Learning Resources

March 2024
Micro-credentials offer a flexible approach to professional learning, helping participants acquire skills that are directly applicable in their professional environments. Moreover, micro-credentials are often recognized by a credentialling body with digital badges or certificates, which offer tangible evidence of learning and skill acquisition and add significant value to a professional's portfolio. Micro-credentials represent a vital component in the landscape of continuous professional development, offering a tailored, efficient, and practical route to acquiring and demonstrating new skills...
February 2024
In a world fixated on conventional measures of success, the call to empower students as agents of change resounds with urgency. The journey begins by shifting our educational paradigm, placing intrinsic factors like competence, authenticity, and connection at the forefront. As we embark on this transformative endeavor, the following principles delve into practical steps to enhance student engagement and motivation, amplify student voices, and foster collaborative experiences. We envision a realm where education transcends mere preparation for an undefined future and instead becomes a catalyst...
February 2024
Embracing neurodiversity in educational environments entails challenging traditional perspectives on cognitive differences. The term neurodiversity acknowledges the inherent variation in neurological functioning, emphasizing that diverse cognitive profiles contribute to the richness of the human experience. It encompasses conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dyspraxia/developmental coordination disorder, Tourette syndrome, sensory processing disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and social pragmatic communication disorder,...
December 2023
Malcom X (n.d.) once said that “education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today” (para. 2). In the age of information, research has become a key part of that passport to the future. Today, Americans exist in an information-rich world where they often feel overwhelmed. The Pew Research Center found that 35 percent of American adults are interested in improving their research abilities, but express concern about their skills to do so on their own (Horrigan, 2017). The same study showed 49 percent of Americans to be doubtful or wary of their...
June 2023
Imagine a place where individuals of all ages and their families can come for the ultimate hands-on career exploration experience. At Austin Community College’s (ACC) Make It Center (MIC), the possibilities are boundless. This innovative new hub will revolutionize the way we perceive career pathways by introducing visitors to a multitude of options they may have never considered before. Through dynamic partnerships and collaborative efforts, the MIC will inform, inspire, and captivate students and community members alike, empowering them to uncover meaningful careers that align with their...
May 2023
As apprenticeships gain momentum in higher education across the U.S., students are finding that these opportunities are the perfect springboard into a career they love while businesses are receiving qualified employees who can make a quick transition into their workforce after graduation. And community colleges are the vehicles that bring everyone together, making apprenticeships a win-win-win for everyone involved. Moraine Valley Community College offers students in its Automotive Technology Program an apprenticeship opportunity through a unique partnership with Nissan North America, Inc. In...
March 2023
Much like online learning, the concept of course sharing is not new; for decades, college students have taken classes at nearby schools that offer seats for visiting learners. In fact, online course sharing originated in community colleges in the late 1990s (Walker, 2021). Today, given the recent transformations within higher education, alongside great strides in technology, the modes through which course sharing can occur now span across individual institutions, consortia, and online platforms and networks. Thousands of colleges and universities across the U.S. use course sharing frameworks...
December 2022
It was a horror story. It was not designed to be a horror story, but it turned out to be one. The package arrived on a dark and stormy night, sent by a friend who knew of my obsession with community college catalogs. It was disguised in brown wrapping paper and seemed as innocent as a kitten. When I opened it, I realized that I held in my hand a horror story to rival those written by Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley. I soon decided that this 2022-2023 catalog was probably the Frankenstein monster of all the catalogs I have seen, not an unexpected result when a volume such as this is designed...
March 2022
In August of 2020, Rio Salado College became a founding partner of the College Innovation Network (CIN), which was designed to connect leaders from colleges and universities with EdTech innovators to advance students’ academic, career, and life outcomes (Flores, 2020). In August 2021, CIN, an initiative spearheaded by WGU Labs, published the results of a multi-institution survey aimed at understanding students’ learning experiences with education technology (EdTech) during the 2020-2021 academic year.  The New Digital Divide: How EdTech Self-Efficacy is Shaping the Online Student Learning...
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...
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...
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,...
May 2020
Phoenix College (PC), one of ten colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), was established in 1920. Located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, PC is one of the oldest community colleges in the United States, serves more than 17,000 students annually, and is designated by the Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). The college opened its doors during a period of racial unrest and was one of the only institutions to support a diverse student body at that time. Today, PC remains a staple in the community as a social justice-conscious college,...
April 2020
Digital badges, or micro-credentials, are portable, verifiable, data rich, digital representations of attained knowledge and skills that provide evidence of specific, tangible skills: cognitive, soft, and technical. Digital badges align training with the needs of the workforce, and provide Madison College the opportunity to award meaningful and recognized credentials that go beyond the traditional boundaries of our degrees. They also empower individuals to take their learning achievements with them, wherever they go, allowing the earner to own their knowledge. Madison College has been issuing...
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...
May 2019
Several years ago, Arapahoe Community College’s Library and Learning Commons developed an Open Educational Resources (OER) Research Guide to expand access to learning materials. The ever-evolving wealth of resources and information includes textbooks, images and photos, videos, journal articles, and open courses. OER are high-quality teaching, learning and research resources that permit free use—or repurposing—and are legally available to students for free, or at a very low cost. OER offer opportunities for systemic change in teaching and learning content by engaging educators and students in...
November 2018
Two years ago, student and Valencia Technology Club member Richard Haynes asked if club members could take Valencia College’s obsolete computers and refurbish them for students who need a computer and can’t afford to purchase one. At the time, the project did not move forward. A year later, however, representatives from the Information Technology (IT), Legal, and Finance departments; the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP); and the Valencia Technology Club met, and, collaboratively, developed the club’s computer donation and repair programs. Now, selected LSAMP students...
October 2018
Recognized as a state model in noncredit instruction, San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) continues its reputation of leadership and innovation by implementing open educational resources (OER) that increase accessibility and textbook affordability to adult students in San Diego. “It’s about access,” said Matthew Rivaldi, a member of SDCE’s business faculty. “The goal is to offer SDCE students free textbooks or high-quality educational materials using OER.” OER has been a buzz-term in the California legislature since 2012, when Governor Brown signed two bills that recognized that the cost of...
January 2017
Meeting the demand for quality professional development programming in times of constrained resources created an opportunity for innovative and creative thinking at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Over 1,200 full-time employees at CPCC are required to complete 20 hours of professional development credit annually, and all full- and part-time employees—more than 1,800—must complete a series of three required annual trainings, thus creating a demand for over 60,000 hours of professional development opportunities annually. This demand occurs at a time of...
December 2014
Description Scientific progress is the hallmark of a dynamic society and the United States leads the world in scientific discoveries. An important aspect of scientific progress is the education of future scientists. Improvements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula, particularly changes that engage students in the process of research and discovery, have become a focal point for attracting more students into science. Undergraduate research is a significant strategy for improving undergraduate STEM education. Community colleges prepare technicians who will become...

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