Teaching and Learning

October 2021
Teaching and learning are viewed mainly as cognitive endeavors focused on building content knowledge and technical skills and assessing mastery levels. However, teaching and learning environments also involve social, emotional, and behavioral components rooted in culture. Culture affects how faculty teach and students learn and is reflective of the lens through which we filter information and judge others (Thomas, 2014). Communication and interactive practices that focus on awareness and inclusion of diverse cultures are, therefore, essential to student development. This article highlights...
October 2021
Johnson County Community College (JCCC) has partnered with Butler Community College (BCC) to offer expanded training in culinary arts. This opportunity allows JCCC to extend the benefits of its Chef Apprenticeship program to more Kansas students. In turn, the collaboration strengthens state and local workforce opportunities. Through this agreement, BCC is offering two additional certificates to students in South Central Kansas. The new certificate options use existing BCC culinary courses with the addition of practicum courses from JCCC. Along with invaluable industry training, students in...
September 2021
At Mesa Community College’s Thunderbird Tech Studio, students can receive one-on-one guidance and tutoring for using and mastering technology that supports their academic learning. The Tech Studio team provides support for common college-supported technology tools such as Windows and Mac operating systems, Microsoft Office, Google Drive Suite, Canvas, and other systems. The beauty of the Thunderbird Tech Studio design is that it will morph into an in-person service once the pandemic subsides, thus allowing students to choose when, where, and how they receive technology tutoring and assistance...
September 2021
Community colleges across the U.S. have traditionally used standardized test scores to determine student readiness for placement into college-level courses. Unfortunately, research “shows that these placement tests are poor predictors of student grades in college-level . . . courses, resulting in inappropriate placements for as many as a third of test-takers (Ganga & Mazzariello, 2019, p. 2). This misplacement can result in additional time and financial burden for students striving to complete their college education. Alternative measures have been found to better indicate appropriate...
July 2021
For decades, Jackson College (JC) has been a U.S. leader in providing higher education access and opportunity to incarcerated students. The town of Jackson, Michigan, has long been known as a “prison city,” and three large correctional facilities are located less than 15 miles from JC’s Central Campus. In 1967, the college offered its first class “inside the walls.” In 1969-1970, a pilot prison education program for the Southern Michigan Prison was launched to provide qualifying inmates an opportunity to further their education. Jackson Community College (as it was then called) was one of 26...
June 2021
Like other higher education institutions across the U.S. and beyond, Tulsa Community College (TCC) shifted to an online-only modality in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 48 percent of TCC’s faculty did not have previous online teaching training or certification. Not surprisingly, this quick pivot to remote teaching and learning created an immediate need for faculty training. Prior to 2020, the national trend showed flat enrollment or small increases in online courses (Garrett, Legon, & Fredericksen, 2020). With a push to get students on campus, TCC went against the...
June 2021
Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Innovation of the Year Award recipients from 32 participating League Board and Alliance member colleges. The League initiated the Innovation of the Year award over thirty-five years ago to recognize local community college projects and initiatives that reflect the spirit of innovation and experimentation on which our organization was founded. The competition provides an opportunity for colleges to showcase their innovative programs, practices, policies, partnerships, and resources; to celebrate the dedicated educators who are responsible for such exceptional...
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May 2021
Student retention continues to be a major concern for most community colleges in the U.S. According to research conducted by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (2019), of all students enrolled in two-year public institutions beginning in fall 2017, only 48.9 percent would continue at the same institution in fall 2018. Comparatively, students at four-year public institutions over the same period boasted an 82.7 percent retention rate. While students may struggle for a variety of reasons, one way to positively address this issue is within the classroom. Over the course of an...
May 2021
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Office of Online Learning developed a Boot Camp for hybrid course design meant to help faculty with little to no experience in an online setting to rapidly design hybrid courses. KCTCS Online shared an open access version of this training for use at other institutions for the first time at the department’s “Free PD: Come for the Free, Stay for the Why” session at the 2021 Innovations Conference. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed many faculty members into a new teaching reality. Designed to help faculty quickly acclimate to online and...
April 2021
A unique partnership between Johnson County Community College’s (JCCC) Continuing Education Transportation program and Johnson County Adult Education’s (JCAE) Literacy program puts newly trained truck drivers on the road to success. The initiative helps non-native English speakers in Johnson County obtain workforce skills in truck driving. Chris Specht, former Program Coordinator of Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas at JCCC, began laying the groundwork in 2017. Thanks to the combined effort of many at the college, the program officially launched in summer 2020. “The collaboration between the...
January 2021
Rio Salado College is one of 67 postsecondary institutions to be included in an expansion of the U.S. Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative. One-hundred and thirty colleges in 42 states and the District of Columbia will now be involved in this initiative, which provides need-based Pell grants for people incarcerated in state and federal prisons to pursue higher learning. The majority of incarcerated individuals are Pell-eligible, but they have been banned from applying for assistance since 1994 as a result of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law...
December 2020
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the bars, cafés, and eateries we so casually take for granted have been forced to close or drastically alter the way they conduct business. Stories of restaurant employees being furloughed, or worse, laid off completely, have been too numerous to count. And then there is the bleak reality of what the future may hold for the restaurant and hospitality industry’s new normal. According to a recent study by the Independent Restaurant Coalition (Amel et al., 2020), 85 percent of independent restaurants could permanently close by the end of this year. Imagine,...
November 2020
Sacramento City College student and entrepreneur Christian Espinoza’s personal essay was published in Makerspace Impact: Implementation Strategies & Stores of Transformation: “At the time, it was all I ever wanted—to create things that were unbelievable and out of this world,” wrote Espinoza, who exemplifies thousands of students whose lives have been transformed by the CCC Maker initiative. He continued, But as I grew up, those dreams felt more and more unachievable. I thought I could only work a standard job with a fixed pay and maybe benefits, which didn’t sound half bad. I assumed...
October 2020
Like many newcomers to Canada, Malvika Mahajan immigrated to Toronto to find a better life for her family. She was anxious about restarting her career in a new country, despite having many years of experience as a supply chain specialist in India, including work for a large multinational corporation. To create a roadmap that would land her a professional role in Canada, Malvika joined the Supply Chain Management bridging program at Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in January 2020, eager to learn as much as possible about how her field operates in Canada and to...
October 2020
The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) Honors Council is offering a new pilot program called Give Honors A Try! The program permits non-honors students who meet certain criteria to take honors courses and engage in honors-related activities. Each year, CCAC’s Honors Program provides a myriad of opportunities for scholastically minded students to develop leadership skills and to participate in a variety of conferences and community service projects that foster academic and personal enrichment. These include opportunities to hear from guest speakers, field trips, real-world...
September 2020
San Diego Mesa College is partnering with San Diego Unified School District, San Diego State University (SDSU), and National University to mold a new generation of K-12 educators from diverse backgrounds who reflect the students they teach. The Teacher Pathway Inclusion Program was launched in April 2019 and includes a bevy of support services to create a seamless route for high school students to earn a bachelor of arts degree and teaching credential, with an emphasis on filling a growing need in science, mathematics, and special education. Mesa College aims to enroll 50 students...
September 2020
Founded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2013, the Center for Laser and Fiber Optics Education (LASER-TEC) faced a new challenge as the spread of COVID-19 impacted LASER-TEC institutions. Headquartered at Indian River State College (IRSC) in Fort Pierce, Florida, LASER-TEC is comprised of colleges, universities, high schools and technical centers, trade associations, and laser and fiber optics companies throughout the United States. The center’s mission is to develop and sustain a strong technical workforce in lasers and fiber optics nationwide. Remaining committed to that goal,...
August 2020
Somewhere in the United States today, six-year-old Shelby musters enough courage to report physical abuse to a school counselor. The counselor, who has good intentions but is not well trained in best practices for responding to child maltreatment, calls Shelby’s parents to talk about the allegations. The parents promptly deny the child’s assertions and explain away Shelby’s bruises as a fall down the stairs. No investigation is initiated and Shelby, disheartened after working up the nerve to ask for help, will never tell anyone else about this incident or those still to come. If an...
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-...
July 2020
In October 2012, Austin Community College District (ACC) was awarded a four-year, $2.1 million TAACCCT grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to assist students with the removal of barriers to degree completion and acquisition of entry-level positions in the field of information technology (IT). With grant funds, the college designed a new online competency-based education (CBE) program—Accelerated Programmer Training (APT). The initiative improved distance learning curriculum and delivery, which, in turn, increased student enrollment and graduation rates, and, ultimately, amplified job...

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