Learning Environments

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...
July 2016
San Jacinto College launched a collaborative course in the fall 2015 semester that incorporates algebra and English composition. The new course links college algebra and introductory composition, both gateway core courses for all students who plan to either earn associate degrees or transfer to universities. “This is a novel concept at San Jacinto College,” commented Mark Johnson, North Campus language arts department chair. The course explores the power of narrative in math and English. Give a person some facts and part of the brain lights up. Tell a person a story and the whole brain lights...
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...
December 2014
Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) recently celebrated the grand opening of the Coyote Center, a new multi-functional facility serving as the front door of CGCC's Pecos Campus. The new 74,859-square-foot center is one of just a few buildings in the nation to innovatively blend academics, athletics, enrollment services, and student affairs into one location. The building was designed around a new model of student service that eliminates inefficiencies, like waiting in multiple lines. By combining most administrative resources under one roof and training staff to handle a broader range...
September 2014
Great Falls College MSU, located in rural big sky Montana, has been working hard to bring unique educational opportunities and skills to students across Montana and the nation. According to Dr. Heidi Pasek, Chief Academic Officer, "This is a changing world, and we need to adapt to the needs of our students using all of the resources at our disposal." Great Falls College MSU has demonstrated adaptation through three truly unique opportunities—the SIM Hospital, NANSLO remote science lab, and SWAMMEI program. Simulated (SIM) Hospital Great Falls College MSU is extremely proud of its nursing and...
June 2014
An anonymous person stated, "E-learning doesn't just 'happen'! It requires careful planning and implementation." New Mexico State University Alamogordo (NMSU-A) understands this statement and is working diligently to become an institution known for the quality of its online instruction.  Online education began at NMSU-A in the late 1990s. In the early 2000s, interest in online education began to grow among a small but significant percentage of the faculty, primarily as a means of providing greater access to students in NMSU-A's 6,627 square mile service area. The number of courses offered...
March 2014
In May 2013, over 70 students in the first class of Early College High School at Midland College (ECHS@MC) received associate degrees during Midland College's (MC) 40th commencement ceremony. A week later, in a separate ceremony, the 17- and 18-year-old college graduates received high school diplomas when ECHS@MC observed its first high school graduation ceremony at the Al G. Langford Chaparral Center on the MC campus located in Midland, Texas. ECHS@MC is a joint educational commitment by Midland College and the Midland Independent School District (MISD). The majority of students attending...

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