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ATD News

ATD the Focus of STLCC Professional Development Day

The theme of STLCC’s 2010 Professional Development on Oct. 19 was “STLCC Innovates,” and innovation there was. 

Gerardo E. de los Santos, the keynote speaker and the president of the League for Innovation, gave an informative talk on key trends in community colleges.  He began by showing the film titled “Living in Exponential Times”  that framed the rest of his presentation. The video made it clear that the world is changing at an amazing pace and education must meet the needs of students accordingly.   

He also discussed:

  • Learning swirls – how our student demographics are changing.
  • Learning needs – how students come to us with many needs, from remedial education to retraining to addressing new industries like sustainability.
  • Learning nexus – how we are expanding our services  to those still in high school to offering bachelor degrees on campus.
  • Learning Technology – how we need to keep up with available technologies and creatively apply them to education – whether it is offering more online courses with shared licensed content to using social networking to our advantage.

De los Santos also reminded us that outside agencies will impose accountability standards on us if we do not establish these ourselves. He applauded our acceptance into the Achieving the Dream Initiative and remarked that adopting a culture of evidence not only was one way to be more accountable, but also to increase student  success.

The morning continued with five breakout sessions, each related to one of the Achieving the Dream goals.  

  • Jo-Carol Fabianke, associate vice chancellor, and Adriana Contreras, deputy to the chancellor from Alamo College, discussed Alamo’s work on developmental courses.
  • Sally Search, dean of academic support at Tallahassee Community College, presented their work on increasing the success rate in English composition.
  • Carolyn Byrd, dean of instruction support services at Patrick Henry College, outlined their faculty development training on active and collaborative learning strategies.
  • Charles Cook, vice chancellor from the Houston Community System, explained their “College and Career Exploration” course and the implications of making it mandatory for all incoming students.
  • Julie Phelps, professor in mathematics, shared the story of Valencia Community College’s ATD journey.

“What I’ve heard about ATD was all theoretical,” noted John Glen, assistant professor in humanities/social sciences at Wildwood.  “(Charles Cook) had several specific things that they had tried at Houston Community College and were successful, and of course encouraged us all to try them as well.” 

The afternoon breakout sessions were divided into four categories: Innovative Approaches to Learning and Teaching, Innovative Technology Trends in Education, Innovative Approaches to Putting Our Best Foot Forward, and Innovative Approaches to Our Daily Business. The day concluded with a performance by the Meramec Chamber Choir, directed by Jerry Myers, and seven students from the four campuses who spoke about some of STLCC’s innovative programs that address each of the five ATD goals and helped them succeed.  

“I thought (the session I attended) was very insightful and informative and good to see that ATD is a program that really aims to the success of our students and the college as a whole,” said Alexandria Bratcher, student financial aid specialist at Florissant Valley.