Teaching and Learning

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...
November 2016
It’s crunch time on campus at Onondaga Community College (OCC). Spring semester final exams are just over a week away. In Professor Kristen Costello’s Microeconomics (ECO 204) class she’s discussing final project options with students. “You can do either a paper or a presentation,” Costello said. “If you choose a presentation you can do so as an individual or in a group of up to three people.” Costello is holding class in the lounge of one of the college’s four residence halls. This particular residence hall is the home of Business majors who reside in one of the college’s Living Learning...
October 2016
It’s a pitch meeting on Music Row in Nashville, the center of the city’s music industry. Young people are presenting a complete package for a new rap artist, Malik Deshaun, known professionally as Vantage. They screen a video, show features of a website, discuss the social media pages they have created for the release, and run through a business plan. Then, it’s off to the listening room to play the tracks. The bass rumbles and the drum beats are sharp. Heads nod in the room in sync with the rhythm. But these aren’t Nashville music pros presenting—they’re students from Volunteer State...
September 2016
As higher education evolves to accommodate new forms of learning and new workforce needs, skills are being assessed across an ever-widening range of activities within the learning landscape. Campus-based and online degree programs; professional certificates; competency-based education; open online courses; professional development initiatives; cocurricular and extracurricular activities; and programs in service learning, information literacy, and entrepreneurship are just some of the higher education settings in which competencies worth recognizing are demonstrated or observed. Digital badges...
September 2016
Nearly 30 percent of high school juniors and seniors in Colorado participated in concurrent enrollment, ASCENT (Accelerating Students through Concurrent ENrollmenT), or other dual-enrollment programs during the 2014-2015 academic year. Arapahoe Community College (ACC) served more students (3,614) than any other two-year institution in the state during that time. ACC’s concurrent enrollment program is designed for high school students looking for a challenging academic experience while simultaneously earning high school and college credit. “Concurrent enrollment is a great way for students to...
June 2016
Beginning with the spring 2016 semester, Mesa Community College (MCC) began offering an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Sustainable Agriculture—the first of its kind in Arizona. The Sustainable Agriculture degree provides students with both the technical and small business skills needed to manage or develop a small farm or agricultural business. The program is focused on small scale and urban agriculture with an emphasis on natural practices and sustainability. Courses include Field Crop Production, Livestock Production, Aquaponics, Integrated Pest Management, and Agricultural...
February 2016
In the fall of 2009, the first cohort of more than 100 ninth-grade students were admitted into Early College High School at Midland College (ECHS@MC). The school focuses primarily on serving first-generation college students, those with a low socioeconomic status, and/or those whose ethnicities are underrepresented at the college level. Today, Midland College (MC) and the Midland Independent School District (MISD) have recognized three cohorts of graduates from the successful program. Over 85 percent of those students received associate degrees from Midland College at the same time they...
January 2016
Gamers, animators, and filmmakers now have an unparalleled training ground with the August opening of the Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex (MAGIC) at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus.  It is the first facility of its kind at a public higher education institution in Florida and one of only a handful in the nation. MAGIC is a game-changer for animators, gamers, filmmakers, health care professionals, and many others, serving as a training center in the bourgeoning area of 3-D animation used in so many industries and fields.  “This new state-of-the-art facility will be the...
November 2015
Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) is having tremendous success in promoting completion and transfer among talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students through the DCCCD STEM Institute. The Institute focuses on a crucial leakage point in the STEM pipeline—the freshman and sophomore years of college. Much of the movement out of STEM majors occurs in these pivotal first two years. Since its initiation in 2009, the STEM Institute has evolved to include comprehensive extracurricular support for students preparing to complete a bachelor’s degree or...
October 2015
Sandburg Educational Network (SEN) is a technology partnership between Carl Sandburg College and the K-12 schools located in Carl Sandburg College District 518. Historically, the partnership consisted primarily of an annual Cyber Camp hosted and facilitated by the college for K-12 teachers. In 2014, the camp’s 13th year, the format was changed to include administrators and feature presenters from the K-12 district. Most of the schools within the district were moving to one-on-one initiatives which became the focus of the event. Attendance nearly doubled, and attendees requested that similar...
September 2015
San Jacinto College veteran educator Dr. Karen Hattaway was selected by the League for Innovation in the Community College to author The Cross Papers, Number 18, a scholarly, in-depth monograph that will help to shape teaching strategies in many of the nation’s community colleges. The format for The Cross Papers was established by K. Patricia Cross, a retired educator and scholar of educational research who wrote the first seven issues. Since the release of the inaugural issue in 1997, The Cross Papers have been designed to provide faculty with a body of useful, proven, practical strategies...
July 2015
Every college campus has a feel, an atmosphere, that is all its own. Having spent the last 16 years working in metropolitan community colleges, I have had the opportunity to see all types of students interact with one another in that atmosphere, as well as with faculty and staff from all backgrounds. All students are on campus to learn, and when the learning mission is disrupted, it's important to know two things: why it was interrupted and how the college can stop the interference from reoccurring. One issue facing today's college campuses is how to comply with federal Title IX guidelines....
May 2015
When looking at national data about American students who are identified as English language learners (ELL), overlapping definitions from two prominent sources are important to note. The U.S. Census Bureau uses the American Community Survey (2013) to obtain information about factors that disproportionately affect ELL students and their families. The survey compares statistics between "native" and "foreign" households, definitions which are determined by where the householder was born. Not all children whose parents were born outside of the U.S. are identified as ELL. However, when...

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