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Campus Updates - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
EMCC engineering students return to campus

The October 26, 2012 visit from Arizona State University (ASU) connected more than 60 EMCC students to 'life beyond Estrella'. ASU's Assistant Dean of Engineering spoke to students about the ASU engineering program. Five EMCC alumni, who are currently enrolled as ASU engineering students, also presented. EMCC alumni spoke about their transitions from a 2-year to a 4-year institution and the engineering program. EMCC alumni provided information about life at ASU ... much to the curiosity of current EMCC students!

Business Career Panel demonstrates community collaboration

More than 70 students attended the Business Career Panel October 4, 2012. The 50-minute panel was composed from local buisnesses and panelists answered students' questions about succeeding in business-related fields. Watch the video. Future events that connect the community with Estrella Mountain students are currently being organized by the Career & Transfer Center.


As a Learning College, EMCC promotes learning excellence for both employees and students. Each issue we highlight how we are living the Learning College; learning happens ... Anywhere, Anytime, and Anyplace. Let us know how you are learning and recognizing others' contributions!

Presentations and Publications

Representing Estrella Mountain, Vivian Miranda and Laura Fry presented EMCC's iConnect program at two conferences: AZ Leaders Conference (Oct 19) and the Student Success Conference (October 26). Integration of the various college connections was highlighted: the Pledge (employee-to-student connections), Engage Estrella Mentoring (student-to-college connections) and PAWS in Action awards (employee-to-employee connections). 

CATS of the Month

Rachel Holmes received the Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System (CATS) award for October 2012 for her Culture and Diversity Research Paper, an action research project for students. Click to learn more about her assessment project.


EMCC's iConnect program focuses us, as a college and community, to become actively involved with student engagement. Our iConnect "report cards" help us communicate with each other about 1) how we are building relationships and 2) our experiences within EMCC's Learning College:

Erin Blomstrand (English) - "I was able to help an anxious freshman find coping skills to deal with her stress."

Amy Leach (Nursing) - "I shared with a colleague how to use electronic resources for new teaching strategies."

Jackie Branham (Occupational Education) - "I helped a student that needed to know what classroom AJS101 was in. This also helped me get more experience with SIS."

Maureen Hannon (SWSC) - "I assisted an indecisive student by connecting the student to the Career & Transfer Center and the KUDER assessment."

Dee Long (CTL) - "I worked with a student having technical issues with images. This helped to ease her anxiety."

If you have not yet signed up for the iConnect pledge, visit the President's office or Mariposa faculty offices to get your cards & pen! If you have pledged, drop off your report cards in the iConnect boxes on campus: President's Office, CTL, SWSC, Komatke A, and Mariposa Hall. Stay connected!


Many projects and division activities occur across campus. To increase employee awareness, the initiatives that have a significant impact are included in Campus Updates.

EMCC Commitment to Safety

Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) is committed to provide a safe workplace and educational environment for employees and visitors. In compliance with the health and safety requirements issued by the Arizona Division of Occupational Health and Safety (ADOSH), EMCC will make every reasonable effort to eliminate all accidents and control hazardous conditions. Goals of the EMCC Health and Safety program include:

  • Improve health and safety communication at all levels.
  • Promote and recognize safety consciousness, responsibility and accountability.
  • Educate students on appropriate saftey practices on campus.
  • Foster an educational environment where all employees are actively involved in safety planning and loss prevention.

Employees are expected to follow safe procedures and take an active part in protecting themselves, their colleagues, and visitors. Employees are accountable for the health and safety of the students under their supervision and must conduct operations in a safe manner at all times. The full commitment to safety statement is available in the President's office.


Efforts are made locally and nationally to increase student success and learning. Sharing our best practices both in the classroom and in daily processes helps us improve our effectiveness and efficiency.

National: Strategies to Improve Student Reading

To develop students' ability to read texts carefully, students are engaged in an interpretation worksheet. Here's how it works:

  1. Students read an assigned text prior to class or orientation event.
  2. Students spend five minutes answering how they read the material (what location was the text read in, what time of day was the text read, and how they figured out what was important in the reading.)
  3. Students form small groups and share responses. Each group must generate a few "best practices" for reading.
  4. The class/large group creates a list of reading best practices, which students can refer to during the rest of the event or course.

The exercise invites students to talk to one another about reading. The strategy can be used with many activities: homework problems, quizzes, early experiences in a lab, after a midterm / before a final, and review of orientation materials. Faculty Focus has more information in the online article.

Teacher Education Institute: Teaching Tip

Chart Your Progress!

Recent research has shown that when students chart their own grades, it has a significant positive effect on achievement results. There are several no-hassle-for-teacher ways to do this:

  • Start easy: Have students periodically submit their Grade Report from Blackboard (or Canvas) as an assignment, with their total % circled or highlighted. This way the teacher knows that the student knows what their grade currently is.
  • Student Progress Chart: Dedicate about 1 minute every time you return a paper/quiz/test with a score on it for students to chart their own progress.
  • Grade Check Meetings: For face-to-face or hybrid, when the whole class is working independently on a project, have your students come to your desk one at a time to go over their grades with you. This can also be done during your office time.

Remember: there is a high correlation between students who frequently check their grades and their success in the classroom! This strategy is another example of the power of assessment, especially when students self-assess!

Marzano, R.J. (2010). Formative assessment & standards-based grading. Bloomington, IA: Marzano Research Laboratory

Submitted by: Rachel Holmes and Pete Turner, Teacher Education Institute

  • Juan Alderete - Computer Hardware Technician, IT

    Bruno Talerico - Program Manager, Nursing

    Brian Bingham - OSO Faculty, Physics

  • Native American Heritage Month (NAHM) kickoff

    During the month of November, EMCC has several events scheduled to celebrate Native American Culture and Heritage. The kickoff event features 2011 World Hoop Dance Champion, Brian Hamell.

    • Date: Wednesday, November 7
    • Time: 11am
    • Location: Komatke B Courtyard

    "Campus Conversation" with Dr. Lara

    Courageous conversations can happen when individuals share their true feelings. In an effort to facilitate communication and truly evaluate the 'state of the college', Dr. Lara will be holding a rolling conversation ... enter and exit the dialogue as your schedule permits. Lunch is served!

    • Date: Friday, November 9
    • Time: 12-3 pm
    • Location: CTL

    "Beat the Odds" presentation

    Award-winning principal MaryKay Radavich will be presenting to the Future Teachers Club about her school being awarded the prestigious "Beat the Odds" recognition. A Beat the Odds school is a high minority, high poverty school that has overcome the challenges of poverty through the efforts of their principal and teachers.

    • Date: Tuesday, November 13
    • Time: 2-3 pm
    • Location: OCT 117

    Networking Institute Career Panel

    As part of the strategic direction of Maximizing Student Success, the Career & Transfer Center and Internships program will be hosting a career panel for Networking Technologies. All are welcome to attend.

    • Date: Tuesday, November 13
    • Time: 3 pm
    • Location: EST Hall North CR

    "Code Talkers" Presentation (NAHM event)

    ASU English Professor Dr. Laura Tohe will share the stories and experiences of a select group of men who devised a code using the Navajo language to pass secret information without the enemy ever deciphering or breaking the code.

    • Date: Tuesday, November 13
    • Time: 11am
    • Location: Student Union

    "Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy" film & discussion (NAHM event)

    The award-winning film explores America’s darkest period: President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation to Oklahoma in 1838.

    • Date: Friday, November 16
    • Time: 1 pm
    • Location: Plaza Gallery

    "The Long Walk of the Navajo People" Presentation (NAHM event)

    In 1864, the Navajos were forced to walk more than 450 miles to Fort Sumner in eastern New Mexico. Presentation will discuss the Navajo point of view of this devastating time in Navajo history.

    • Date: Wednesday, November 21
    • Time: 11am
    • Location: Plaza Gallery

    "Native American Healing" film & discussion (NAHM event)

    The award-winning film takes a comprehensive look at the healing practices of American Indians and how many of those natural remedies are applicable to today's alternative health-conscious society.

    • Date: Monday, November 26
    • Time: 12 pm
    • Location: Plaza Gallery