when addressing the needs and abilities of their students as individuals. <br /> <br /> <strong>Surveying ELL Freshmen</strong><strong> </strong><br /> <br /> Many studies have established that ELL college students report more difficulties than their English-only peers. In particular, the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey (Soria &amp; Stebleton, 2013) of college freshmen attending the University of California, Berkley, found that ELL students face more obstacles to their education than English-only students. Alkhadwaldeh (2012) also used a survey to assess difficulties that ELL students face, specifically in their language development. This study recommends that teachers gain an understanding of what their students are facing to develop a precise picture of how that impacts reading comprehension, and use this insight when planning lessons and evaluating students. <br /> <br /> Use of a survey with high school ELL freshmen provides an opportunity for improved teacher-parent communications via a deeper understanding of students’ home lives and familial perceptions of educators and the education system. Questions may, for instance, seek to discern how much time students spend helping family members or working to contribute to household income, whether or not quiet space is provided at home for study purposes, and what methods of transportation are available to the family.<br /> <br /> Other survey questions may shed light on students’ perceptions of how well schools are equipped to help and understand immigrant families. Burbank and Hunter (2008) and Guo (2012) emphasize that parents often feel that schools do not understand and respect families of ESL students. Both studies indicated that parents were better equipped to be partners in the educational process when they felt understood and respected by educators. In Burbank and Hunter’s (2008) case, the researchers noted that after advocates held meetings to help parents navigate the basics of parent-teacher communication, parents were more likely to engage. Feedback indicated that, after speaking to someone parents perceived as sympathetic to their situation and who represented education, they intended to initiate communication with educators in the future. In Guo’s (2012) study, the researchers focused on how immigrant parents felt they were perceived by educators. In almost every case, parents believed that educators did not have respect for their knowledge and experience until an educator demonstrated otherwise. Through a series of interviews, the parents in this study revealed interactions with school personnel which influenced this perception. Their responses underscored the reality that educators can expect that their gestures of communication are often counteracting previous negative impressions held by parents. When administering surveys, it is important for teachers to understand and use the survey as an opportunity to improve the three-part partnership of the school, the student, and the student’s family.<br /> <br /> After administering surveys to high school freshmen, educators could correlate the findings from their students to the findings that Soria and Stebleton (2013) highlighted for college students. Similarly, community colleges could administer surveys to their incoming students and correlate findings with those of other studies. By better understanding students’ needs, teachers have an opportunity to strengthen their instruction and interactions with students. Additionally, conferences with students and their families can improve not only communication between school and home, but also parental and student perceptions of instructors. Finally, students’ reflections on their own barriers have the potential to improve their ability to articulate what help they need and what areas they may be able to work on for their own success. In this context, it also seems that by working together, secondary school and community college educators could further bridge the communication gaps between home and school for English Language Learners. <br /> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>References</strong></p> <p>Alkhawaldeh, A. (2012). High school students’ challenges in English reading comprehension in Amman second directorate of education. <em>Journal of Instructional Psychology</em>, <em>39</em>(3-4), 214.</p> <p>Boardman, A. G., Eppolito, A. M., Klingner, J. K., &amp; Stonewise, E. A. (2012). Supporting adolescent English language learners’ reading in the content areas. <em>Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal</em>, <em>10</em>(1), 35.</p> <p>Burbank, M. D., &amp; Hunter R. (). The community advocate model: Linking communities, school districts, and universities to support families and exchange knowledge. <em>Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarshi</em>p, <em>1</em>(1), 47.</p> <p>Flores, S. M., Batalova, J., &amp; Fox, M. (2012). The educational trajectories of English language learners in Texas. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.</p> <p>Guo, Y. (2012). Diversity in public education: AAcknowledging immigrant parent knowledge. <em>Canadian Journal of Education</em>, <em>35</em>(2), 120.</p> <p>McKool, S. (2007). Factors that influence the decision to read: An investigation of fifth grade students' out-of-school reading habits. <em>Project Innovation</em>, <em>44</em>(3).</p> <p>Zong, J., &amp; Batalova, J. (2015). Frequently requested statistics about immigrants and immigration in the United States. <em>Migration Policy Institute</em>. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states#7" target="_blank">http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states#7</a></p> <p>Pew Research Center. (2012). National Survey of Latinos. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.pewhispanic.org/category/datasets/pages/2/?download=20420/" target="_blank">http://www.pewhispanic.org/category/datasets/pages/2/?download=20420/</a></p> <p>Soria, K. M., &amp; Stebleton, M. (2013). Immigrant college students’ academic obstacles. <em>The Learning Assistance Review</em>, <em>18</em>(1), 7.</p> <p>U.S. Census Bureau. (2013). Retrieved from <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_S0501&amp;prodType=table" target="_blank">http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_S0501&amp;prodType=table</a></p> </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </p> <p><em>Jennifer Oxier is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling from Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College in 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> Mentoring: A Pathway to Completion urn:uuid:0568AA25-1422-1766-9ABA28F3B49065DC 2015-05-01T05:05:56Z 2015-05-01T07:05:00Z <p>Community college mentoring programs contribute to student success.<strong></strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/leadership_abstracts.gif" alt="" /></p> <p> </p> <p>May 2015, Volume 28, Number 5</p> <p><em>By Marcia Conston</em></p> <p>Colleges have often considered mentoring an important component of student success. As students interact with faculty and staff and become more engaged in college activities, they are more likely to be successful in their classes, return subsequent terms, and, ultimately, complete a credential. Research has shown that students feel a sense of real belonging when someone inside the college knows who they are and connects with them beyond the classroom experience. As a result, student engagement positively impacts student success.</p> <p>Mentoring is one powerful way to connect with students beyond the classroom and to engage them in activities, conversations, and programs that not only enhance their college experiences, but also propel them to become more productive individuals. Influences from mentors are positive and motivating, and mentees are often inspired to accomplish and exceed their aspirations both academically and socially. Mentees want to please their mentors by becoming better students and citizens.</p> <p>At <a href="http://www1.cpcc.edu/" target="_blank">Central Piedmont Community College</a> (CPCC), faculty and staff have observed and experienced profound changes in both student behavior and performance as a result of mentoring programs. CPCC, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a multicampus institution with a headcount of 29,000 curriculum students per year. As with many community colleges, the average student age is 35. However, as the economy improves and more students return to the workforce, recent data indicate that the average age is trending downward. The demographic composition of females to males is 57 percent to 43 percent, respectively. Similarly, the minority to White ratio is 57 percent to 43 percent. The male demographic includes 52 percent minority students and 48 percent White students. The female demographic includes 61 percent minority students and 39 percent White students. For both genders, Hispanic students make up 10 percent of the total student enrollment, and this population is the fastest growing, increasing annually by 1 percent within the past three years. Within the Hispanic student population, enrollment was up by 26 percent from the 2011-2012 academic year to 2013-2014.</p> <p>This article focuses on various mentoring programs established at CPCC which support both male and female students. Various strategies implemented are highlighted, along with demographics and outcomes of participants. The programs discussed in the context of this abstract are the Minority Male Mentoring Program (Man-Up), Positive Community for Women (PCW), Ruth G. Shaw Scholars, and Resources Inspiring Student Excellence (RISE). </p> <p><strong>Programs for Minority Males</strong></p> <p><strong><em>Minority Male Mentoring Program (Man-Up). </em></strong>In 2009, CPCC initiated a mentoring program for minority males to help improve the academic performance of the increasing number of male students. This program, funded by the North Carolina Community College System, was aimed at increasing retention and graduation rates among minority males across the state. As of 2008, minority male mentoring initiatives were implemented in 38 of the 58 North Carolina community colleges. The fall 2009 CPCC cohort consisted of 33 males, each of whom was paired with a mentor. The fall-to-spring retention rate was 97 percent, reflecting an end enrollment of 32 students. One student’s registration was cancelled due to non-payment. A total of 19 of the 33 students (58 percent) registered for fall 2010. </p> <p>Since fall 2009, the college has implemented several strategies and activities to support the success of male students, with an aim toward improving persistence and graduation rates and increasing transfers to four-year institutions or entrance into the workforce. Strategies have included establishing learning communities, providing a dedicated computer lab, organizing a book club, establishing partnerships with local agencies that focus on young males, organizing an empowerment summit, and ensuring that participants maintain a close relationship with their mentors. </p> <p>Activities for this group included participating in service learning projects, discussion groups, and roundtable sessions; attending state conferences; visiting local museums; going on college tours; and attending meetings with local and national politicians. Each year, participation in the male mentoring program continues to increase, and in fall 2014 participation leveled at 202 students. Figure 1 provides participation data for each academic year, 2009-2010 to fall 2014.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015-05_leadership_Pic1.png" alt="" width="461" height="266" /> </p> <p>Since implementation, the college has achieved outstanding results from the program. As of spring 2014, student participants completed three learning communities through the college’s three-course student success series. Students expressed improved relationships with one another, their assigned mentor, and the college. Of the total 632 students who participated from fall 2009 to fall 2014, a total of 86 (14 percent) graduated from one or more academic programs, and 174 (28 percent) are taking classes in spring 2015. Also, since its inception, 82 percent of fall semester participants returned for the spring semester, as compared to 65 percent of all minority male students. <br /> <br /> Fall-to-fall retention for the cohort is 43 percent compared to 38 percent of all minority male students. By comparison, the average cumulative GPA for minority male participants is slightly lower (2.04) when compared to all minority male students (2.28). With intensive support programming, it is anticipated that the average cumulative GPA will continue to improve. It is noted, however, that 64 percent of program participants enrolled in at least one developmental course, compared to 56 percent of all minority male students. A majority of program participants (81 percent) received Pell grants and 90 percent received some type of financial aid, while only 60 percent of the total minority male student population received Pell grants and 71 percent received some type of aid. Table 1 provides select demographic data.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015-05_leadership_Pic2.png" alt="" width="540" height="552" /></p> <p>Given the success of the minority male mentoring program and the decline in White male enrollment as shown in Figure 2, the college is developing plans to expand services for all male students.</p> <p align="center"> <img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015-05_Leadership_Pic3.png" alt="" width="409" height="297" /></p> <p><strong>Programs for Female Students</strong></p> <p><strong><em>Positive Community for Women (PCW).</em></strong>Recognizing that extended support is needed for most students in the community college, CPCC sought to provide similar mentoring and other services to female students. In 2011, the Positive Community for Women (PCW) was introduced as a female peer group to support positive communications and relationships. Spearheaded by the college’s counseling staff, this program meets weekly to address topics of interest to women including personality style, self-esteem, and personal development. <br /> <br /> The mission of PCW is to provide a positive educational environment in which women are empowered and encouraged to improve their lives. The vision is to strengthen and expand opportunities for women at CPCC by providing lasting mentor relationships and a positive support system. PCW seeks to support and uplift female students by serving as a source of information, resources, and events; providing confidential dialogue and mentoring; supporting student endeavors; and focusing on current and ongoing issues concerning women.</p> <p>PCW was initiated with 13 students, and now more than 46 females attend the weekly sessions. While the college began tracking success outcomes in the 2014-2015 school year, the program’s success is evidenced by improved grade point averages and retention rates. Additionally, the program has experienced increased participation. Students demonstrate a greater sense of responsibility and character, and enhanced confidence and self-esteem. Of the total participants in the PCW program, 80 percent are African Americans, 67 percent are Pell grant recipients, and 70 percent receive some type of financial aid. Overall, student ages range from 18 to 72, with an average age of 26, but the majority of students are age 20 or below (57 percent).</p> <p><strong><em>Ruth G. Shaw Scholars. </em></strong>In 2014, the Ruth G. Shaw Scholars leadership program for women was developed to improve female student success. This program is sponsored by the second president of CPCC. Female student participants are paired with local community women of prominence who serve as mentors. Student participation is a selective process which includes previous CPCC credits, an essay, and recommendations. Activities include facilitated monthly group meetings with discussions on a broad range of topics. Students also participate in an Emerging Leaders program and receive a one-time $1,000 scholarship. The total number of participants in spring 2015 was 10. A total of 50 percent of participants are African American, 40 percent are age 20, and the remaining 60 percent range from ages 21 to 45. A total of 60 percent are Pell grant recipients.</p> <p><strong><em>Resources Inspiring Student Excellence (RISE). </em></strong>In spring 2015, an additional success initiative was implemented for young women. Initiated by the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services, Resources Inspiring Student Excellence (RISE) was established to reach a larger population of female students who are otherwise not engaged in college life beyond the classroom. RISE serves as a support and mentoring outreach program for women with a focus on relationship building and connections to both college and community resources. The RISE vision is to create an educational environment that broadens the understanding of academic success; builds relationships; and provides a welcoming, supportive, and vibrant environment for female students to enhance their social, intellectual, interpersonal, and leadership development skills.</p> <p>During the inaugural session, more than 25 women of diverse ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses gathered to express their interest in RISE. The Vice President attended the session, which was a meet-and-greet luncheon, along with other college staff. The ethnic composition of this group included 77 percent African Americans; 20 percent Whites, and 3 percent Asians. Of the participants, 33 percent were age 20 or younger, 43 percent were age 21 to 40, and 20 percent were age 41 and above. Additionally, 70 percent were Pell grant recipients, and 67 percent took at least one developmental course.</p> <p>Participants were asked to help determine goals and activities for RISE. Their responses included serving at women’s shelters, networking, career exploration support, mentoring, group exercise sessions, confidence building, babysitting services, leadership opportunities, tutoring, establishing a book club, and scholarship opportunities. The Vice President is considering ways to incorporate many of the suggestions in the monthly meeting sessions. During the March 2015 meeting, a discussion was facilitated by the author of <em>Better Choices</em>, Dr. Faye Hargrove. Retention analyses of the RISE program will be provided during the subsequent year.</p> <p>These programs and services validate the high correlation of mentoring and student success. CPCC intends to strengthen the existing programs, and implement others to address the needs of our students.</p> <p>For more information regarding mentoring programs at CPCC, please contact <a href="mailto:Marcia.conston@cpcc.edu">Dr. Marcia Conston</a>. Research on the mentoring programs was conducted by <a href="mailto:Tsehaye.Habtom@cpcc.edu">Tsehaye G. Habtom</a>. </p> <p><em>Marcia Conston is Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina.</em><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> PATHS Spring 2015: Program Addresses Leadership Crisis in Higher Education urn:uuid:6B17C370-1422-1766-9AA609F0EEB1A41E 2015-04-01T07:04:48Z 2015-04-02T07:04:00Z <p>Register for this six-week online program designed to accelerate career paths for higher education professionals</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p>Open Doors Group (ODG), the League for Innovation in the Community College, and SoftChalk LLC announce that registration is open for PATHS, a six-week online program designed to accelerate career paths for higher education professionals. PATHS will address the pending leadership crisis by providing a unique, career-boosting opportunity for college and university employees who have started their management careers or aspire to leadership positions. </p> <p>Designed and led by a cadre of successful leaders and other experts, PATHS, a self-paced online program delivered from June 1 to July 18, 2015, will focus on what it takes to become a leader in today’s higher education environment. The curriculum will be presented in three modules: Becoming a Higher Education Leader, Mindful Leadership, and Evaluating the Landscape: Operating in a Changing Environment, with a capstone project designed around integrating the participant's choice in applying PATHS topics on change management. In addition, the extensive mentor-matching program tailored to the career aspirations of each participant will be available at no cost.  "It is a privilege to work with ODG and SoftChalk on this vital, program that will prove to be essential for aspirants in education to take on leadership roles," said Chris Hennessey, Marketing Director, League for Innovation in the Community College. </p> <p>PATHS is a program for the Higher Education Leadership Platform, ODG’s initiative to accelerate the careers of entry- and mid-level managers on both the academic and business sides of colleges and universities. "In developing PATHS, the Open Doors Group's goal is—above all—to support the people who are just starting to serve as leaders in higher education and to give them what they need as they discover the managerial challenges inherent in the evolving, 21st Century higher education ecosystem," said Marie Highby, ODG Director of Strategy and Content Development and Lead Developer and Instructor for PATHS. "Unlike many online programs today where peer relationships tend to be underemphasized, if not nonexistent, the PATHS experience will be truly collaborative, using technology that's designed for class participants to engage in interactive, group learning and to learn from each other as well as from the course instructor," she added. </p> <p>Affordable and convenient, PATHS is egalitarian in admissions, and elitist in content and results. Visit <a href="http://www.league.org/paths/" target="_blank">www.league.org/paths/</a> for more information. </p> <p><a href="http://www.prlog.org/12333266-paths-program-addresses-leadership-crisis-in-higher-education.html" target="_blank">Click here</a> to read this article online.</p> <p><a href="http://www.opendoorsgroup.org/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more about Open Doors Group, a League for Innovation Platinum Corporate Partner.</p> Community College Curmudgeons: Barriers to Change urn:uuid:6B167AD4-1422-1766-9A2199CDFB1ACB7A 2015-04-01T07:04:10Z 2015-04-02T07:04:00Z <p>This issue of <em>Leadership Abstracts</em> features two excerpts from the new League monograph, <em>Community College Curmudgeons: Barriers to Change</em>, by Terry O’Banion.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/leadership_abstracts.gif" alt="" /></p> <p>April 2015, Volume 28, Number 4<br /><br /> Editor’s Note: This issue of <em>Leadership Abstracts </em>features two excerpts from the new League monograph, <a href="http://www.league.org/store/catalog.htm?Iit=54&amp;Ict=2" target="_blank"><em>Community College Curmudgeons: Barriers to Change</em></a>, by Terry O’Banion.<br /><br /> <em>By Terry O’Banion</em> <br /><br /> Curmudgeons seem to be a timeless phenomenon in society, a reality perhaps best, if paradoxically, demonstrated by their prevalence in fiction. From Ebenezer Scrooge and Grumpy the Dwarf to Archie Bunker and the eponymous characters created by Andy Rooney and Lewis Black, curmudgeons can be spiteful, annoying, mean spirited, funny, or even loveable. Curmudgeons are so ubiquitous there is an International Society of Curmudgeons atwww.grumpy-people.com.</p> <p>Curmudgeons are well represented in every kind of American institution, including religious organizations, government, corporations, foundations, hospitals, and unions. They are particularly visible in the world of education which may provide a fertile crucible for the production of curmudgeons.</p> <p>In any case, curmudgeons prosper in every sector of the educational enterprise, and every seasoned faculty member and administrator can identify at least one curmudgeon they have known. This article reports on a two-part study of community college president’s perceptions of curmudgeons they have known and their impact on change and innovation.</p> <p><strong>DEFINITION OF CURMUDGEONS</strong></p> <p>To better understand the curmudgeons in community colleges the author, with assistance from fourteen national community college leaders, created a definition of curmudgeons. Participants in this process were asked to focus on the negative characteristics of curmudgeons because we were ultimately interested in their negative impact on colleagues and colleges. A case can be made for affable and even well-meaning curmudgeons, but that is a project for another time.</p> <p>After numerous iterations, the following definition was accepted as the definition that would guide this study:</p> <p><strong>Almost every community college has a curmudgeon; most colleges have more than one. They are highly visible on campus and can be identified easily by faculty, staff, and administrators. Curmudgeons are contrarians who take enormous pleasure and pride in thinking otherwise. They can be cantankerous naysayers acting as self-appointed gadflies to the president or other leaders, including leaders of their own constituencies. Collaboration and civility do not seem to be values they hold in high esteem. They are quite vocal and opinionated and appear to prefer heated debate and prolonged circular discussion to solving problems and reaching consensus. Curmudgeons can be memorable characters with a certain flair or style often using humor and sarcasm to play to their audiences.</strong></p> <p>While this definition guided the study,<strong> </strong>many participants felt compelled to<strong> </strong>share their own definitions which reflect<strong> </strong>various attributes of the curmudgeon.<strong> </strong>The following four definitions are<strong> </strong>examples of many submitted. All<strong> </strong>statements throughout this article in<strong> </strong>italics are the actual statements of the<strong> </strong>respondents.<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>A Texas community college president: </strong><em>In my experience, curmudgeons at their best</em><strong> </strong><em>are amusing distractions and only kill time.</em><strong> </strong><em>At their worst, they are deadly idea killers</em><strong> </strong><em>and deadly killers of others' self-esteem and</em><strong> </strong><em>productivity.</em><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>A retired superintendent/president froma California community college: </strong><em>Curmudgeons can serve as one of the</em><strong> </strong><em>barriers to innovation and change; they too often contribute</em><strong> </strong><em>to an atmosphere of institutional pessimism, for they are</em><strong> </strong><em>critics of new ideas. As they are defenders of the status quo,</em><strong> </strong><em>they function as obstructionists. Sometimes they are</em><strong> </strong><em>articulate critics of any attractive/new ideas and enjoy</em><strong> </strong><em>scuttling them. On all too many of our campuses, they wield</em><strong> </strong><em>a great deal of negative power and are the perpetuators of the</em><strong> </strong><em>“we/they” “us/them” culture. As inhibiters of change, they</em><strong> </strong><em>can be toxic to advancing any new initiative.</em><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>A retired president from an Illinois community college: </strong><em>A curmudgeon is ill tempered and stubborn and</em><strong> </strong><em>opposed to just about anything. In other words—negative.</em><strong> </strong><em>Negativity is magnetic; it is a force bordering on absolute evil.</em><strong> </strong><em>And, it compels people. They are attracted to it. They laugh</em><strong> </strong><em>when someone puts another down. They smile at a cheap shot.</em><strong> </strong><em>They can't help it. They are attracted to negative forces until</em><strong> </strong><em>positive forces counteract. But positive forces often cannot</em><strong> </strong><em>blunt the negative forces of curmudgeons; they always</em><strong> </strong><em>survive and continue to poison the atmosphere.</em><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>A president from a Florida community college: </strong><em>A curmudgeon is a person who thinks otherwise.</em></p> <p align="center">-------------------------------------------------------------------------------</p> <p>By design, this study reports on the negative aspects of a curmudgeon’s behavior and motivation, as well as the damage curmudgeons can cause. In a few cases, presidents struggled with this emphasis on the negative and tried to explain in more humane terms the motivations and behaviors of curmudgeons. While the presidents expressed frustration in dealing with curmudgeons, some did not want to give up on them. The author had several conversations with colleagues about this issue and came up with the following observations around which more conversation and study are needed:</p> <ol> <li>Some curmudgeons have legitimate and rational responses to perceived injustices and incompetent leadership.</li> <li>Some curmudgeons have become cynical because of broken promises and constant changes in leadership.</li> <li>Some curmudgeons have been passed over for promotions and recognition they deserved.</li> <li>Some curmudgeons are very knowledgeable of college issues, policies, and programs, and are very articulate about sharing that knowledge.</li> <li>Some curmudgeons would like to see improvement and change in the college and because of resistance from leaders and others have become more aggressive and belligerent as the only effective strategies open to them.</li> </ol> <p>Several respondents hinted at the efficacy of these observations:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>Curmudgeons should never be confused with whiners. It is easy to mistake their independence for hostility or simple negativism. Yet they can be reliable friends and forceful allies.</em></p> <p><em>Our biggest curmudgeon on campus (nearly everyone can name him) has often ended up in leadership roles (such as chair of the faculty council). A few years back I had the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one about a topic and during that conversation he shared with me that he had been at the college for nearly seven years and during that time he had reported to seven different supervisors with a different person conducting his performance evaluation each year. I believe that lack of effective leadership for these individuals is a key contributing factor to their behavior or should at least be considered.</em></p> <p><em>These individuals are often very knowledgeable of complex issues. I would propose that they are often behaving the way they do because they have something to say, to contribute, that they feel would be of real value but they are not provided with the chance to do so. Their frustration becomes reflected in their negativity and eventually they reach a point where the negativity is all that others see.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In education we do not like to give up on our students—and maybe on our curmudgeons. If we could find a constructive way to engage curmudgeons directly in conversations about their behaviors and the contributions they are making or want to make to the college, we might open new ways to engage them and involve them in the college with more positive results for everyone. Somewhere in our faculty and staff there are highly competent and concerned humanist risktakers who could make the right connections with curmudgeons to help them shed the unproductive behaviors they have taken on and to rejoin the community from which they feel alienated. If this is wishful thinking, there is not much hope for the educational process in general and for our role as educators in changing behavior in particular.</p> <p><em>Terry O’Banion is President Emeritus of the League for Innovation in the Community College, a Senior League Fellow, and Chair of the Graduate Faculty at National American University.</em></p> <p><em>Opinions expressed in</em><em> </em>Leadership Abstracts<em> </em><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> Unpacking the Language of STEM for English Language Learners urn:uuid:6B14615C-1422-1766-9AD08C16C06E6D1A 2015-04-01T07:04:56Z 2015-04-08T08:04:00Z The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/learning_abstracts.gif" alt="Learning Abstract" /></p> <p>April 2015, Volume 18, Number 4<strong> </strong><br /><br /> <em>By Kristin Lems and Jason Stegemoller</em><br /> <br /> This article is a follow-up to a workshop we presented at the League’s 2013 STEM<em>tech</em> conference entitled Unpacking the Language of STEM for English Language Learners. We chose this topic because, in our roles as co-directors of the ESL STEM Success Grant (a five-year national professional development grant from the Office of English Language Acquisition, U.S. Department of Education), we have been exploring ways that teachers across grade levels can rise to the challenge of more effectively teaching English language learners (ELLs) in the STEM disciplines. When teachers embed their understanding of the language demands of STEM into their teaching of ELLs, those students are better able to learn, and comfortably use, the language of the STEM fields. This provides them with greater career options while at the same time addressing a great national need. </p> <p>English language learners at community colleges represent a wide variety of home languages and prior educational experiences. The percentage of children and youth who speak a language other than English at home in the U.S. is 18 percent in large metropolitan areas (Aud, et al, 2012). Some of them attended ESL or bilingual programs whereas others did not. Some youth are Generation 1.5 students who arrived in the U.S. as teenagers (Harklau, Losey, &amp; Siegal, 1999). Students with a wide range of linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds have been referred to as the “new mainstream” because all educators need to address their backgrounds. The trend in K-12 contexts is for all teachers to receive training in teaching linguistically diverse children (Clewell, de Cohen, &amp; Murray, 2007). In postsecondary contexts, much attention has been paid to linguistic diversity in writing programs (Roberge, Siegal, &amp; Harklau, 2009), but less attention has been focused on how to effectively address linguistic diversity in STEM classrooms in community colleges. </p> <p>From conversations with participants in our 2013 workshop and in related reading, we can see that community college instructors are interested in taking up the challenge of assisting linguistically diverse students in content reading and writing. However, teacher understanding of the language demands of STEM is necessary to promote learning for diverse students in STEM classrooms.</p> <p>The language of STEM is not one-size-fits-all by any means. A recent look at the structure of STEM academic language in <em>Review of Educational Research</em> (DiCerbo, Anstrom, Baker &amp; Rivera, 2014) confirms the existence of a wide variety of text structures and reading/writing demands in the STEM subject areas. </p> <p>In the domain of science in particular, as science courses become more difficult, both the content and language of science become dramatically more difficult. Mastering the information in the texts can produce obstacles for ELLs and deter them from even considering advanced coursework which could allow them to pursue their talents and interests in the STEM fields.   </p> <p>The difficulty with the language of science is not from vocabulary alone, but from sentence structures, references within and between sentences, and larger discourse patterns. Language analysis can be informed by systemic functional linguistics, an approach which analyzes oral and written texts to discover the structures through which they create meaning, according to their purposes (Schleppegrell, 2005; Fang &amp; Schleppegrell, 2010). Systemic functional linguistics—also called functional linguistics, SFL, or functional language analysis—is showing promising results in assisting ELLs to better access and use academic language (e.g., DiCerbo, Anstrom, Baker, &amp; Rivera, 2014; Nagle &amp; Macdonald, 2011), although the evidence is still preliminary. </p> <p>This article briefly describes three characteristics of the English language that abound in science writing in particular. We will move from the smallest unit of the three to the largest. The first, morpheme study, looks at units of meaning within words, called morphemes (for example, “books” consists of two morphemes, “book” and a plural suffix “-s”), which can help students recognize and understand unknown words by looking for parts they can figure out. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The second, </span>passive voice, occurs at the sentence level and is a very common sentence structure in academic writing. Students need to learn to recognize the agent of sentences written in passive voice. They also need to be able to write up procedures and lab reports in passive voice, not only in short sentences using “is,” but in longer, complex sentences in a variety of tenses. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The third, </span>nominalizations, consist of a linguistic transformation to changes verbs to nouns to facilitate connections between or among several sentences. They abound in science and other technical writing. Understanding these three features will help instructors tackle complex texts with their students in order to remove obstacles to understanding and allow for greater success in both advanced reading and writing.</p> <p><strong>Morphemes</strong></p> <p>In the language of science, the importance of recognizing many roots, prefixes, and suffixes cannot be overstated. Learning science morphemes can greatly assist students in reading science texts.  </p> <p>ELLs from Latin-based languages have a decided potential advantage in the number of cognates between their languages and English, in particular in science vocabulary, because so much science vocabulary in English derives from Greek and Latin root morphemes. </p> <p>English language learners benefit from explicitly-taught morpheme instruction (Kieffer &amp; Lesaux, 2008) but may learn only as much as the teacher knows, and this is often limited (Kieffer &amp; Lesaux, 2012). </p> <p><em>Classroom Applications       </em></p> <p>When morpheme study is introduced early in a content reading or science course, there is adequate time for students to learn to recognize them in the units of study.  </p> <p>Hydro, geo, hyper/hypo, and scope are common morphemes used across several science disciplines. These roots combine with other roots and affixes to form many compound words.  </p> <p>Students can brainstorm words that use these roots, and keep track of them in reading. A teacher can pull out several important roots at the beginning of a unit because they may appear in numerous word forms.</p> <p>Key affixes (prefixes, suffixes, or roots) should also be taught explicitly. For example:</p> <blockquote> <p>-ation  verb -- » noun<br /> -ize   noun  à verb<br /> -ify   noun  -à verb<br /> de-  undoing a process  </p> </blockquote> <p>Once they are discussed, students will notice them as they speak and read, and many new words will become comprehensible. As an example of the generative nature of these affixes, in our own ESL STEM Success Grant, we try to put more emphasis on the STEM subjects in our ESL endorsement coursework. To describe this process, we have coined the term STEMifying the curriculum.</p> <p>Students also benefit from knowing common singular and plural forms derived from Latin that are used in so many science terms, both technical and general. These words do not follow the standard English plurals pattern of adding the morpheme “s” or “es” at the end of a word, but follow the Latin system instead. Knowing the Latin plural endings allows a reader to know whether a scientific word is singular or plural, and this is very useful.</p> <p>Five especially productive singular-plural pairs are:  </p> <div> <table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Latin Singular/Plural Morpheme</span></strong></p> </td> <td width="228" valign="bottom"> <p align="center"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Example</span></strong></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center">-is/-es</p> </td> <td width="228" valign="top"> <p align="center">neurosis/neuroses</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center">-us/-i</p> </td> <td width="228" valign="top"> <p align="center">stimulus/stimuli</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center">-ex/ix/-ices</p> </td> <td width="228" valign="top"> <p align="center">vertex/vertices</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center">-a/-ae</p> </td> <td width="228" valign="top"> <p align="center">nebula/nebulae</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="210" valign="top"> <p align="center">-on/a</p> </td> <td width="228" valign="top"> <p align="center">criterion/criteria</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p>Teachers can scaffold ELLs to recognize and write these two forms through a t-chart such as the one below, which provides one form of the Latin word and asks the students to provide the other form.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">T CHART FOR SELECTED SINGULAR AND PLURAL FORMS OF LATIN-BASED WORDS</span></p> <p><strong>Singular</strong>                                     <strong>Plural</strong></p> <p>antenna                                      ________________</p> <p>________________                        phenomena</p> <p>crisis                                          _________________</p> <p>After practicing these forms, teachers can ask students to find more examples from their science text or other readings as the course continues. If the teacher has his or her own classroom, these singular-plural pairs can be put up on a chart on the wall. </p> <p>To stimulate students to notice morphemes, we enjoy a game in which teams vie to create the longest list of words containing the target morpheme within a fixed number of minutes.  The lists are compared, and the team with the most unique number of words wins the round (Lems, Miller &amp; Soro, 2010). When teachers play against the student teams, they often find that the students leave them in the dust!</p> <p><strong>Passive Voice</strong></p> <p>Scientific and academic writing makes use of many passive sentences, and it is in fact one of the hallmarks of academic language. People do not speak in passive voice in conversational settings, but passive voice is heavily employed in formal writing. The preponderance of passive voice in science texts makes it imperative that students be able to rapidly and accurately construct meaning from texts which use passive, yet this takes training and practice. </p> <p>A sentence in the passive voice “flips” the position of the object of a sentence into the subject position, often omitting the former subject or changing it into a “by- phrase” at the end of the sentence. Here is a simple example:</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Melted rock and soil</span> form <span style="text-decoration: underline;">the earth’s mantle</span>.<br /> Subject                                      object<br /> To form the passive, we flip the positions of the subject and object.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The earth’s mantle</span> is formed <span style="text-decoration: underline;">by melted rock and soil</span>.  <br /> New subject                          by-phrase with the former subject</p> <p>It’s pretty straightforward to move the positions in sentences such as the one above. In fact, passive voice is one of the grammatical items nearly all English language learners study if they have advanced academic training in English as a Second language. However, as community college instructors surely know, the New Mainstream consists of students with diverse educational experiences, so many students do not have this training. In addition, it is considerably more difficult for students whose first languages do not contain the passive voice!</p> <p>The other tricky thing about passive voice is that a sentence with passive voice doesn’t necessarily have a by-phrase, and when it doesn’t, the agent or actor can be hard to discern.</p> <p>For example:</p> <p>The earth was formed several billion years ago. (no by-phrase)  <br /> It is not clear from the sentence what formed the earth several billion years ago.  </p> <p>Sometimes, instead of a by-phrase, we might see a different connector:</p> <p>Tornadoes are formed through a process of warming air and moisture.   <br /> A process of warming air and moisture formed the tornadoes, but the by-phrase is replaced by the word “through.”</p> <p><em>Classroom Applications</em></p> <p>In ESL classes, students spend time turning passive to active voice and vice versa.  For academic reading in the content areas, one good way to practice academic discourse structures is through the use of sentence frames (Arechiga, 2013). Sentence frames, or partially completed sentences, have been part of grammar-based ESL classrooms and textbooks for years, but they can be used in a more discipline-specific way in content-based ESL classrooms. For example, passive voice sentence structures can be practiced with a frame such as the one below on a variety of general scientific topics: </p> <p>Frame:         _______________ is ______________ by _______________.</p> <p>Examples:     Weatber is impacted by rising air currents.</p> <p><span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>    Ice is melted by heat.</p> <p>To make this work, the teacher should have several additional examples prepared in advance that are relevant to the current readings or topic; as the tenses become more advanced, preparation is even more important.</p> <p>After a frame has been introduced, other sentences can be generated using the frame over the course of the teaching unit.  </p> <p>Another useful way to practice understanding the passive is by changing passive sentences into active voice, in order to better understand the actor, or agent, of the action.  For example, we can encounter a sentence such as this one in many physics textbooks:  “the motion of an object <span style="text-decoration: underline;">is usually described</span> with respect to something else…” It is useful for students to be able to understand that in its active form, it says, “People usually describe the motion of an object with respect to something else….”</p> <p>For this practice, too, the teacher should have chosen several sentences from the target reading in advance, and he or she can provide a careful think-aloud of how the action in the sentence is performed. Over time, these transformations can become automatic and unconscious to a reader and form part of his or her increased reading comprehension. </p> <p><strong>Nominalizations</strong></p> <p>Science writing is dense in both concepts and language. The economical nature of science writing can make reading a textbook a daunting task. Complex concepts or procedures can be defined or summarized by nominalizing them in the following sentence or paragraph. Nominalizations often put the subjects of sentences into a “zig zag” pattern (Nagle &amp; MacDonald, 2011) in which the subject of the second sentence “points back” to the previous sentence. Descriptions of concepts and processes in the first sentence become “nominalized” (turned into a noun or noun phrase) in the following sentence. Here are two examples: </p> <p>Example:  When air molecules heat up, they collide. This collision causes….</p> <p>“This collision” refers to the process described in the previous sentence, which serves as the de facto definition of “collision” in this context. An ELL reader needs to know that the entire first sentence can be encompassed in the definition of “this collision” in the following sentence.  </p> <p>Example:  This was at the time that many of the secrets of life were revealed.  The trigger for these revelations was the discovery of the structure of DNA…</p> <p>“These revelations” in the second sentences points back to the whole first sentence. The revelations were the many “secrets of life” revealed at that time. To understand the meaning of “revelations,” we must summarize and scramble, the previous sentence. This is an advanced reading task which stymies many native speakers, but is even harder for ELLs because keeping the meanings of sentences in working memory is harder when reading and language acquisition are still developing (Swanson, Orozco, Lussier, Gerber, &amp; Guzmán-Orth, 2011).</p> <p><em>Classroom Applications</em></p> <p>We practice identifying the meanings of nominalizations by the tried and true process of circling parts of texts and drawing lines between them. In the case of science writing, this is much more effective than having students look up a concept in the dictionary (or by right clicking on it for synonyms, or using google translator). Marking a text this way helps students see the connections between sentences and build reading comprehension beyond vocabulary learning.</p> <p>A good way to practice is to type up a sample passage from the class science text (best to use your real textbook, in a unit you are really studying), double spaced, and give one copy per student (Stegemoller &amp; Miller, 2012). Have the students circle the item in the first sentence and draw a line to its nominalized form in the next sentence (or vice versa). The first few times, you’ll need to point out the nominalization first, and then “backload” to the previous sentences or sentences to find the description, definition, or process. As texts get harder, the former may be several sentences away, or even in a previous paragraph. However, good editors insure that the nominalization is not too far from its antecedent, no matter what the subject.</p> <p>Learning to understand and use the academic register of the STEM subjects is a goal that cannot be realized in a short time frame, but it is a very rewarding long term goal. Best of all, it is an achievable goal, both for ELLs and for their teachers alike. The reward of this effort is an “open sesame” into a portal which opens a dazzling, vast world of the STEM fields. May you, and your students, enjoy learning the “magic words,” and the journey into the glittering cave of wonders that they make possible.</p> <p>For additional information, contact <a href="mailto:KLems@nl.edu">Kristin Lems</a> or <a href="mailto:Jason.Stegemoller@nl.edu">Jason Stegemoller</a>.</p> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><span style="font-family: arial; font-size:9px;"> <p><strong>References</strong></p> <p>Arechiga, D. (2013). Tackling complex texts with language learners. Educational Leadership, 71(3), 46-51.<br /><br /> Aud, S., Hussar, W., Johnson, F., Kena, G., Roth, E., Manning, E., Wang, X., &amp; Zhang, J. (2012). The condition of education 2012 (NCES 2012-045). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC. Retrieved from <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch</a><br /><br /> Clewell, B. C., de Cohen, C. C., &amp; Murray, J. (2007). Promise or peril?: NCLB and the education of ELL students. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute. <br /><br /> DiCerbo, P., Anstrom, K.A., Baker, L.L. &amp; Rivera, C. (2014). A review of the literature on teaching academic English to English language learners. Review of Educational Research 84(3), 446-482. <br /><br /> Fang, Z., &amp; Schleppegrell, M. J. (2010). Disciplinary literacies across content areas: Supporting secondary reading through functional language analysis. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 53, 587–597.<br /><br /> Harklau, L., Losey, K. M., &amp; Siegal, M. (Eds.) (1999). Generation 1.5 meets college composition. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.</p> <p>Kieffer, M.J. &amp; Lesaux, N.K. (2008). The role of derivational morphology in the reading comprehension of Spanish-speaking English language learners. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 21(8), 783-804.<br /><br /> Kieffer, M.J., &amp; Lesaux, N.K. (2012). Effects of academic language instruction on relational and syntactic aspects of morphological awareness for sixth graders from linguistically diverse backgrounds. The Elementary School Journal, 112(3), 519-545.<br /><br /> Lems, K., Miller, L.D. &amp; Soro, T. M. (2010). Teaching reading to English language learners: Insights from linguistics. New York: Guilford Press. <br /><br /> Nagle, J., &amp; MacDonald, R. (2011). Using functional language analysis to develop scientific thinking. AccELLerate: The quarterly review of the National Clearinghouse for English language acquisition 3(4), 4-5.<br /><br /> Roberge, M., Siegal, M., &amp; Harklau, L. (Eds.) (2009). Generation 1.5 in college composition: teaching academic writing to U.S.-education learners of ESL. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. <br /><br /> Scheppegrell, M.J. (2005). Helping content area teachers work with academic language: Promoting English language learners' literacy in history. Davis, CA: University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute.<br /><br /> Stegemoller, W. J., &amp; Miller, L. D. (2012, February). Language, culture, and ELL academic success in STEM subjects. Presentation at the annual meeting of Illinois TESOL-Bilingual Education, Lisle, IL.<br /><br /> Swanson, H.L., Orozco, M. J., Lussier, C. M., Gerber, M. M., &amp; Guzmán-Orth, D. A., (2011). The influence of working memory and phonological processing on English langauge learner children's bilingual reading and language acquisition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 838-856.</p> </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Kristin Lems and Jason Stegemoller are an ESL/Bilingual Education professor and assistant professor, respectively, at National Louis University in Chicago, Illinois.</em></p> <div> <div> <p><em>Opinions expressed in</em><em> </em>Learning Abstracts<em> </em><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> </div> </div> Improving Retention of the Modern Student urn:uuid:6B100C5E-1422-1766-9A3D42CD20903870 2015-04-01T07:04:21Z 2015-04-02T07:04:00Z <p>Download a free white paper highlighting key research on ways to increase engagement and retention for community college students</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p align="center"><strong>Improving Retention of the Modern Student</strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015_04_TechSmith_Pic1.jpg" alt="" width="300" /></p> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.ccsse.org/publications/national_report_2010/36379tw/cccse_2010_national_report.pdf" target="_blank">Community College Student Survey on Engagement</a>, less than a third of incoming, full-time students achieve their degree or certificate within three years.  Even after six years, only 45 percent have achieved their goal.    </p> <p>It can be tough to balance college with life's demands - work, child care, finances, as well as transportation to and from campus. Given the hectic schedules of today's students, it's no surprise that retention is a significant issue. The challenge stands for colleges to find effective ways to increase engagement and retention for a better learning experience, and improved outcomes at the institution level as well. Based on the latest research, here are the top five ways to increase engagement. </p> <ol> <li><strong>Offer Flexible Courses</strong><br /> Due to increasingly busy lifestyles, modern students respond well to flexible instruction that is accessible at various times and locations, and allows them to work at their own pace.  Offering course material online - in whole or in part - is a well-received and impactful way to increase engagement. Whether through supplemental blended learning or entirely online distance courses, accessible content encourages students to be more invested in completing their degree...  </li> </ol> <p><a href="http://discover.techsmith.com/college/" target="_blank">Read the full white paper</a> highlighting key research on ways to increase engagement and retention for community college students. </p> <p><a href="http://www.techsmith.com/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more about TechSmith, a League for Innovation Silver Corporate Partner.</p> The Marketing Power of the Church Newsletter urn:uuid:6B12DAAE-1422-1766-9A4D24DF3DB9550D 2015-04-01T07:04:21Z 2015-04-02T07:04:00Z <p>A series of continuing education courses are developed as a result of a grassroots effort in Gallatin, Tennessee.<strong> </strong></p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><img src="/publication/images/showcase.gif" alt="Innovation Showcase" /></p> <p align="left">April 2015, Volume 10, Number 4<br /><br /> <em>By Eric Melcher</em></p> <p align="center"><img src="/publication/leagueconnections/images/2015-04_InnovationsShowcase_Pic1.jpg" alt="" width="220" /></p> <p> Television, radio, newspapers, and social media; community college marketers use many channels to communicate these days. But perhaps they should be considering a more grassroots approach: the humble church newsletter. <a href="http://www.volstate.edu/" target="_blank">Volunteer State Community College</a> (Vol State) administrators learned this lesson thanks to a group of dedicated learners. The older residents and their unique communication approach helped to make the Keep Educating Yourself (KEY) Lifelong Learning continuing education program at Vol State a resounding success in its inaugural session. It began when Shirley Arrendale of Sumner County, Tennessee, was talking to friends about continuing education classes she was taking at other colleges in the Nashville area.</p> <p>“We were saying it’s a shame that we can’t have this in Gallatin,” Arrendale said. “I’m ready to do this and we have a wonderful college right here to support us.”</p> <p>They proposed holding continuing education classes for older adults at Vol State. The first step for Arrendale was a bit of old-fashioned market research with her friend Pat Highers.</p> <p>“We decided to reach out to people to see if they would be interested,” said Arrendale. “I had my church on board and she had her church on board. We started sending out information to church newsletters and we had a lot of churches participating.”</p> <p>They quickly determined there was interest. The next step was contacting the college.</p> <p>“It was very much a grassroots type of thing,” said Hilary Marabeti, Assistant Vice President for Continuing Education and Economic Development. “We formed an advisory council. They gave us topic ideas and time suggestions, and helped us to publicize the lectures.”</p> <p>What developed was a series of lectures on topics such as genealogy, art, and books. Each topic had several lecture sessions over the course of a few weeks. The fee to enroll in one or all of the lectures was $49.</p> <p>“We had 85 people attend our first meeting,” said Arrendale. “It all added up to 110 people who gave us their information.”</p> <p>They once again employed the church newsletters as part of their publicity campaign, with the continuing education staff at Vol State registering people. </p> <p>“The college has come through. We had 98 people register for our first program,” Arrendale said.</p> <p>Allene Byars of Gallatin, aged 101, attended several of the lectures with her daughters. “I’m interested in history and genealogy, almost anything along those lines,” Byars said. “I’m a born student. I read a lot. I’ve read all of the books in the lecture series and I want to see what the speakers say about them.”</p> <p>The lecture series and the process has proven worthy of another session this winter. The topics are: Spiritual Storytelling, A Proactive Approach to Health, Music Genre – A Count of Four, and School and Life of the Civil War Soldier. Many classes are taught by Vol State faculty members.</p> <p>“I think we need to keep our minds active and we need to keep learning,” Arrendale said. But she also stresses: “It’s open to all adults. Some come over their lunch hour. The biggest part is retired people, but you also have mothers and fathers who are at home with kids.”</p> <p>Many colleges already have such older adult learning programs, but the Vol State story shows the power of grassroots organizing and the value of having energized ambassadors conducting word of mouth publicity. Church newsletters, email listservs, and even talkative groups of friends can all serve as effective methods for publicizing new programs. They’re usually free and come with an important added benefit: trust. </p> <p>“People often put more trust in smaller social group communications than larger social media or mass media publicity,” said Tami Wallace, Director of Public Relations at Vol State.</p> <p>Marabeti says the program earned the college money, but adds there are benefits for the college in the long-term. “These lectures gave this group of well-connected people an insight into the talents of Vol State faculty. They’re telling their kids and grandkids about us now.”</p> <p><em>Eric Melcher is the Coordinator of Communications and Public Relations at Volunteer State Community College, Tennessee.</em><br /> <em></em></p> <p><em>Opinions expressed in</em><em> </em>Innovation Showcase<em> </em><em>are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.</em></p> Member Spotlight: Chandler-Gilbert Community College urn:uuid:CB777B2E-1422-1766-9A9966497BF4B101 2015-03-01T07:03:49Z 2015-06-30T08:06:00Z <p>Hands-on training of CGCC aviation program students is enhanced by a donation from Boeing.</p> The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><strong>Boeing Engine Donation Helps CGCC Aviation Program Hit New Heights</strong></p> <p>Hands-on experience is essential for aviation students at <a href="http://www.cgc.maricopa.edu/Pages/Default.aspx" target="_blank">Chandler-Gilbert Community College</a> (CGCC), and thanks to the generosity of one of the program's most valued partners, students are taking the controls like never before. The Boeing Company's recent donation of four new A160 helicopter engines will expose students to the latest industry technology and prepare them for a career in today's aviation field. </p> <p>The A160 engine was originally designed for Boeing's A160 Hummingbird, an unmanned aerial vehicle helicopter used by the military from 2002-2012 for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, communications relay, and battlefield resupply during military mission. Its design incorporated many new technologies never before used in helicopters, allowing for greater endurance and altitude. </p> <p>"We are pleased the technology developed for the A160 platform will continue to support Chandler-Gilbert Community College and its students," said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing Unmanned Systems. "Our hope is that these engines provide valuable experience for students pursuing a career in aerospace, helping them to develop the skills that they need to be prepared for the 21st century workforce."</p> <p>Students in the Aircraft Maintenance Technology program will begin working on the new engines this spring during the lab portion of their Aircraft Turbine Engine Technology class, taught by CGCC Aviation Chairman Mike Hutto. </p> <p>"It is our responsibility to provide the very best training in a highly complex field," said Hutto. "A gift of this magnitude allows us to give our students advanced, hands-on exposure to technology that they will see in the aviation industry for many years to come."</p> <p>This donation is just one more milestone in a long-time partnership between these two institutions. For more than 20 years, Boeing and CGCC have worked together to prepare students for successful careers in the field of aviation. Boeing is a member of CGCC's aviation advisory council; it provides thousands of dollars annually in student scholarships and offers internship opportunities for students looking for industry experience. In return, CGCC has become a source of qualified talent for Boeing. To date, Boeing has hired over 80 CGCC graduates to work at their Mesa plant, which builds Apache helicopters for the U.S. Army and electrical components for Boeing commercial and military products.</p> <p>"Our mutually beneficial partnership also serves the broader community as graduating students transition easily into high skill, high wage jobs and channel those resources back into their communities" said Hutto. </p> <p>The <a href="http://www.cgc.maricopa.edu/aviation" target="_blank">aviation program at CGCC</a> is the only one in the East Valley and is designed to meet the aviation industry's need for well-prepared pilots and technicians in aircraft maintenance, electronics/avionics, and aircraft construction. </p> Rapid Book Publishing for Educators On-Demand MOOC urn:uuid:C647DF3A-1422-1766-9A48AA4E85516210 2015-03-01T07:03:58Z 2015-04-02T10:04:00Z The League for Innovation in the Community College <p><strong>Rapid Book Publishing for Educators On-Demand MOOC</strong><strong> </strong></p> <p>League for Innovation partners Open Doors Group and SoftChalk LLC have announced the release of an on-demand online course titled Rapid Book Publishing for Educators. This affordable learn-at-your-own-pace course is designed to boost the careers of instructors, administrators, librarians, and other educators in K-12, higher education, and life-long learning.</p> <p>Creating and marketing a book provides nearly instant recognition as an expert thereby accelerating promotions, insuring better summer positions, and increasing enrollment in the educator's courses and private lessons.</p> <p><a href="http://www.opendoorsgroup.org/educators/" target="_blank">Click here</a> for more information.</p> <p><a href="http://www.opendoorsgroup.org/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more about Open Doors Group, a League for Innovation Platinum Corporate Partner.</p>