Teaching and Learning

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...
March 2021
In 2014, the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) began studying the creation of alternative pathways to earning a high school equivalency credential. Under the direction of President David Johnson of Johnston Community College, a broad-based group of College and Career Readiness (CCR) administrators and others convened. Their purpose was to chart a new pathway for students to complete high school by combining two or more different kinds of evidence showing documented completion of the five required competencies: English language arts/literacy, mathematics, science, social studies...
February 2021
Community college systems have invested in the development and implementation of free open educational resources (OER) as a means of relieving inequitable student financial burdens and removing barriers to completion and access. Community college students across the U.S. cite paying for college as the top reason for not succeeding (Porter & Umbach, 2019). And the cost of textbooks—especially as a proportion of income for disproportionately impacted student groups—is enormous. Fifty percent of dependent community college students are in or near poverty, with more than half having family...
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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
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...
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...
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...

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