This month the League is focused even more than usual on innovation. With preparations wrapping up for the online Innovator Spotlight (February 15, 1:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Eastern), which features recipients of the League’s Innovation of the Year Award, and the face-to-face Innovations conference (March 4-7 in Philadelphia), we’re celebrating the creativity and dedication of community college educators around the world. We'll also be celebrating the 15th issue of The Cross Papers at the Innovations conference with special recognition of K. Patricia Cross, who launched the innovative series in 1997 and whose generous support ensures the continuation of this important resource for community college faculty. Creative Commons CEO Cathy Casserly is the opening keynote speaker at Innovations, and the conference offers scores of sessions, from Learning Center Courses and Special Sessions to forums, roundtables, poster sessions, and special exhibit hall events.
Our celebration of innovation is reflected throughout the February issue of League Connections, and especially with features on innovative practices in meeting adjunct faculty needs at Anne Arundel Community College (Learning Abstracts), in meeting business and industry needs at NorQuest College’s Centres for Excellence (Innovation Showcase), and in meeting community health-care needs at Georgian College’s Sadlon Centre for Health and Wellness (Member Spotlight). In Leadership Abstracts, Tara Carter explores the underrepresentation of African-American faculty in U.S. community colleges, including in her article suggestions for improvements provided by the faculty members she interviewed.
The Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCSSE) has released the first in a series of reports on promising practices in student success, A Matter of Degrees, and that report leads our list of resources from the field this month. The new CCSSE initiative engaged in this important work, Identifying and Promoting High-Impact Educational Practices in Community Colleges, is looking closely at "innovative, data-informed programs" at these institutions to learn more about "what works in promoting student success."
Other featured resources from the field are a new website and blog from the Association of Schools of Public Health's Framing the Future task force and an opportunity for STEM faculty to apply for the 2012 Glenn Faculty Fellowship Program at NASA John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. STEM faculty as well as faculty working with their STEM colleagues in integrating STEM across the curriculum are invited to share their innovative practices at the League's annual STEMtech conference in Kansas City, October 28-31. The deadline for submitting proposals to present is April 13.
The League’s corporate partners are also thinking about innovation and creativity this month, with League Connections sponsor, MiCTA, soliciting input from community colleges on an RFP for enhanced 911 solutions. Innovative Educators offers a webinar series on a wide range of topics, and Capella University invites Innovations participants to a discussion and book signing with Keith Pratt, coauthor of Building Online Learning Communities. The Apollo Research Institute has published a new article on transdisciplinarity as a workplace skill. Taylor & Francis, publisher of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice, has posted information for authors interested in submitting manuscripts for the journal's new Exchange section.
With all this attention on innovation, our editorial team went to The Nature of Innovation Project for this month’s video clip, in which creators of award-winning innovations reflect on what innovation means to them. The League for Innovation is, not surprisingly, always eager to learn about and share with the field promising and effective innovations from community colleges. We’ve noticed in recent years a small but growing number of institutions that have established a position or department focused on innovation—a Vice President for Innovation, for example, or a Department of Innovative Studies—and this month’s quick poll asks that you let us know whether your college has such a position or department.
Walt Disney is quoted as having said, “I believe in being an innovator.” It seems like plenty of community college educators share that belief. We invite you to join the League's celebration of community college innovation at the League's online Innovator Spotlight on February 15 and at the League's Innovations conference March 4-7 in Philadelphia. We also invite you to learn how your college can honor your own innovators with the League’s Innovation of the Year Award, and to share your college, department, or classroom innovations by submitting articles to League publications.
All the best,
Cynthia Wilson, Editor
Vice President, Learning and Research
League for Innovation in the Community College