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Campus Updates - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Update: Accreditation Visit

On November 7 – 9, a six member team from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) will be visiting the EMCC campus to evaluate how the college is meeting our institutional mission. The Team visit is a culmination of a two year organizational self-reflection process and our chance to showcase the excellence of our campus community.

In preparation, our Institutional Self-Study report is currently being finalized and will be sent to the team this week. The final report and executive summary will soon be available for you to review on our self-study website. Thanks to the hard work of the various Criterion Teams, the report is a strong reflection of how the faculty and staff of Estrella Mountain are providing exceptional and creative learning experiences for all students.

In preparation for the November 7-9 HLC Team Visit, please note following meetings:

All-Employee Meeting
October 13, 3:00 p.m.
EMCC Community Room

MCCCD Governing Board Meeting
October 18, 6:00 p.m.
EMCC Community Room

Student Forum
October 26, 1:00 p.m.
EMCC Student Life

Grand Opening Celebration - Buckeye Educational Center

On September 20,  from 10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. we will proudly celebrate the grand-opening of the Estrella Mountain -Buckeye Educational Center. In partnership with the Town of Buckeye and Buckeye Union High School, Estrella Mountain has shared the cost associated with remodeling a facility adjacent to Buckeye Union High School. The Center, which opens for credit classes on October 17, furthers the College’s long-term strategic plans by enhancing Estrella Mountain’s presence in the Buckeye community. Estrella Mountain currently owns an 80 acre parcel of land in the Town of Buckeye. Enrollment reports indicate that over 250 students have already registered for credit classes at the new center.

Grand Opening Celebration
EMCC Buckeye Educational Center
Open House & Tour
September 20
10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Tours * Refreshments * Prizes

The Estrella Mountain - Buckeye Educational Center consists of six classrooms, administrative support spaces, faculty and staff work areas, as well as areas for student advisement, counseling and tutoring. 

Instructional Divisions Provide Adjunct Training and Support

On August 16, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m., the Divisions of Math, Physics and Engineering, Science, Occupational Education, Modern Languages, Behavioral Science and Cultural Studies, Counseling, and Arts and Composition all held divisional adjunct faculty meetings. Immediately following the meetings, the divisions provided opportunities for their adjuncts to participate in various workshops including:

  • MyCompLab
  • MyWritingLab
  • MyMathLab
  • Classroom Management
  • Contextualization
  • Classroom Best Practices

The purpose of the entire evening was to introduce adjunct faculty to residential faculty, provide important information about college resources and allow residential faculty to share discipline specific best practices. Over 120 adjuncts attended the various workshops, with some sessions providing standing room only. EMCC Division Chairs hope to continue this practice each semester and work together to expand workshop offerings for adjunct faculty.

EMCC Faculty Member Shares Expertise

This past summer Dr. Levi Torrison, EMCC Chemistry Faculty, traveled throughout the country to share his expertise on active learning. Active learning is the instructional pedagogy used by our chemistry faculty. Dr. Torrison spent two weeks teaching active learning as part of the curriculum for the Louisiana State University Master of Natural Science (MNS) program. He also taught a chemistry modeling class as part of the Arizona State University MNS program. In addition, he taught a one week workshop on curriculum and student-centered teaching pedagogy at the University of Notre Dame before he flew south and taught the same workshop at the University of Southern Indiana. Funded by the National Science Foundation, both of these workshops were designed to present more progressive teaching methodologies to high school science teachers. 

Congratulations to Dr. Torrison for getting teachers excited about student-centered teaching and the importance of keeping students actively engaged.

CTL Revision Moves to Action

The newly appointed Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) Team, Ms. Polly Miller, Ms. Luvia Rivera and Ms. Vivian Miranda, have joined forces and started work implementing an energized and expanded version of professional development for all employees of Estrella Mountain.  A CTL staff retreat is booked for September 21st and a schedule of offerings is in the works. Weekly classroom conversations are being launched to provide a place for faculty to share their teaching practices.  “We need to come together to share our successes and our failures,” said Luvia, “This is a great way to support and learn from each other!” The Team also plans to create a more welcoming physical environment within the CTL.  “The CTL was designed as a presentation space so there are challenges”, said Vivian, “but we feel there are some ways that we can help folks feel more at home here.”

The Team is looking forward to the first CTL Advisory Committee meeting on September 6.  In collaboration with Committee members, the team will continue to flesh out the actual curriculum of the core elements of professional development for EMCC.  “We will spend time in each meeting creating the actual slate of professional development experiences for all EMCC employees” said Polly, “It’s exciting, hands-on work.”

The CTL Team sends a warm welcome back and encourages everyone to participate in the journey to revitalize the CTL as the heart of learning at EMCC.

This Month’s Teaching Tip

From the Institute of Teacher Education:

Because active learning requires students to integrate new information or ideas into what they already know, it is helpful to have students participate in activities that activate prior knowledge. A few ways to do so include:

  • Writing brief essays to describe what they remember and understand
  • Interviewing each other about the upcoming topic
  • Participating in Think-Pair-Share that requires them to respond to prompts designed to elicit prior knowledge
  • Using graphic organizers to stimulate recall of prior learning. Our Favorite: a KWL Matrix. List in the K column what students already Know about the topic, the W column is for what they Want to learn about the topic, and follow up at the end of class with the L column which lists what they Learned

Submitted By:
Dr. Deborah Raffin, EMCC Education Faculty
Mr. Pete Turner, EMCC Education Faculty

Barkley, E.F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college
      faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Emergency Preparedness

Each of us plays a key role in the safety and security of our students and employees. Below are few guidelines that will help keep our campus environment safe.

  • Employees need to wear name badges when on campus.
  • Employees need to be aware of evacuation zones.
  • A quick reference guide should be located next to your phone.
  • Please visit the Office of Public Safety if you don’t have any of the above.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious behavior to the Office of Safety and Security at (58911).
  • Review the colleges new Emergency Preparedness website and video for the latest updates and protocol information.  
Have Something to Talk About?

This year, Dr. Lara will continue the policy of holding open office hours. This will provide an opportunity for any employee to stop by and visit without an appointment, to talk about anything or everything, excluding personnel issues. Open office hours are held bi-weekly on Monday's from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., as Dr. Lara's schedule permits. The next session is on Monday, September 19. Meetings are held in 15-minute increments or until the next person arrives.

  • Leadership Council
  • Wednesday, September 14
    2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    North Community Room

  • Grand Opening Celebration
  • Buckeye Educational Center
    10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    902 East Eason Avenue
    Buckeye, Arizona 85326