10:45 p.m., Oct. 9, 2013

Professional development focus
for Center for Teaching and Learning

Instructors at Laramie County Community College are being sent to back to class, and they like it.

Co-chairs Kari Brown-Herbst, instructor of Internet Technology, and Melissa McAllister, instructor of English as a second language, from the newly developed and funded Center for Teaching and Learning task force presented a progress report to the LCCC’s Board of Trustees at a Oct. 9 study session.

The CTL, which was financed through an innovative funds grant, was developed in order to enhance and promote excellence of teaching in the college. The center has four initiatives: new faculty development, continuing professional development, adjunct faculty development and assessment.

Board digests task force report

LCCC’s president, Dr. Joe Schaffer, had asked the task force for the CTL to make new faculty a primary concern. This fall, first-year faculty were given texts to read related to teaching and learning, with responses to be posted in Desire2Learn (D2L) because the center is without a current home. Additionally, the first-year faculty have been asked to keep a reflection blog of their first semester, with a reflection project to be completed in the spring semester. The projects assigned will be added to faculty portfolios, to be considered when the faculty are eligible to apply for a continuing contract, which is after three years of employment. Second-year faculty is completing the same reflection projects as first-years, along with responding to articles in D2L. Third-year faculty is approaching the time when members submit their portfolios for continuing contract.

The CTL has organized a workshop in which these faculty members can learn how to fulfill parts of the portfolio correctly such as an action research project.

The CTL has organized many more workshops for the continuation of professional development. The workshops span a variety of topics that deal with the classroom interactions teachers receive such as applying the Socratic method, academic dishonesty, managing problematic classroom situations, course organization and applying American Psychological Association format guidelines.

In addition to the workshops, another facet of creating professional development is the Online Faculty Book Club. The text the group began with is “What the Best College Teachers Do” by Kevin Bain. Adjunct faculty are encouraged to participate in the workshops and book club as well.

The rubrics for institutional competencies are being prepared for a launch date of spring 2014. Because instructors must have similar syllabi for the Master Course Outline of Record (MCORs), the CTL would review and approve instructors’ plans as well as help develop lacking areas. The competencies, assessment methods and course descriptions of all courses in the catalog will be reviewed by spring 2016.

Several evaluations to be conducted

In other business, the board:

  • Agreed to hiring Marti Cizek, president of Cizek Associates Inc. of Phoenix, Ariz., to administer a self-evaluation of the trustees before Thanksgiving break;

  • Agreed to a 360 evaluation of the president. The president did not show support for a survey but did say he would submit to a 360 feedback;

  • Announced a campus leading and communicating survey, also known as morale survey, would be conducted soon. The last morale survey was taken in February 2010;

  • Discussed a white paper, written by President Schaffer on performance-based funding. “It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when, performance funding is going to affect federal funding through various grants,” Trustee Don Erickson said. Another trustee, Ed Mosher, noted: “It’s very critical we understand the performance baseline. I would hope we give consideration to how we fund our expectation.”

  • Decided its retreat would be held in Laramie the week of Jan. 20, 2014.

  • Emergency medical training for campus on the way