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RCC hosts educational seminar

On November 9, the Regional Center for Teaching Excellence of the Virginia Community College System’s (VCCS) Mid-central Region held an all-day seminar at Rappahannock Community College under its chair, Professor Ruth Greene of RCC’s information technology faculty. In addition to RCC, the Mid-central Region includes J. Sargeant Reynolds, John Tyler, Piedmont Virginia, and Southside Virginia Community Colleges (JSRCC, JTCC, PVCC, and SVCC).The purpose of the meeting was to pool resources and ideas regarding the new VCCS initiative for teaching developmental mathematics and English.

“The feedback we have received has been extremely positive,” says Greene. “The developmental education transition is a huge effort, and this allowed folks to share concerns, techniques, and plans for implementing it with success.”

The featured speaker was Megan Healy, coordinator of the VCCS Implementation Support Initiative and an assistant professor of biological sciences at Patrick Henry Community College. She addressed the entire gathering on the subject of “What We Know About Good Teaching and Learning with Developmental Education Students,” including strategies that have been found effective, and gave an update on the current state of developmental education. Later in the day the meeting broke up into discussion groups organized by the subject taught: English, developmental mathematics, mathematics essentials, and student development. Facilitators of these discussions included English and reading professor Glenda Lowery and math professor Robert Parker, from RCC; English professor Sharon Freeman and math professor Teresa Hudson, from SVCC; and English department chair Dr. Martha Brooks and student development professor Alexandr Tolj, from JTCC. The seminar ended with a general discussion among the whole group, focusing on what teachers of each subject would wish other teachers to know about their work; Greene called this “the best part.” This final session was facilitated by Hudson, Lowery, Parker, and Tolj.

“The conference at RCC was a collaborative effort between the VCCS Office of Professional Development and the Regional Centers for Teaching Excellence,” notes Glenda Lowery. “It gave us another opportunity to involve people in the developmental English re-design that has been in the works for the past three years. The new ENF [English Fundamentals] courses are rolling out in January, so we want to make sure that everyone affected is well-informed.”

The Regional Centers for Teaching Excellence hold these seminars every semester. The Spring 2013 event for the Mid-central Region will be hosted by JSRCC.

 

Photo: Megan Healy, coordinator of the Virginia Community College System Implementation Support Initiative, was the featured speaker for an all-day seminar at RCC regarding the new VCCS initiative for teaching developmental mathematics and English.

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