Associate Professor of English and Accelerated Learning Program CoordinatorPatrick Henry Community College
Michelle Zollars is Associate Professor of English and Accelerated Learning Program Coordinator at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Virginia. She has been teaching developmental and college-level English for 23 years, with ten years of public school experience prior to that. She is a facilitator for the Southern Center for Active Learning Excellence, an organization that teaches cooperative learning techniques for the college classroom. She is a Fellow in the Global Skills for College Completion Project, whose goal is to raise developmental students’ pass rates to 80%. Michelle was the 2011 recipient of the Award for Innovation, given by the Council on Basic Writing, for her work with the Accelerated Learning Program. She has also has received two Distinguished Faculty Awards at PHCC. She is a Pearson Faculty Advisor and has published several workbooks specifically designed for the accelerated learning classroom. She has worked with several states, including Florida and Ohio, regarding developmental English redesign using the accelerated learning model.
Associate Professor of EnglishPatrick Henry Community College
Joyce Staples, Associate Professor of English, is a thirty-seven year veteran teacher on the college and high school level. She has been a member of the Southern Center for Active Learning Excellence (SCALE) almost since its inception and has conducted numerous trainings across the country. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Patrick Henry Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in English from Averett University, a Master of Arts in Education from Virginia Tech, and Certificate of Advanced Studies from Hollins University. In addition to a full-time teaching load, she serves as a Faculty Coordinator in the Academic Success and College Transfer Division. She is a recipient of the Patrick Henry Community College Distinguished Faculty Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award, and was recently named the first Poet Laureate of Patrick Henry Community College.
Associate Professor of Administrative Support Technology and Legal AssistingPatrick Henry Community College
Julie Meador, Associate Professor of Administrative Support Technology and Legal Assisting, has been with Patrick Henry Community College since 1998. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Emory & Henry College and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Averett University. Julie is a recipient of the Patrick Henry Community College Distinguished Faculty Award and the Faculty Recognition Award for Institutional Responsibility. She holds certification in cooperative learning training from the University of Minnesota and certification from the Chancellor’s Leadership Academy at Ozarks Technical Community College.
Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Effectiveness, and Campus LifePatrick Henry Community College
Dr. Greg Hodges currently serves as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Effectiveness, and Campus Life at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Virginia. Previously, he served at PHCC as the Dean of Academic Success and College Transfer, the Dean of Developmental Education and Transitional Programs, the Assistant Dean of Arts, Science, and Business Technology, as well as the Coordinator of the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan for SACSCOC reaccreditation. Greg began his career at PHCC as an adjunct and later full time professor in the field of early childhood education, earning recognition in 2006 as faculty member of the year for the institution.
He holds degrees from The College of William and Mary (Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and Theatre & Speech), Bethany Theological Seminary (Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies), University of Phoenix (Master of Arts Degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision), and Trident University (Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration for Higher Education). As Director for Patrick Henry’s Southern Center for Active Learning Excellence (SCALE), Greg has traveled to more than 50 community colleges and trained over a thousand faculty members throughout the country facilitating workshops on cooperative learning, critical thinking, developmental education, and the national student success agenda. He has served on the Board of Directors for multiple organizations including his current tenure with the Boys and Girls Club of Henry County, VA. Greg has also served as the Senior Pastor of Stanleytown’s Amazing Grace Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in Henry County, Virginia.
Carol A. WrightPaul D. Camp, Franklin
Lucy LittlePaul D. Camp, Franklin
In order to achieve the mission of the VCCS, faculty need to help ensure a positive and progressive learning environment. Faculty pave the way for student success!
In the Nursing Department at Paul D Camp Community College (PDCCC), the faculty are excited to provide interactive learning activities for Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) students. From past experience, our nursing faculty have found that student nurses have anxiety in the clinical setting when responding to patient needs and critically thinking through problems. Two of our faculty members, in turn, set out to determine if simulation practice using virtual simulation on the computer, followed by a repeat of the scenario in the lab could help students exhibit more confidence and less anxiety in patient interaction.
At PDCCC, some of the nursing faculty are using a computer simulation product, VitrualSim (vSim) for Nursing, marketed by Lippincott. Utilizing this program, students can practice care on virtually simulated patients while using a computer. They can do this at home alone, or in small groups in the classroom. This is great learning in itself, but we have taken it to the next level. After students have completed the assigned computerized practice, they are taken into the simulation lab. In the lab, they physically perform the vSim scenario on low and high fidelity simulated mannequins. These mannequins are set up to mimic the vSim scenario and the students are now able to physically implement the care in the lab setting.
Vickie RatliffMountain Empire
Tommy ClementsMountain Empire
Bryce ShularMountain Empire
Roger GreeneMountain Empire
Paul GilleyMountain Empire
Tim AustinMountain Empire
Windell BollingMountain Empire
Mountain Empire Community College’s SPARC-E (Solar-Powered Alternative Renewable Clean Energy) unit is a mobile hybrid power station used to demonstrate solar-power technology systems. The goal of the project was to provide experiential learning opportunities to students in industrial technology programs, while also developing a recruitment and educational tool for industrial technology and advanced manufacturing programs. MECC’s welding, industrial electronics, manufacturing, and energy technology students were involved in the design, construction and implementation of SPARC-E, providing a hands-on experience that builds on students’ instructional learning.
SPARC-E utilizes an off-the-grid solar power system, similar to technologies found in home units or public events. The station includes 12 solar modules that are capable of producing approximately 5,000 watts of power. A battery storage unit is used to store the energy produced by the solar array and a back-up generator is also available to supply additional energy when needed. In addition, SPARC-E can be used as a direct power supply for any power grid.
Spectators can walk inside the SPARC-E unit to view the unit’s DC/AC power invertors capable of providing 9000 watts of AC power and the computerized solar-energy control system. SPARC-E also houses MECC’s mobile virtual welder. The solar energy control system and the mobile virtual welder are utilized as recruitment and educational tools during on-campus events, as well as off-campus events such as school career fairs.
SPARC-E serves an additional benefit as an energy provider to community events and potential emergency response assistance. In the fall of 2015, SPARC-E supplied power to two major events at MECC – the Home Craft Days Festival and the Haunted Forest attraction.
Kerrigan SullivanJohn Tyler, Midlothian
This project was prompted by a need to address rising textbook costs and the impact that those costs have on our students. This point was brought home to me very directly by three students that I had in my classes in the fall of 2014. All three of them had enrolled in the Introduction to Theatre course but they could not afford the textbook. Two ended up dropping out and the third stuck with the course, sharing a book with a friend, but ended up with a D in the course due to missing too many assignments that were associated with textbook work. One of the students was a single mom who was struggling with all of the “hidden” expenses of school. She had received financial aid that covered the cost of tuition, but she did not have enough left over to cover the costs of the textbooks. She left my office in tears after having to drop the course. She wanted to do well in her classes and having to drop the course affected her financial aid and added a semester onto her timeline for graduation. It also was a blow to her confidence in her ability to complete a degree. I have had many students over the years who are smart and dedicated students but because of tight finances have had to compromise their goals. These three students all clustered in one semester made me realize that I could do something to address this issue. Perhaps only in a small way, but it would be a start. I made the decision to adapt the Introduction to Theatre course into a format that would not require textbook costs. It felt good to be able to tell those students who had to drop that they would have an option the next semester that would allow them to complete the course successfully since they would have access to the course materials without any additional cost to them.
Tom MayerBlue Ridge
Scott RussellBlue Ridge
Darrell RalstonBlue Ridge
Greg CookBlue Ridge
During the spring and summer of 2015, BRCC Automotive Program personnel worked with college technology support staff to create a sophisticated audiovisual system in their lab to allow Automotive Analysis & Repair students to be able to see and hear what their instructors are demonstrating from anywhere in the room. The system uses a variety of cameras, microphones and displays to be able to present everything from large work areas, such as a whole engine bay, to small technical components and test equipment. Everything that is displayed, including audio, is recorded and posted to Blackboard for students to review. The system is flexible enough to quickly adapt to display and record a student’s work as well, when it is instructionally relevant.
The presentation station has wheels, allowing it to be positioned anywhere in the work area, and is controlled by an iPad mounted to the station on a flexible arm. The entire system is designed to be minimally intrusive to the instructional process, and switching sources during demonstrations is easily accomplished.
Virginia JonesRappahannock, Warsaw
Jennifer AllmanRappahannock, Warsaw
Eric PesolaRappahannock, Glenns
William “Hutt” WilliamsRappahannock, Warsaw
The STEM summer camp utilizing SeaPerch robotics was a collaborative undertaking with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren and RCC. This camp’s main goal was to expose underrepresented middle school students from the Northern Neck region of Virginia to robotics and especially opportunities in STEM careers. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren supplied the kits and pool for the underwater robotics Two of the instructors — Lindsay Brooks and Dusty Remington — came from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren in King George County; they were assisted by seven local teachers. from middle and high school as classroom volunteers and mentors for the students. RCC supplied the classroom meeting space, publicity, recruitment, awards and registration, and administrative support. The camp was filled to capacity (24 students) with a waiting list!!!
The classroom instruction focused on collaboration and teamwork to solve a real-world underwater robotics challenge. RCC’s webmaster and PR personnel took photos of the students with their “Sea Perch” and made a video. The students and parents were extremely complimentary of the camp and begged for us to offer more next year – at minimum two or more of these types of STEM Camps.
Dan ReamRappahannock, Glenns
Beginning in the Fall semester of 2013 the RCC Library undertook to provide our college’s dual enrollment students with access and services equal to that of our on-campus students. Components of this effort included: meeting with all dual enrollment faculty and offering them on-site library research instruction for their classes; meeting face-to-face with all the high school librarians at our colleges 13 dual enrollment high schools to promote their awareness of and access to our library services; and providing free home delivery of library books and DVDs to supplement the online access to our e-book, streaming video, and online journal resources. Our RCC librarian has provided tailored library instruction either face-to-face or via prerecorded streaming video to dual enrollment classes at 4 of our dual enrollment high schools thus far. Student, faculty, and high school librarians’ feedback on the value of these services has been enthusiastic.
David LermanPiedmont Virginia
Kristen HoltPiedmont Virginia
Kristina SimpkinsPiedmont Virginia
Kayla BlackPiedmont Virginia
PVCC’s Student Success Office focuses on increasing the retention and completion rate of many of the college’s most vulnerable student populations. We do this through maximizing SAILS (Student Assistance and Intervention for Learning Success) usage, intrusive advising, classroom visits, special events, a college success Blackboard course, coordination of existing services, targeted programming towards at risk groups of students, and more. We lessen student anxiety and increase the number of students who access helpful resources by deliberately being fun, visible, and easily accessible.
Sam DillenderLord Fairfax, Middletown
Ebrahim AbdurahimanLord Fairfax, Faquier
Whitney KeatonLord Fairfax, Middletown
Teaching chemistry labs off-site presents the unique challenge of making sure students are receiving equivalent quality of instruction(relative to face-to-face labs). However, Lord Fairfax Community College(LFCC) is meeting this challenge in our Chemistry 101 and 102 labs. A majority of research has found that hands-on labs promote higher achievement than virtual labs. Despite this, there is a big push to teach labs off-site to allow a larger population of students access to them. A solution to this is to teach off-site labs with hands-on kits to be able to give students the experiences they would get in a face-to-face lab setting while still having the advantage of doing the labs at a remote setting and asynchronously.
This presentation will review the process that was undertaken to select, and then improve on the current kits that are being used in Chemistry 101 and 102 off-site labs at LFCC. In addition, this presentation will review in depth how the hands-on lab kits from HOL are being used in the off-site lab sections of Chemistry 101 and 102.
Kenyada McLeodJohn Tyler, Chester
A comparison of success rates for students in online courses to those in face-to-face courses, illustrated a clear disparity. In an effort to increase online student success rates and complement the five completely online programs at John Tyler Community College, the Introduction to Online and Hybrid Learning course was launched in an effort to provide prospective online learners with an opportunity to test drive the online learning experience. These courses are offered one week prior to each session start date in an effort to give learners the opportunity to make any necessary changes.
The overarching goals of this course were to:
After a year of offering the free, five day Introduction to Online and Hybrid Learning course, several trends were identified:
Join us as we share this proactive approach as well as the online success journeys of our students.
Alyce MillerJohn Tyler, Chester
Cris SilventJohn Tyler, Chester
Alexandr ToljJohn Tyler, Chester
The Virginia Rosenwald Initiative is a partnership between John Tyler Community College, Preservation Virginia, and local communities (as well as many other institutional supporters and collaborators throughout the state) dedicated to the preservation of Virginia’s Rosenwald Schools and their associated community histories. The goal of the Virginia Rosenwald Initiative is to locate, assess, and assist with the rehabilitation of Rosenwald schools in the commonwealth and to use this process to foster community engagement and learning opportunities. It seeks to connect with local communities in order to enable and support the rehabilitation of schools.The Rosenwald Initiative seeks to be a practical interdisciplinary model for the preservation of such histories. Students at John Tyler actively participate in the process. The Rosenwald Initiative provides authentic learning experiences that work to increase student engagement and success. It uses local activism to inspire students across generations. The Rosenwald Initiative firmly roots our students and our institution in the community, enabling students to build relationships and contacts with project partners. The history, itself, also invigorates and energizes students’ educational path. The themes of increased educational access, quality, and opportunity that are so integral to this story of educational activism are fundamental to the mission of the community college.
Jillian NoelGermanna, Fredericksburg
Angela SheafferGermanna, Fredericksburg
Edward DouberlyGermanna, Fredericksburg
Karen MitturaGermanna, Fredericksburg
Integrating simulation from a multidisciplinary standpoint allow the students to work with each other at different points of the simulated activity to work together through communication and respect for other disciplines. Crisis and disaster management is better executed with training at the student level with experts in the field.
The faculty at Germanna Community College understand the development of the students in their areas but have decided to have the students participate in a multidisciplinary simulation to increase the understanding of other disciplines. Integrating simulation from a multidisciplinary standpoint allow the students to work with each other at different points of the simulated activity to work together through communication and respect for other disciplines. This is a change from traditional learning where students only work within their respective disciplines.
Shawn McReynolds, Wytheville
Glen Johnson, Virginia Highlands
Jamie Edwards, Wytheville
Barbara Manual, Virginia Highlands
Crystal Cregger, Wytheville
Christine Fields, Virginia Highlands
Lorri Huffard, Wytheville
Hara Charlier, Virginia Highlands
Rhonda Catron-Wood, Wytheville
Jill Watson Ross, Wytheville
In summer 2013, Wytheville Community College, Virginia Highlands Community College and the Town of Marion, Virginia entered into a unique partnership to create The Summit Center for Higher Education. Officials with the Town of Marion approached college representatives with an offer to lease 6,512 square feet in an old 1908 schoolhouse saved from demolition and in the process of being renovated. Exterior renovations and construction of a parking garage had been completed, but the interior of the schoolhouse was untouched and showed the visible scars caused by decades of neglect. The entire cost of the town’s construction and renovation project was approximately two million dollars. College leadership recognized an opportunity to set aside competition, create a partnership and leverage the building’s location to better serve the people of Marion and the surrounding Smyth County. The service areas for WCC and VHCC intersect in Smyth County.
Key leaders at both colleges were committed to creating a high quality learning environment that would be seamless for students regardless of the college providing instruction. The project came with many challenges that fell in three main areas:
Gwendalyn SloneSouthwest Virginia
Mary Margaret Thompson
Carroll Lee Wolfe
All Southwest Virginia
Students throughout the Virginia Community College System have a profound need for pre-college preparation and academic enhancement, whether they are recent high school graduates entering college for the first time or nontraditional college students. In The Case for Change, Chancellor Glenn Dubois noted that far too many of Virginia’s recent high school graduates lack the academic preparedness for college level course work. He noted that 45% of these traditional college students were required to complete at least one developmental course. Further, an overwhelming 83% were required to complete developmental math and among that population, only half completed the course on the first attempt.
To address these barriers to student success, SWCC has created the Pre-College Preparation and Academic Enhancement Program. This initiative provides remedial coursework in a number of different disciplines, including math, reading, writing, grammar. Math content includes 137 video modules addressing basic math, pre-algebra, algebra I, algebra II and geometry. Content was also created to assist students in preparation for the essay and reading components of the Virginia Placement Test, Content includes 8 modules for reading, 9 modules for essay development and 11 modules for grammar. A unit was created specifically to assist first semester, associate degree nursing students to successfully complete the comprehensive dosage and calculations examinations for entering associate degree nursing students.
Joanna VondrasekPiedmont Virginia
All Piedmont Virginia
Blackboard Course Site
The American Association for the Advancement of Science strongly recommends that students be exposed to authentic research experiences early in their undergraduate careers as a way to promote achievement and persistence in science. This is often seen as a laudable but difficult goal at community colleges, where constraints on faculty time, facilities and student preparedness can limit research feasibility. Piedmont Virginia Community College has developed a model in which all of our students enrolled in the A.S. in Physical & Natural Science degree conduct a semester-long, faculty-mentored research project. The two-credit research course serves as a capstone project that fulfills the following student learning outcomes: 1) students will conduct hands-on scientific research and 2) students will synthesize the content of their science courses and create new knowledge. One faculty member carries teaching credit for the course and conducts organizational meetings. Additional full-time science faculty mentor 1-3 students per semester in their discipline. Students plan and conduct research and then communicate their findings at an end-of-semester poster session open to the wider college community. Since the program’s formal implementation in 2009, our students have successfully engaged the college community with scientific research, presented their findings at national meetings, collaborated with community and university partners, and made new contributions to science.
Kevin RatliffBlue Ridge
Tish HarrisBlue Ridge
Carmel Murphy NorrisBlue Ridge
Blue Ridge Community College submits “Career Connect” for your review as a candidate for an Excellence in Education Award in the “Improving Student Success” category. Career Connect addresses student success by arming high school students in the BRCC service area with resources to understand the need for credentials, to explore in-demand occupations, and to build a plan for logical transition to education and training, credentials, and careers. In keeping with the analysis and suggestion of SCHEV in their 2009 report A Statewide Examination of College Access Services and Resources in Virginia to offer supplemental initiatives to help students struggling with the emotional and logistical transition from high school to college, Career Connect offers information and support for students whose demographics include low to moderate income, English Language Learners, first-generation college, and students interested in career and technical education and training. The need for a supplemental program is evident, since the Virginia Department of Education data shows four of the six localities served by BRCC exceed the 42% state average of school free and reduced lunches for the school year 2014-2015, specifically City of Harrisonburg at 71.28%, Highland County at 63.18%, City of Waynesboro at 57.7% and City of Staunton at 54.43%.
Velma BryantBlue Ridge
Blue Ridge Community College created a pilot program in partnership with three high schools (Broadway HS, Buffalo Gap HS and Waynesboro HS) in our service region to help graduating seniors’ transition from high school to Blue Ridge Community College. The Blue Ridge Promise program offers seniors a scholarship for SDV 100: College Student Success that is to be taken during the summer between their senior year and first year of college.
The program was developed in response to the growing number of graduating seniors who registered to attend BRCC, then over the summer dropped from all of their BRCC courses. Realizing this trend, BRCC Career Coaches from the high schools called these dropped students to determine if they were enrolled in another college or if they had obtained employment. During this investigation we learned the majority of these students were sitting at home without college enrollment or employment. Based on these finding, BRCC decided to develop a program to bridge the gap between the end of high school and the beginning of college. We knew an important part of the program needed to be teaching students college success skills, such as; study skills, time management, and stress management. These conversations about student success, summer melt and retention; lead to the creation of the Blue Ridge Promise.
To be eligible for the program students must be graduating seniors from one of the designated schools and registered to attend BRCC in the fall semester. This intensive 4-day summer transition course is designed to help students get to know other BRCC bound students and introduce them to College policies and procedures. Students also have the opportunity get engaged with campus resources that are essential to success, use our Recreation Center, and get a free lunch each day!
Initial data on Blue Ridge Promise demonstrates retention success.
Stacie DeaverVirginia Western
Amy WhiteVirginia Western
The creation and implementation of the Biotechnology CSC at VWCC offers both technical and academic opportunities for our students. It therefore addresses VWCC’s goal of serving a diverse population and the Complete 2021 goal of tripling credentials. The newly developed CSC consists of 5 courses that will provide students with skills necessary to be successful in biotechnology, a growing field in Virginia. This CSC can be added to a number of degrees, thus increasing the marketability of our students as they enter the workforce or transfer to a 4-year institution. While technical training is essential, it is becoming evident that soft skills are just as important in order to be successful in the workforce. Two of the courses, BIO 251: Protein Applications and BIO 252: Nucleic Acid Methods, were developed as a part of the CSC to promote all necessary skills. These technique-based courses not only provide technical training, but rely on Guided Inquiry Learning Design to promote critical thinking and problem solving skills, while encouraging students to take ownership of their learning. Furthermore, this technique promotes additional soft skills, such as collaboration and communication, which are highly desired by employers. By implementing new pedagogy and emphasizing core skills such as these, the courses in the Biotechnology CSC provide a model for other programs who wish to develop soft skills while still maintaining the level of specialized training required by their field.
Kevin HamedVirginia Highlands
Sandy DavisVirginia Highlands
Kevin HameVirginia Highlands
VHCC’s Coastal Ecology course provides students with a unique experiential learning opportunity and an invaluable interdisciplinary perspective. This course also involves an enduring partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. The collective enthusiasm from Coastal Ecology students and faculty has inspired us to share our instructional experiences with other faculty.
Rural community college students in the mountainous regions of Southwest Virginia rarely have an opportunity to explore the natural world of coastal environments, much less consider this field of science as a career option. Through a partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, VHCC students have been exploring the northern Gulf of Mexico coast since 2005. Students are able to utilize state of the art laboratories and research vessels to facilitate hands-on learning. The region boasts a national seashore, national wildlife refuges, many local parks, and several different ecosystems that are preserved in national and state forests.
Many Coastal Ecology alumni have obtained bachelor degrees in the marine sciences and some have obtain graduate degrees. Incredibly, many students have achieved their lifelong dream of a career in marine science. Coastal Ecology students demonstrated greater classroom engagement during and after the course. Additionally, students and faculty often develop a collaborative relationship facilitating increased student and faculty interactions. Coastal Ecology students also have the opportunity to engage and learn from faculty at a research institution as well as professionals with state and federal agencies.
Carrie LewisRappahannock, Warsaw
Rebecca WhiteRappahannock, Glenns
Sara HeadleyRappahannock, Warsaw
How does faculty bring community nursing concepts together in the real world? The answer is found in the RCC nursing faculty who envisioned a project two years ago to involve students in community health projects to make community nursing concepts come to life. Beginning in 2014, faculty took student groups to RAM events in VA and TN. From those experiences, the faculty and students performed a community assessment and determined that our service area could benefit from a RAM clinic. The students were involved in every aspect of development of the project and took on primary leadership roles in fundraising, marketing, food service, management operations, data collection, and others. The event in November drew over 600 patients across all demographics who received a variety of free healthcare including medical, dental, vision, diabetes follow-up, renal screening, free food and clothes, among other services. Over $375,000 of care was rendered free to the community. Students put all of their knowledge to work for this event and it was a huge success.
Sandra WalkerPaul D. Camp, Suffolk
Alan HarrisPaul D. Camp, Suffolk
Trina JonesPaul D. Camp, Franklin
Jamie DoddPaul D. Camp, Suffolk
The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) implemented the Chancellor’s College Success Coach Initiative in 2012. The purpose of this initiative is to increase the number of students that graduate, transfer, or earn a career readiness certificate. In alignment with the coaching initiative, Paul D. Camp Community College (PDCCC) designed S.T.E.P.S. (Students Transitioning through Education Programs Successfully). Participants must meet at least one of three criteria: First generation students, ethnicity/race, Pell Grant-eligible AND earned 14 or fewer college credits. The VCCS defines the aforementioned students as underserved. Historically, retention rates for underserved students fall well below the general student population. In part, this phenomenon has been attributed to social incongruence. When students do not build positive relationships with faculty, staff, and peers, they are less likely to be retained. Helping students to make positive connections is referenced in the professional literature as a “best practice.” The Spanish Basics Workshop Series is aligned with retention, adult learning, and culturally-relevant teaching theories. This voluntary workshop is facilitated in weekly, one-hour sessions, over a period of 6-weeks during the summer semester, and places faculty and staff in learner roles alongside students. Learning objectives focus on commonly used words and phrases, and culture. No prior knowledge is required. This “out-of-the-box” approach is consistent with the mounting culture of evidence advocating for cultural relevance in teaching and learning, and implementing multiple retention strategies. This mechanism-based approach has had immediate implications for professional practices and Complete 2021 – to triple the number of credentials earned. Workshop survey data (5-point Likert Scale, closed/open-ended questions) indicate participation increased by 164% from 2014 to 2015 and positive relationship development among participants. S.T.E.P.S outcomes since 2012: Retention rates consistently exceed PDCCC overall rates by 20% or more; 70% of students maintained a GPA of 2.0 or above; and credentials earned tripled.
Samantha EmswilerJohn Tyler, Midlothian
The service learning assignment was developed for Ethics and Social Ethics classes. The assignment consists of the students organizing into groups and creating or attending an event or drive that offers practical solutions to a social ethics issue, such as poverty or pollution. The students meet up and engage in service in their community for three hours or more, then the students create and give a group presentation on their project.
One example of a service project created by a student was a donation drive for Jackson-Feild Home for Girls. The student contacted the non-profit and asked how she could help them, she enlisted other students, and she organized a donation drive on campus. Since most of the girls at the home come in with only a small bag of goods, the donations provided important basics and even helped them dress for their first prom.
The final part of the assignment is a reflection paper and assessment of the project. The students reflect upon their experience, their work with their peers, how they interacted with faculty or leaders at the event, what they learned about the social ethics solutions and how the project offers deep learning experiences. These student assessment tools allow the instructor to create better assignments and better volunteer opportunities while “closing the loop” by evaluating the efficacy of the pedagogical tools.
D Pulane LucasReynolds, Henrico
“The case study method allows the students to be part of the learning process; the teacher is a leader and the students are a team who collaboratively share their experiences, thoughts and creativity. To me [it] is a perfect motivator.” Pelayo Melgarejo, BUS 100 Student
Effective case-based teaching enhances learning opportunities for business students by equipping them to think critically about complex management, administrative, organizational and leadership dilemmas and challenges. The case method helps students improve cognitive processes by recalling facts, understanding concepts, applying frameworks, analyzing conflicts, evaluating strategies, and creating action plans. By honing these processes, students sharpen analytical and critical thinking skills and diagnostic and decision making capabilities. Faculty training is an essential component of quality case-based instruction and is necessary to enhance student-centered learning content in face-to-face and online learning environments. The integration of the case method into business education has helped improve student participation in the classroom and boost course retention. The expansion of the case method in business education at the community college level offers promise in increasing program and student success rates at VCCS Schools of Business.
When most people think of hip-hop the word rap or rapper comes to mind. However, hip-hop refers to a specific culture that grew out of the Bronx, NY in the late 1970’s. The culture consists of five key elements: 1. MC (MC’ing/Rapping) 2. DJ (DJ’in) 3. B-boy/B-girl (Break dancing) 4. Style Writing/Graffiti 5. Knowledge (Knowledge of self). All five elements of the culture created a safe space for black and brown youth to heal while “the Bronx was burning”. Today hip-hop is relevant to lives of many college students and can provide a bridge to ideas and tasks that promote critical thinking in both Composition and Literature courses. In addition, many aspects of the culture can be traced back directly to West African culture from the beat of the drums, to the Griots (oral story tellers), to the call and response technique used throughout the trajectory of music in general. It has been ten years since Danville Community College has offered ENG 253/ENG 254 (Survey of African American Literature). The course focuses on making critical connections between conflicts and themes explored in both African American Literature and hip-hop. For example, during week one, students made connections to the oral traditions of African American Literature and culture, to hip-hop. They were able to identify specific characteristics of musical genres that stemmed from West African Culture, to slave spirituals, to the prison work songs, to the blues and ultimately, to hip-hop. During an in class activity, students analyzed rapper J.Cole’s “GOMD”; a song that actually samples a prison work song and applies the call and response technique. What’s even more interesting is that J. Cole’s music video provides a historical context around the different treatments of lighter skinned slaves vs. darker skinned slaves. Through this activity, students were able to make multiple historical connections through a hip-hop music video.
Cece WheelerThomas Nelson, Hampton
All Thomas Nelson, Hampton
The visual arts outcomes project addressed the direct use of assessment findings to structure and build a capstone portfolio course for art and photography programs. We developed our assessment plan in September 2013, implemented it during the 2013 academic calendar, and through an analysis of the results developed an action plan in May 2013. Full-time faculty from fine arts, media arts, and photography collaborated to redesign the entire curriculum for our Associate of Applied Arts degrees by mapping program learning outcomes to specific courses, scaffolding those courses, and creating a new capstone portfolio course in which student synthesize all of their learning and skill development by working on a semester-long project to develop both a print and an electronic portfolio. The capstone project is completed through an exhibition and portfolio review where students share their portfolios with peers, our full-time and part-time visual arts faculty, faculty from other colleges, and professionals in the field.
Larry TiezziPiedmont Virginia
Connie JorgensenPiedmont Virginia
“The world is interdisciplinary; so it makes sense that an interdisciplinary approach provides students an opportunity to experience real life situations. Students for Nelsonite has been a joint project of Geology and Political Science students to research and propose legislation to name Nelsonite the state rock of Virginia. Virginia is one of only 5 states that doesn’t have a state rock, mineral or gem. The project has involved geology students and political science students who otherwise would have been doing separate and possibly individual projects. The team met weekly and ad hoc to discuss progress and challenges.
Some students were required to research the legislative process and develop a strategy to convince a legislator to sponsor the bill in the 2016 General Assembly session. Other students delved into the rock itself – its properties, location, and history. All students were exposed to a range of ideas from multiple disciplines.
As of this writing and even by semesters end, it will be a work in progress. Students have developed plans, talking points, and strategies to achieve their primary goal of making Nelsonite the state rock of Virginia. If Nelsonite becomes the state rock of Virginia, it will occur sometime during Spring semester. However, the students have become so engaged that they have all decided to continue to the end of the process. One student summed up what they all feel, that “this is the best thing I have ever done”.
Greg HodgesPatrick Henry
All Patrick Henry
Imagine a community once known as The Furniture Capital of America staring down a new title – The Unemployment Capital of Virginia. Picture a citizenry, many without a high school diploma, facing the reality that a college degree would now be required just to put food on the table. Then imagine that same community’s college stepping up to courageously tackle these challenges by radically overhauling the way it approaches teaching and learning and by serving as the catalyst for community and economic development. In 2004, Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) was faced with institutional data from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) indicating the classroom engagement was a real problem. Thus, it chose cooperative learning as a major strategy for improvement. While many schools and state systems are confronting the curriculum challenge, PHCC is helping colleges and faculty members across the VCCS and the country tackle pedagogy and increase student achievement through the organization known as the Southern Center for Active Learning Excellence or SCALE. Now, SCALE is tackling distance learning classes as this mode of delivery is growing by leaps and bounds with limited student success.
Julie RansonJohn Tyler, Chester
Les BellJohn Tyler, Chester
Melinda MillerJohn Tyler, Chester
John Tyler Community College has created a partnership to ensure that a highly skilled manufacturing workforce is available in our region. Based on input from area employers and secondary school divisions in the College’s service region, John Tyler Community College piloted a two-year sequence of precision machining classes set aside for high school students to attend in fall of 2012. From the initial pilot with 7 participating students, the program now reaches 30 machining students from 6 school districts. Expansion of the concurrent model to welding in fall 2015 involves 15 students from 4 school districts. Through small class sizes, project based learning, guest speakers, and field trips, high school students are engaging in learning and workforce training the public schools and the students’ families could not begin to afford. The opportunity to earn high-end, industry-recognized credentials is an additional plus for the students. Graduates of the precision machining program have found high-paying employment with local manufacturers.
Public school partners continue to ask for additional seats and more varied program offerings for their students. These demands led to the building of a Welding concurrent program. We expect more schools and more programs to come on board in coming years.
JTCC has worked through the various kinks involved with working around public school scheduling and has found the efforts add value to the community. Students have had success; they have discovered that college is more than books and lectures; and they have learned about the many opportunities in STEM fields.