Teaching and Learning

April 2018
In 2014, Sierra College, located in Rocklin, CA, was one of the first community colleges in the nation to establish a public/private partnership with Hacker Lab, a Sacramento community-based makerspace, to enhance students’ education through maker experiences. Through a competitive process, Sierra College was awarded a $350,000 CCC Maker Grant in July 2017, renewable for a second year, from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), Workforce and Economic Development Division, under the Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy framework. Sierra College is one of 24 CCC...
March 2018
How can the Gateway Community and Technical College best support early childhood education (ECE) students who are balancing work, college, and parenthood? This was the question that the ECE program coordinator was attempting to answer when redesigning the program to boost enrollment, retention, and completion in fall 2015. Sarah Smith, ECE Program Coordinator and faculty member utilized the design thinking process that had been recently introduced to the college during its strategic planning development. The process incorporates an empathetic outlook that focuses on the end-users’ needs to...
March 2018
Under-preparedness can pose significant roadblocks to success for students at the starting line of their higher education journey. Nationwide, more than two-thirds of all community college students place into at least one developmental education course in their first year (Complete College America, 2012). Because of frustration about their placement into remediation, “30% never show up for the first course or subsequent remedial courses” (Complete College America, 2012, p. 2). Others “waste valuable time and money in remedial classes for no credit” (p. 3). Bossier Parish Community College’s (...
March 2018
Congratulations to the 2017 recipients of the League's Innovation of the Year Award! The League initiated the award over thirty years ago to recognize local community college projects and initiatives that reflect extraordinary achievement and the spirit of innovation and experimentation on which the League was founded. The competition provides an opportunity for League Board and Alliance member colleges to showcase their innovative programs, practices, policies, partnerships, and resources; to celebrate the dedicated educators who are responsible for such exceptional work; and to promote a...
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December 2017
Assessment is an integral component to refining teaching, support services, and operations. It informs the choices we make and helps us make continuous improvements to our programs and processes. At Bergen Community College (Bergen), the Assessment Fellows Program provides a systematic approach for college faculty and professional staff to assume leadership in collegewide assessment as well as a unique opportunity to ensure quality of assessment plans for the institution. After our accreditor noted that Bergen did not have a clear assessment process in place, the college began placing greater...
November 2017
SUNY Erie Community College’s (ECC) Information Technology Program was recently honored as the Best Tech Team in Non-Profit/Education by InfoTech WNY as part of the organization’s annual Buffalo Emerging Technology Awards Showcase (BETAS) at Buffalo RiverWorks in May 2017. “This award is exciting news for a program that’s been thriving for years,” said ECC President Jack Quinn. “Its faculty and staff have done a tremendous job in preparing our students for technology careers across Western New York, so this acknowledgement is deserved, and much appreciated.”   Competing in a category that...
November 2017
Communicating to students in a way that leads to student satisfaction and success in online courses requires teaching presence. The main instrument of learning is communication and the success of students’ learning depends on the faculty member’s preparedness to engage them in the learning process (Serdyukov & Serdyukova, 2015). Online instructors must, therefore, work to find strategies to improve students’ satisfaction of teaching presence through approaches that address these concerns. According to Florescu and Pop-Pacurar (2016), one of the most important factors influencing the...
November 2017
Textbooks have been a staple in education, but it is now time to explore a new path to learning by using open educational resources (OER). OER decrease the cost of course materials and improve access to materials while maintaining a quality teaching and learning experience. The Issue The cost of higher education is rising at an alarming rate, with course materials and textbooks seeing some of the most dramatic increases. The cost of textbooks has grown by 150 percent since 1998 (Straumsheim, 2014). Additionally, fewer students are investing in buying textbooks and course materials. In fact,...
October 2017
The League for Innovation prides itself on recognizing innovation and excellence in the community college. Colleges and institutions across the U.S. and abroad demonstrate their dedication to students and communities, and the following awards attest to the League’s support for the daily efforts of faculty, staff, administrators, and students. League Awards 2018 Riegelman Awards for Excellence in Public Health & Health Navigation Education in Community Colleges: Open through October 31, 2017 2017 John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards: Open through December 15, 2017 2017 Terry O’...
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September 2017
It is a glaring truth. No matter how broad the scientific research or how far academia have reached to date, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields have been and remain a man’s world. Although there have been some changes in the last few decades, for the most part, women and minorities still face disparities (Office of Science and Technology Policy and Office of Personnel Management, 2016). There are many negatives associated with women and minorities’ limited participation in STEM fields, such as repression of creativity, loss of true innovation (Del Giudice, 2014), lower...
July 2017
As part of the reaffirmation process of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Wake Technical Community College launched a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) initiative based on best practices in eLearning. The goal of the eLearning Preparedness Initiative across the College (EPIC) is to remove learning barriers and better support online student learning, persistence, and success. A broad cross-functional and multidisciplinary team of faculty and staff developed and implemented eLearning Quality Standards, an online student orientation, and a faculty...
June 2017
Communication faculty often have a unique opportunity to hear students’ own stories. These stories permeate the work of learning public speaking. Faculty members at Pellissippi State Community College recently launched In Our Words, a public forum in which students share their stories with audiences beyond the public speaking classroom. Public speaking generally benefits both speaker and audience, and In Our Words certainly does that. Benefits also extend to the Communication Studies department and other areas of the college. Process Pellissippi State has, for years, had a robust faculty...
June 2017
We live in a digital age, so we may assume that digital is always better. But that isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to audio recording. The new recording studio at Volunteer State Community College is state-of-the-art analog. Another room has home studio equipment. That may seem strange at a college with yet another studio that is fully digital and fully automated. The reason is simple: learning. “The vision for our process is to have three different recording environments,” said Entertainment Media Production Director, Steve Bishir. The original studio has a fully-digital, fully-...
May 2017
In 2012, the League established the John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards to celebrate outstanding contributions and leadership by community college faculty and staff. These awards are open to League Board and Alliance member institutions, and each year’s recipients are recognized in a series of activities and promotions, and honored at special events at the League's Innovations Conference each spring. The 2016 Excellence Award recipients were recognized at the Innovations Conference in San Francisco, CA, March 12-15, 2017. Special events included an exclusive Excellence Awards...
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May 2017
Marlie Burt was 75 miles away from fellow classmates when she worked on a group project last semester. Burt, who lives in La Harpe, Illinois, and attends classes at Carl Sandburg College’s branch campus in Carthage, collaborated with her classmates via a telepresence robot located on the Main Campus in Galesburg, where the other students in her police administration and management course met. Burt attended the class by controlling the robot—affectionately named Sheldon, after The Big Bang Theory character—while sitting at a computer station at the branch campus. With Sheldon, distance was no...
March 2017
A U.S. Navy veteran with 25 years of service, Angela Muhammad is working toward a new career that’s close to her heart: building affordable homes for single parents and the elderly. “I’ve done missionary work and I’ve seen how we have a deficiency in clean, safe, affordable housing,” said Muhammad, 50, a second-year student in Del Mar College’s Architecture/Drafting Technology program. “I’ve always had an interest in how things are built.” “There’s a need for this program,” she continued, taking a break in the Architectural Design Studio, where she’s using glue and chipboard to make a small...
February 2017
Congratulations to the 2016 recipients of the League's Innovation of the Year Award! The League initiated the award over thirty years ago to recognize local community college projects and initiatives that reflect extraordinary achievement and the spirit of innovation and experimentation on which the League was founded. The competition provides an opportunity for League Board and Alliance member colleges to showcase their innovative programs, practices, policies, partnerships, and resources; to celebrate the dedicated educators who are responsible for such exceptional work; and to promote a...
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February 2017
San Jacinto College has launched a general studies associate degree pilot program that provides significant cost savings to students who now do not have to buy traditional course materials such as high-cost textbooks. In lieu of traditional print textbooks that can cost as much as $300 per copy, students who participate in the new program use digital open educational resources (OER) course materials which are free and accessible online. San Jacinto College full-time students previously paid approximately $700 per semester for printed textbooks, which amounts to nearly one-third of the total...
December 2016
Move over kale; the latest trendy vegetable comes from the sea. It’s kelp! Kelp is a slippery brown seaweed that grows in shallow waters along coastal areas. This unlikely ingredient is on the menu at Norwalk Community College (NCC), where the Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts programs have partnered with marine biologist Charles Yarish, Ph.D., to harvest kelp for research and to promote its nutritional benefits. Kelp is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. It is used in many Asian cuisines and contains the highest natural concentration of calcium of any food source. It’s also high...
December 2016
Bob Klepac is breaking down the notion that architecture means four walls and a roof. For example, he told a Del Mar College class one morning last summer that one of his former students is designing a meal tray for passenger jets at Boeing. “He’s making over $120,000 a year doing that,” he said. Klepac, a technical drafting instructor, was a lively observer that day as students in his Technical Animation and Rendering class presented their final projects. The 12-week course introduced them to three-dimensional (3D) computer modeling and the software language of computer-aided design. Their...

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