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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What Would You Do Wednesday: Scenario 7

Each week we will bring you a short scenario to address issues that you, your colleagues and students might face. How would you respond to these scenarios? Would you file a report, or do something different? Talk to your colleagues about these situations - the classroom should be a safe learning environment for students AND instructors!

SCENARIO #7

Typically our scenarios describe a situation that you might encounter with a student in your class. What if you saw or heard something about a student or students you don’t know? Let’s say you are in line at the cafĂ© on campus, waiting to pay for your lunch. There is a bit of a disturbance close by, so you turn to see what’s going on. Two students, a male and female who you’ve seen together on campus before and assume to be a couple, are having what appears to be a heated argument. You can’t really tell what it’s about, but the male student is making aggressive gestures and getting quite close to the female student. She is backing away but the male student continues to move closer to her, and all the while his voice is getting louder. You look around hoping that someone else will intervene, but everyone else seems to be looking away, not wanting to get involved. You are worried about the female student’s safety. What should you do?

Post your comments below!

If you'd like someone from the 5 Star Consortium to follow up with you regarding this scenario, please email fivestarcolleges@gmail.com

Friday, March 24, 2017

Q&A about the EvCC Mentoring Conference

April 7 marks the 2nd Annual Mentoring Conference hosted by Everett Community College in Everett, WA. The Mentoring Conference is a full day of networking, speakers and workshops focused on sharing best practices, bright ideas and both individual and institutional experiences with mentoring. 

Because mentoring focuses on the future, we believe that the more successful a mentoring program is, the more successful an institution can be. A strong institution supports both students and staff to achieve their goals, and mentoring can contribute to helping a person reach those goals.



Q: Who will be at this year’s conference?
A: We are proud to have Brandy Brown, PhD. as our keynote speaker. Brandy is an Assistant Professor and Program Director in the Organizational Leadership program at University of Arizona South. Her keynote presentation will be: Unlocking the Power of Cultural Intelligence in Mentoring. Brandy will also be presenting a session during the conference. We’re so lucky to have her!

Q: What are some session titles?
A: Here’s a short list of some of the exciting sessions at the conference (and there are many more!):
  • Reflective Practices in Mentor/Mentee Relationships
  • Improv for Team Building, Creativity and Trust
  • The Power of Staff Mentoring
  • Peer Mentoring for Retention and Leadership Development
  • A Guide by my Side: Reflections on Mentoring Throughout a Career
  • Get That Group Going! Mentoring Tools for Teams
  • Beyond Yoda and Luke: An Alternative Faculty Mentoring Model
  • Mentorship for Faculty of Color
Q: I heard there is a pre-conference workshop. What’s that all about?
A: This year we have a special workshop on Designing a Successful Mentor Training. What are the keys to a successful mentoring partnership? The first step is a training to provide mentors with the necessary tools to create quality mentoring relationships and programs. This workshop will guide participants in developing a training for potential mentors in their organization. Note: the pre-conference workshop is now sold out. 


 
Q: Will I have a chance to network at the conference?
A: You bet! We have registrations from CTCs across the state as well as various agencies such as DSHS. We will begin the day with an opportunity to network and meet lots of new friends over coffee and a light breakfast, and continue those rich conversations at lunch (and afterwards at the Mentorium!)





 
Q: Mentorium? That sounds interesting. What is a mentorium?
A: At the end of the day, the MENTORIUM is your place to dream, explore, connect with your peers, and reflect on All Things Mentoring.  We will model a mentoring icebreaker using a fun tool.  Then, there will be opportunities to have informal conversations with mentoring groups focusing on faculty, women, men, students, and perhaps a wild card group!  This is also an opportunity to bring your own table topic to find like minds for a discussion, or you can talk shop with your colleagues and new friends.  We will help you activate your imagination with light snacks and beverages.  Join us at The MENTORIUM for a meaningful and joyful end to your conference experience.


We hope to see you on Friday, April 7th for the Mentoring Conference, or at the pre-conference workshop on April 6th. Want to know more? Visit the conference website or email us at mentoring@everettcc.edu.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What Would You Do Wednesday: Scenario 6

Each week we will bring you a short scenario to address issues that you, your colleagues and students might face. How would you respond to these scenarios? Would you file a report, or do something different? Talk to your colleagues about these situations - the classroom should be a safe learning environment for students AND instructors!


SCENARIO #5

It’s the end of the quarter! You have just finished teaching a section of a history course for the first time. It’s an area of history that you really love, and the students in the class really appreciated your enthusiasm for the subject. The papers that they wrote were so good! You know that you have inspired them, and it shows in the quality of their papers. Now, however, you have a huge stack of grading to do!

As you begin reading through the paper of one of your favorite students, you start to think that things sound familiar. Sure enough, when you google one of the paragraphs, it turns out that the student has plagiarized sections of a paper by an author whose work can be found online. Your favorite student! Those papers were always so good! You begin to wonder if this student’s previous papers also had parts that were plagiarized. What should you do?

Post your comments below!

If you'd like someone from the 5 Star Consortium to follow up with you regarding this scenario, please email fivestarcolleges@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Want to Attend a Conference?

By Peg Balachowski, Associate Dean for Teaching & Learning at EvCC


I recently returned from a national conference (League for Innovation) and am still thinking about the amazing presentations I attended and the incredible networking opportunities. I have a notebook full of ideas that I want to share with our faculty, and am already thinking about next year’s conference and the possibilities for my own professional growth.

I believe that attending conferences is important for all levels of our profession. We can not only learn about the most recent trends and best practices in teaching, but we can also see common issues that all colleges share through the eyes of others. Building community with teachers from not just your discipline but other areas (and not just teachers but administrators and students as well) is always good for getting perspective and helping us to understand everyone’s role in moving students to success and completion! And what’s not to love about visiting a new city?

Different colleges have different ways of funding travel to conferences. If you are at an institution that has an application process, consider writing a letter to those who hold the purse strings to explain why a particular conference is important for you to attend. Here is a modified sample letter that comes from http://www.magnapubs.com/.

Good luck in securing funds for travel – I hope you are successful in attending a conference where you learn and grow in your profession!


Dear (Dean/Department Chair):
To ensure that (your institution’s name) continues to be on the cutting-edge of the best pedagogical practices, I would like to attend (name of conference with description, such as how many days, location, dates – as an example, The Assessment, Teaching and Learning Conference, Spokane WA, May 3-5 2017).
This conference features plenary sessions, workshops and non-stop networking through which I will discover research-based techniques on how to connect with today’s students, use new technology, and apply active-learning strategies from recognized experts.
By attending this conference, I will learn theoretically sound ideas covering topics such as:
  • Course design
  • Grading and feedback
  • Student participation
  • Learner-centered teaching
  • Active learning techniques
  • Assessment strategies
My participation at this conference will equip me with the new skills and strategies that will augment my strengths as a teacher. I will return reinvigorated and ready to share my new knowledge with colleagues.
Please consider supporting my attendance at this conference. To learn more, please visit (link to conference website).
Sincerely,
(Your name)

You may also want to include comments from colleagues who have attended this conference. There may be quotes that you can grab from the conference website, things like “This is the best conference I have ever attended!” Is there other information about the conference that would convince someone to support this travel? Are the plenary speakers nationally known (maybe include info about them) or are there specific topics on the conference agenda that are of particular interest to your campus (social justice, diversity and equity, assessment, etc.).

Friday, March 17, 2017

Learning about Learning

By Natasa Kesler, Tenured Faculty & Director of Teaching and Learning Academy at Cascadia College


Do you teach metacognitive skills ?

As college instructors, we are probably all aware that students who are better problem solvers, know how to plan and set their own goals and, generally, have awareness of their thinking process, are almost always better academic performers. In addition, it is often the case that student performance is not determined by how much time they have to study the material, but how effectively they use it. For example, some of my students with the highest GPA were single mothers with small children and complicated work/life schedules while students who lived at home, did not have to support themselves and had sufficient time to study, did not automatically perform well.

Even though we know metacognitive skills are crucially important for success of our students, many of us chose to spend almost all of our class time teaching the course content, relying on “some other” courses, or students' own initiative to improve the skills directly related to academic success. We might feel bad when we recognize a particular student does not have ability to do well in our class, but more often than not, we think that it is not our job to teach the “basic” study skills.

At Cascadia College, we have a specific course - College 101 - designed to prepare students for college work. The beauty of having such a well designed, organized course, offered in several modalities, is an opportunity to prepare our students for the rigors of college coursework and to introduce them to the teaching methods used at our institution. It also lays down the base onto which students can build and improve their metacognitive skills.

The potential problem of having such a course is that it can make faculty falsely believe that after taking College 101, students are completely caught up on college study skills. While this particular course lays down an excellent groundwork for our students, we must help them build up their metacognitive skills in every subsequent course they take.

So how much time in our class should we devote to development of student metacognitive skills? What is the best ratio between teaching study skills and the actual content of the course? To make this decision, it would help to assess students by giving a quick diagnostic quiz early in the quarter, discuss with them how the course material is related to specific professional skills and, certainly, proceed forward keeping in mind that building metacognitive skills is not easy, quick and cannot be a job of a single instructor. You will teach some metacognitive skills in your class, but you alone cannot carry the entire responsibility for student success. Since none of us can allocate a great deal of time to teach metacognitive skills, it would seem extremely important for all faculty to make a commitment to teaching some of these skills consistently in every course. Only if students are continuously exposed to “learning about learning” can they make a huge leap necessary to become really effective college students.

When you analyze your teaching, can you identify when and how you teach metacognitive skills? Do you think your teaching of learning strategies helps improve success of students in your class? In other courses, possibly? Would it be helpful for you to work with other instructors to discuss teaching strategies that could be applied across several courses, disciplines and/or programs?

Post your comments below!

If you'd like someone from the 5 Star Consortium to follow up with you regarding this scenario, please email fivestarcolleges@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What Would You Do Wednesday - Scenario 5

Each week we will bring you a short scenario to address issues that you, your colleagues and students might face. How would you respond to these scenarios? Would you file a report, or do something different? Talk to your colleagues about these situations - the classroom should be a safe learning environment for students AND instructors!


SCENARIO #5

You have worked very hard to create a syllabus that covers all aspects of your course. In addition to all of the required information – student objectives, outcomes, course description and course materials – you have created a thoughtful description of your behavioral expectations. For example, you say that students should be respectful in class, including being on time ready to learn, and your cell phone policy is no phones open during class.  A student comes to class late and makes a lot of noise getting settled, then either sits with eyes closed or is obviously texting. At the beginning of the quarter, this student was considerate and observed all the class expectations, but things have changed. This new behavior is distracting to you and the other students. What do you do?

Post your comments below!

If you'd like someone from the 5 Star Consortium to follow up with you regarding this scenario, please email fivestarcolleges@gmail.com

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring 2017 Orientation for Faculty

The 5-Star Consortium colleges, EvCC, EdCC, Cascadia, Lake Washington Tech and Shoreline are looking forward to our next event on April 1st. New Associate (adjunct) faculty from each of the five colleges are invited to attend a full morning of best practices in active learning and student engagement. What is the morning like?
Naturally, we start with coffee, snacks and networking! We have developed a way for you to meet and talk to your colleagues from the other campuses and learn more about what they do and where they do it. There is always a welcome from the President of the hosting college (Cascadia is hosting on April 1), and then we move right into a discussion of setting shared expectations. In addition to our expectations of the participants, we want to make sure we are aware of your expectations of us, the presenters.

Other topics we discuss are Growth Mindset, Reading Apprenticeship, Building Classroom Community, and Formative Assessments. We also include multiple opportunities to practice each of these areas during the morning. We finish with a discussion of campus legal issues that all new faculty should be aware of, along with an opportunity to ask questions about these topics and campus resources.

No session would be complete without an assessment. We want to learn from our participants what worked well, and what changes participants might suggest. We finish with a fabulous lunch with the faculty from your home college, and a chance to ask more questions.

Join us on Saturday, April 1, 2017
8:00am-1:00pm
Cascadia College
18345 Campus Way NE
Bothell, WA 98011
Room CC1-102

If you are interested in learning more about this Best Practices event, please feel free to contact me, Peg Balachowski, at mbalachowski@everettcc.edu.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Keys to a Successful Mentoring Partnership

The 2nd Annual Disruptive Innovation Mentoring Conference at EvCC is coming soon!

In addition to the conference, there is a Pre-Conference Opportunity available! Here's what the Disruptive Innovation Mentoring team is offering:

Designing a Successful Mentor Training (Pre-Conference)

    Thursday, April 6, 2017 2-5pm
    Limit 20 attendees
    Early Bird Registration: $40 (Opens March 1, 2017)
    Regular Registration: $50 (after March 15, 2017)

What are the keys to a successful mentoring partnership? The first - and perhaps most important - step is training to provide mentors with the necessary tools to create quality mentoring relationships and programs. This workshop will guide participants in developing a training for potential mentors in their organization. Everyone who is interested in building a program is welcome to attend!
Goals and objectives will include:

  •     Clarifying mentor's role/responsibilities
  •     Clarifying mentee's role/responsibilities
  •     Strategies for staying engaged
  •     Sensitivity to cultural differences
  •     Dealing with issues of confidentiality
  •     Practical advice from past mentors and mentees
  •     Discussion, questions, concerns
  •     Time to design
Register today to reserve your spot! Make sure you select whether you wish to register for the Pre-Conference, Conference or both when selecting your tickets.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What Would You Do Wednesday: Scenario 4

Each week we will bring you a short scenario to address issues that you, your colleagues and students might face. How would you respond to these scenarios? Would you file a report, or do something different? Talk to your colleagues about these situations - the classroom should be a safe learning environment for students AND instructors!


Scenario #4:

In a recent professional development workshop, you learned that group activities engage students more, and in fact, in the workshop you had an opportunity to practice being a student. You saw your colleagues enjoying the experience, so you decided to try it in a class. You assign your students to groups to work on a class project that you carefully designed. You were pretty sure you thought of all the possible things that could go wrong, hoping that everything would go right! If it does, you are committed to doing more group activities. Now, however, you have heard repeated complaints from students in one group about another student who refuses to work with the people in their group. The student who is refusing to work with others seems to always have an excuse for not getting things done. The group members have come to you demanding that you resolve this by insisting the student do the work required on their part. What do you do?

Post your comments below!

If you'd like someone from the 5 Star Consortium to follow up with you regarding this scenario, please email fivestarcolleges@gmail.com

Monday, March 6, 2017

Tired Teaching

By Peg Balachowski, Associate Dean for Teaching & Learning at EvCC


I am a regular reader of educational blogs, and recently Maryellen Weimer, one of my favorite bloggers wrote in Faculty Focus:

“I have been wanting to do a blog post on tired teaching for some time now. Concerns about burnout are what’s motivating me. Teachers can reach a place where teaching does nothing for them or their students. They don’t just wake up one morning and find themselves burned out; they’ve moved there gradually, and it’s a journey that often starts with tired teaching.”

Coincidentally, I was walking down the hallway in my building this morning and saw a poster for self-care. I think that tired teaching often occurs at the end of the quarter, especially winter quarter (Snow? Rain? Commuting in the dark both ways? ) We are nearing the end of Winter Quarter, and even though the days are getting longer and spring is just a few weeks away, many of us are in the doldrums common at this time of year. Are you feeling burned out? Are you experiencing tired teaching? Are you just tired? What to do?
Let’s talk about some techniques you might consider for taking care of yourself to get you through the next few weeks, ways to find balance and be aware of your needs:

  • Make time for self-reflection
  • Choose exercise when you are feeling particularly stressed
  • Be sure to pay attention to your nutrition, possibly reducing your caffeine intake
  • Avoid getting overloaded – take care of tasks as soon as possible
  • Learn to say no
  • Call a friend
  • Make time for sleep
There are some activities that would be good to avoid, such as sitting in your office for hours at a time getting that grading done. Take a break – walk down the hall and have a chat, however brief, with a colleague. The walk and the talk will help! I like to push away from my computer periodically and do a few yoga stretches (reaching for the sky, deep breaths), and a colleague in my hallway says she always takes the long way around to visit her Dean. And sometimes you do need to just close your office door. Interruptions are inevitable – after all, our goal is to support students, and we can’t always choose the time when they need the most help. Consider this permission to close your door for 15 minutes the next time you are feeling really stressed, and take a few deep breaths.

Friday, March 3, 2017

2nd Annual Disruptive Innovation Mentoring Conference

EvCC's 2nd Annual Disruptive Innovation Mentoring Conference is coming!

Register today!

Friday, April 7, 2017 8am-4pm
Early Bird Registration: March 1, 2017
Regular Registration: after March 15, 2017
Student Registration: $25
Preliminary Schedule


The EvCC Mentoring Conference is a full day of speakers and workshops focused on sharing best practices, bright ideas and both individual and institutional experiences with mentoring. The day will begin with the keynote address Mentoring to Increase Cultural Intelligence by Dr. Brandy Brown, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Organizational Leadership at the University of Arizona. Throughout the rest of the conference, participants will be able to choose from a variety of 45 minute breakout sessions emphasizing the themes of inclusion and equity, mentoring models, innovation and experimentation, mentoring students, and mentoring employees. The presenters come from large and small colleges and universities in Washington and Oregon. This is a rare opportunity to build networks and share ideas with colleagues involved in mentoring across our region.

 Questions? Email mentoring@everettcc.edu 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What Would You Do Wednesday: Scenario 3

Each week we will bring you a short scenario to address issues that you, your colleagues and students might face. How would you respond to these scenarios? Would you file a report, or do something different? Talk to your colleagues about these situations - the classroom should be a safe learning environment for students AND instructors!


SCENARIO #3

From the very beginning of the quarter, a student in your history class frequently interrupts your lectures by asking questions that are not related to the topic. She is also usually the person who blurts out answers when you pose a question to the class. In all other respects, this student is doing well – good test scores, assignments in on time, attendance perfect. But now towards the end of the quarter, you are totally frustrated by what you think is this student’s need to be noticed AND so are the other students.

Is it too late in the quarter to do anything about this? What do you do? How do you address this with the student? What do you say to other students? Who can help you with this situation?

Post your comments below!

If you'd like someone from the 5 Star Consortium to follow up with you regarding this scenario, please email fivestarcolleges@gmail.com