Teaching and Learning

July 2020
Research suggests that student success, or first-year experience, classes are beneficial to new college students. A 2013 study by the Community College Research Center showed initial gains in credits earned and first-year retention (Karp and Stacey, 2013), although the same report found mixed results for long-term gains. Klinkenberg (2013) found higher rates of academic progress and persistence for students who completed a first-year experience course compared with those who did not enroll or did not successfully complete the course. A study at a Tennessee community college found higher fall-...
June 2020
The Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) team at Sinclair Community College is dedicated to creating one of the most comprehensive and pioneering facilities in the nation for the advancement of the UAS industry. Since 2008, Sinclair has been at the forefront of UAS innovation, creating partnerships, developing leading curriculum, and investing significantly to establish a nationally prominent program dedicated to meeting workforce needs. The team members never dreamed they would be called upon to respond to one of the most devastating storms to ever to affect the Greater Miami Valley in southwest...
June 2020
In an environment where many community colleges are facing declines in enrollment, decreases in funding, and demands to produce more graduates, it is essential that these institutions equip their students with the tools they need to successfully navigate the higher education ecosystem. One way to do this is for colleges to critically evaluate their processes of onboarding new students via first-year experience (FYE) courses. The goals of FYE courses are to help new students to successfully transition to a college environment, improve academic performance potential, and encourage student...
May 2020
STEM teachers often lament the fact that their students struggle to read content for understanding, write in the vocabulary of STEM fields, and present their ideas well orally (RWP). In fall 2015, the STEM faculty at Bergen Community College identified RWP as the focus of its professional development initiative under a nationally funded STEM grant. At the beginning of this endeavor, a colleague provided a link to a National Council of Teachers of Mathematics article titled “Anticipation Guides: Reading for Mathematics Understanding” (Adams, Pegg, & Case, 2015). Based on insights gleaned...
March 2020
The Arapahoe Community College (ACC) Sturm Collaboration Campus hosted a panel discussion and facility tour with education, industry, government, and community leaders on January 21, 2020, in Castle Rock, Colorado, to showcase ACC’s dynamic work-based learning programs and postsecondary certificates connecting industry and education. Apprenticeships in the fields of health care, manufacturing, and automotive service technology were highlighted, and several current and former ACC students were on hand to speak about their career-focused educational experience. Attendees included U.S....
January 2020
Researchers define a first-generation student as the first member of a family to attend college (Chen, 2005; Ishitani, 2006; Redford & Mulvaney Hoyer, 2017). In the U.S., these students are more likely to be African American or Hispanic (Chen, 2005), come from a lower socioeconomic status (Jenkins, Miyazaki, & Janosik, 2009; Redford & Mulvaney Hoyer, 2017), and have a higher rate of attrition at the collegiate level than their counterparts (Chen, 2005; Lohfink & Paulsen, 2005; Nuñez & Cuccaro-Alamin, 1998). Students who are first-generation as well as low-income are at a...
January 2020
Students in the Radiation Therapy Technology program at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) are training on equipment just like that used at leading teaching hospitals around the world. In fall 2018, the college acquired a Virtual Environment in Radiotherapy Training (VERT) system that enables students to practice direct hands-on skills in a radiation-free virtual setting without risk to the patient. The virtual simulator replicates the controls of a linear accelerator, which delivers targeted doses of radiation to cancer patients, bringing the level of training typically used in...
December 2019
Students at Mesa Community College receive hands-on learning experiences each semester with two days of simulated emergency medical scenarios. MCC’s Immersive Total Patient Management Experience (ITPME) is a multi-college, cross-disciplinary educational event exposing entry-level EMT, paramedic, nursing, psychology, and theatre/film arts students to potential real-life emergency scenarios and training. In addition to providing workforce experience training, the event encourages a larger dialogue among educators about the nature of innovative collaboration to create the most comprehensive...
October 2019
The Community College of Allegheny County’s South Campus held a ribbon cutting ceremony in April 2019 to celebrate the opening of its new Film Center. Local dignitaries, administrators, faculty, staff, and students were in attendance to share in the festivities and view the space, which has been transformed to house the campus’s highly successful Film Technician program. Launched at South Campus in the spring of 2017, CCAC’s Film Technician program is designed to address the shortage of qualified film crew members in the Pittsburgh region. The program focuses on the technical aspects of the...
September 2019
Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s (CGCC) Food and Green Waste Recycling Project is a collaborative grant-funded effort that offers cross-disciplinary and experiential student learning through the launch of an innovative solution for food and green waste recycling needs. The project evolved from a passionate idea inspired by student projects showcased during CGCC’s Sustainability Day in 2017 to a campuswide initiative in the span of just one year. In 2019, CGCC won the Maricopa Community Colleges Innovation of the Year Award for this project. Experiential, Cross-Disciplinary Efforts...
July 2019
Students in the Mesa Community College (MCC) Everyone Can Code iOS Apple App Development program decided that a joint project was a perfect opportunity to put their knowledge to use. The outcome? The Resource Information Services for Everyone (RISE) app. The development team of faculty and nine students from advanced and introductory classes were assigned roles that highlighted their skills. The team researched the existing app market, developed a plan, and began developing a proof of concept. Initially, the app contained helpful markers for on-campus resources such as registration,...
June 2019
The Cyber Defense Program at Jackson State Community College is the only community college program in Tennessee to be certified as a National Center of Academic Excellence by the U.S. National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. The designation puts Jackson State among an elite group of institutions across the country offering computer information technology courses that meet rigorous federal standards and setting graduating students apart from others, said Dr. Tom Pigg, Jackson State's Dean of Health Sciences and Computer Information Technology. "It is very unique that we've...
June 2019
Two years ago, faculty in the Communication department at Allen Community College were considering ways to make the introductory communication course more practical and applicable for students. After all, most students don’t see themselves standing at the front of a room full of people giving speeches in their careers; however, they do acknowledge the need for effective communication skills. At the same time, employers are pleading for job applicants with soft skills—fundamental professional behaviors. In fact, one study found that 60 percent of employers cited communication and interpersonal...
May 2019
Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management students at Norwalk Community College (NCC) often make meals for college meetings and VIP guests. Now, they’re dishing them up for paying customers, too. The college recently launched a Café Dining “restaurant” that is open to the public for lunch on Thursdays during the spring semester. The program is designed to give students work experience in all phases of running a restaurant or food-service operation—from setting pricing to preparing entrees to serving as waiters and managers. Café Dining at NCC features a la carte ordering and sit-down service....
April 2019
The need for qualified educators continues to grow locally, statewide, and across the country. Nationally, nearly 100,000 teaching positions were filled by individuals not fully qualified to teach as school districts headed into the 2017-2018 academic year, according to the Learning Policy Institute (2017). Polk County Public Schools started classes in August 2018 with nearly 100 teacher vacancies. As Polk County’s only public postsecondary institution offering state-approved teacher education preparation programs, Polk State College partnered with Polk County Public Schools to create the...
March 2019
The Aims Community College Agricultural Sciences and Technology program received the Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program Award at the National Association of Agriculture Educators (NAAE) Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Aims was one of six programs nationwide to receive the award. The Aims program was nominated for the award by a local high school, then went on to the national level to compete against other two- and four-year programs as well as adult education programs (e.g., Young Farmers) in the region. The Agricultural Sciences and Technology program’s exemplary faculty and...
February 2019
Last year, Midland College (MC) began a successful partnership with the Midland Independent School District (MISD) to prepare high school students for college and careers. As a result of this collaboration, three transformative academies—Petroleum Academy; Health Sciences Academy; and Business, Management, and Information Technology Academy—are now offered to high school students. The College & Career Academies provide high school students with opportunities to learn valuable technological and academic skills. These academies are specifically designed to meet the current and future needs...
January 2019
To prepare students for meaningful work, California Community Colleges (CCC) have invested $17M over three years in the CCC Maker initiative to facilitate a network of 24 college makerspace communities. What’s at stake is the untapped potential of the 2.1 million students in the largest and most diverse system of higher education in the country, according to Carol Pepper-Kittredge, CCC Maker Statewide Project Director and Associate Dean of Workforce Innovation at Sierra College. “I believe that makerspaces are transforming education,” said Pepper-Kittredge. In an educational makerspace,...
December 2018
Every student who graduated from Jackson State Community College’s nursing program in 2017 passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) on his or her first attempt, an achievement that earned praise from the Tennessee Board of Nursing. The NCLEX is a nationwide exam for nursing school graduates to obtain a license, which allows them to practice. It is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Sherry Richardson, nurse consultant with the Tennessee Board of Nursing, wrote a letter to Jackson State after students achieved the 100 percent pass rate, saying, “...
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November 2018
Arapahoe Community College (ACC) and Centura Health, the region’s health care leader, launched Colorado’s first registered Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program designed to meet local workforce needs in July 2018. A dozen students are enrolled in the initial cohort of this innovative work-based learning program, which is made possible by funding from the Colorado Workforce Development Council, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Centura Health, Colorado First, and Existing Industry Grants (CFEI) jointly administered by Colorado Community College System and Colorado Office of...

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