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Campus Updates - Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
EMCC Student Receives Academic Scholarship

The Board of Maricopa Colleges Faculty Foundation announced the winners of the Spring 2013 Student Scholarship Awards. Sixty-three applicants applied for the scholarships. Four scholarships were awarded, including one to EMCC student Nicole Valenzuela. Nicole is a former peer mentor and participated in the Engage Estrella mentoring program.

Internship Solidifies Student's Career Choice

EMCC's centralized intership program has grown to over 62 interships offered during Fall 2012. Since Spring 2011, nearly 100 students have been placed into an internship. April Hernandez, a student studying Nutrition, completed an internship with Arizona in ACTION. "My experience as an intern has only encouraged me more to continue the educational path of Nutrition", April reported. "My internship only opened more doors for me and was very rewarding. At the end ... I only became more happy and encouraged to work hard for my future." The Career and Transfer Center provides free services, programs and resources in career exploration and development to students.


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! 

SAAC Breaks New Ground With Assessment

In a collaborative effort with faculty and the Online Writing Center, the Student Achievement Academic Committee (SAAC) will be assessing EMCC students' Writing-Composition abilities this Spring semester. For the first time, all student submissions will be assessed by one entity, the Online Writing Center, using the SAAC-generated EMCC Writing Rubric. Rodica Heinz and her staff will help ensure inter-rater reliability by cross-training in the use of the rubric. More info.

Radical Readers: EDU 291 Service-Learning Project

The Teacher Education Institute at EMCC partnered with the New Life Center to offer EDU 291 students hands-on learning. Every other Saturday, nine students run a volunteer literacy program for children ages 2-17. The students plan interactive literacy-based lesson plans and engage young readers in small-group discussions, activities and interactive learning. Additionally, three of the EDU 291 students facilitate an after-school tutoring program, which runs through the end of April. For more information or to contribute to the project contact Rachel Holmes: rachel.holmes@estrellamountain.edu.

Reflective Journals: Simulation Activities With Nursing Students

Simulation is an instructional technique used in many disciplines to imitate the operation of a real-world process or system. EMCC Nursing students participate in clinical simulation activities and then complete a reflective journal, synthesizing the fundamentals they are learning. Student entries show how they become more cognizant of their learning:

"I need to work on my confidence in the patient care setting. I spend time second-guessing myself and questioning whether I am doing things in the right order."

"I need to work on not using abbreviations like 'npo' when I am communicating with patients. I need to realize that they don't know what we know as medical providers."

"So I made a mistake ... and I caught myself! I can learn something (by) watching how my classmates work, but also, I am sure, they learn something from me."

The journal entries from practical nursing students demonstrate both academic growth and soft-skill development.


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

Emergency Preparedness Training

Emergency preparedness and services are common throughout the United States; we take care of each other during uncommon events. At Estrella Mountain, employees (faculty and staff) receive training to help prepare for an emergency. This spring semester, emergency preparedness training will include activities leading up to a campus drill in March. Information will be distributed to campus explaining the drill and the Emergency Preparedness webpage will be updated with information. In any emergency - drill or actual event - follow the procedures as outlined in the campus quick reference guide. (Also available online.)

Recognizing Our Fabulous EMCC Family

Many District nominations/awards are underway for best practices and innovations. If you know individuals who have contributed to EMCC's learning environment, consider submitting information to these committees:

Innovation of the Year Award

  • Purpose: Recognize an employee or teams of employees who have designed and implemented a significant innovation that has had a positive impact on the education of students. More info.
  • Submit to: Brachelle McMurry (HR representative)
  • Deadline: Thursday, February 21, 11:59pm

Employee Recognition Program

  • Purpose: Recognize employees at the Maricopa Community Colleges who have made outstanding contributions to advance the District's mission. Five awards will be made in the form of a $1000 scholarship given in the awardee's name to a student at any college or center.
  • Notify: EMCC President's Office 
  • Submit to Foundation: Nomination form
  • Deadline: Friday, February 22, 5pm

Diversity Advisory Council Awards of Excellence

  • Purpose: Individual, group, program or initiative that supports Student Success, One Maricopa and/or Public Stewardship through diversity and inclusiveness efforts.
  • Submit to: Daniel Meador (EMCC's diversity coordinator)
  • Deadline: Monday, February 25

Defining Teaching Effectiveness

Connecting student evaluation activities to teaching methods and even end-of-course evaluations is an ongoing and complex process. The term "teaching effectiveness" in the 80s and 90s often was a reflection of student ratings. Faculty still have different definitions of what defines effective teaching. Many variables affect teaching effectiveness and have influenced research questions:

  • If students are motivated to learn content, do they learn even if the teacher is ineffective?
  • If students think they cannot learn content, what attributes and activities make it more likely students will learn?
  • If a teacher is deficient in one area, can he/she compensate by excelling in another area?
  • How many characteristics of an effective teacher seem like personal attributes?

Faculty Focus examines how teaching and learning are both important variables when defining effective teaching. Read more.

  • Introductions
    • Natalie Avila, Administrative Secretary III

  • Tet Celebration
  • The Asian Pacific Islander Club celebrates Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. Games will be played and Ngoc Tran will present during the event, explaining the celebration and the significance of symbols and traditions. Snacks are served and club members will explain the games.

    • Date: Thursday, February 7
    • Time: 1:00 pm
    • Location: OCT 112
  • Coffee Talk Series
  • Informal Q&A between students and administration to promote students' learning journey and discuss issues related to their success. Complimentary donuts and coffee are served. Open to all students.

    • Date: Friday, February 8
    • Time: 9:00-10:00 am
    • Location: Student Union
  • Community Celebration - Black History Month Event
  • Annual community celebration highlights African American culture and heritage in the Phoenix Southwest Valley. This year's theme, "Making Dreams a Reality", focuses on honoring legacies of Motown through live music and dance. More info.

    • Date: Saturday, February 9
    • Time: 11:00am - 5:00pm
    • Location: Ceremonial Plaza
  • Tax Preparation Services - VITA program
  • EMCC is a community site for the federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Volunteers help prepare, process and electronically file basic tax returns for personal income. VITA will be at EMCC every Saturday through April 13. More info.

    • Date: Saturday, February 9
    • Time: 9:00am-1:00 pm
    • Location: Estrella Hall, rooms 251 & 253
  • Social Media Forum
  • Presentation focuses on understanding the importance of content in social media and how social media affects and brands a person's image. Lunch is provided. Open to all students.

    • Date: Wednesday, February 13
    • Time: 12:00-1:00 pm
    • Location: Student Union
  • One Billion Rising
  • An international event to stop violence against women includes speakers, activities and dancing. Crafts and artisan work by EMCC employees are showcased. Event is open to students and community.

    • Date: Thursday, February 14
    • Time: 8:00am-1:00 pm
    • Location: Ceremonial Plaza
  • Tale of Two Cities Parade & Festival
  • Cities of Avondale and Goodyear host a 2nd annual parade and festival. The family-focused festival will be held on the EMCC campus, with individuals taking the Oath of Allegiance in the ceremonial plaza. More info.

    • Date: Saturday, February 16
    • Parade: 10am
    • Festival: 12-3:00 pm
    • Location: EMCC / Ceremonial Plaza
  • MLK Luncheon - Black History Month Event
  • Luncheon commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., emphasizing the importance of his message in our current world. Event is open to the public. Tickets are $10; purchase at Student Life. More info.

    • Date: Wednesday, February 20
    • Time: 8:00am-1:00 pm
    • Location: EST - NCR