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Quality enhancement plan newsletters

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  • 1. Quality Enhancement Plan Update From the Office of Dr. Mary S. Spangler, Chancellor What is the QEP? May 16, 2011, Vol. 1, #1 March 2011) and to develop our QEP. Our Compliance Report is currently under review by an Off-Site Section 2.12 of the Core Requirements for reaffirmation Committee that likely will ask for more information and of accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of clarification in a follow-up Focused Report. the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requires the development by HCC of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for 2012-2017. How was the QEP developed and selected? The QEP, submitted four to six weeks in advance of the on-site review by the Commission (scheduled for In conjunction with the Compliance Report, a early November 2011), is a document developed by sub-committee, co-chaired by President Fena Garza the institution that of HCC-Southwest College and Executive Dean (1) includes a process identifying key issues emerging from institutional assessment, (2) focuses on learning outcomes and/or the Butch Herod of HCC-Northwest College, led efforts to develop a QEP topic. The committee created a web-based “Suggestion Box” for any HCC faculty, environment supporting student learning and staff, administrator, student, or community member accomplishing the mission of the institution, to submit proposed topics. The Co-Chairs also held (3) demonstrates institutional capability for the forums at the District with the Board and senior initiation, implementation, and completion administrators and at all of the Colleges to generate of the QEP, discussion, answer questions, and encourage (4) includes broad-based involvement of institutional constituencies in the development participation. These activities resulted in the submission of over 400 topic suggestions! and proposed implementation of the QEP, and (5) identifies goals and a plan to assess their achievement. During Fall 2010, the QEP Development Committee narrowed the topics to the top five categories. At the beginning of the Spring 2011 semester, faculty were The SACS Liaison Charles Cook and SACS Director invited to submit applications to write “white papers” Judy Cantwell worked with the SACS Steering of 8-10 pages on one of the topics, detailing goals and Committee and several sub-committees over the past plans of action. Almost 50 applications were received, year to complete our Compliance Report (submitted in from which 8 faculty were selected in late January 2011.
  • 2. They submitted white papers covering the five topics in early April 2011, and an evaluation team composed of HCC faculty and administrators selected one topic, presenting it to the Steering Committee for final approval. What will be the focus of the QEP? Currently, HCC INSPIRE has three broad goals and several related strategies for the collaboration of college-based teams: What is HCC’s QEP topic? 1. Increase student access to STEM-related academic learning skills resources, INSPIRE The winning topic is HCC INSPIRE: Innovative STEM Program Initiatives to Reform Education, submitted by author and newly-appointed QEP Director Tineke Berends, Professor of Biology from HCC-Northwest College. The overall goal of HCC INSPIRE is to “lay the foundation for system-wide, data-driven reform of HCC STEM (Science/Technology/ opportunities, and support. a. Creation of an online academic learning skills clearinghouse of best practices b. Implementation of general academic learning skills workshops for students c. Integration of student peer-led learning and tutoring sessions d. Support for system-wide student science clubs and competition e. Creation and implementation of a STEMfocused, CSI-style, freshman success course Engineering/Math) education, utilizing teaching and student support strategies proven to encourage critical thinking, higher-level scientific reasoning, and STEM student recruitment, retention, and success.” 2. Prepare increasing numbers of HCC faculty for innovative teaching strategies, to include a. Inquiry-Based Projects b. Conceptually-Oriented Tasks What are the next steps? Dr. Berends will be engaged in writing the full QEP from now until early August, at which point it will be submitted to SACS along with the Focused Report. c. Collaborative Learning and Learning Communities d. Use of Technology 3. Identify the elements required for HCC Model Courses and create one or more STEM model Dr. Berends will spend the summer in additional research and consultation with experts around the country to develop a 60-80 page plan that will “flesh out” all the related details, including budgets, timelines, and evaluation components. She remains open to your suggestions and assistance in completion of this very important task for our college. The On-Site Committee will then evaluate both documents during its visit in early November 2011. courses, impacting the following areas: a. Developmental math b. College level math c. College level science d. College level science and engineering-related technical programs
  • 3. Who else should be acknowledged for their contributions? Thanks to the Board of Trustees for their involvement in providing suggestions for the QEP and interest in receiving the on-going reports on the topic selection. At the May 2011 Board Committee on Academic Affairs/Student Services, they received a report on the substance of HCC INSPIRE and forwarded it to the Committee of the Whole. Congratulations to Tineke Berends, and thanks to all of you—Charles Cook, Judy Cantwell, Fena Garza, Butch Herod—who have contributed to our reaffirmation efforts thus far as we move forward in providing ever greater opportunities for students to achieve academic success in their lives and careers. Thank you to the “white paper” authors for their work: Saler Axel, Suanna Davis, Charlotte Hamilton, Judy Hayman, Janis Innis, Douglas Rowlett, and Lifang Tien. Thank you to the QEP Development Committee members for their efforts: Alan Ainsworth, John Boxie, Tenecia Brown, Willie Caldwell, David Diehl, Arnold Goldberg, David Joost, Beverly Joseph, Stephen Levey, Mike McCormick, Martha Oburn, Norma Perez, Cheryl Peters, Elizabeth Scherer, and Mary Alice Wills. Future editions of the QEP UPDATE will be prepared by the QEP Director and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Instruction.
  • 4. INSPIRE Innovative Science Program Initiatives to Reform Education Newsletter From the HCC QEP Office Vol. 1, #2 Introducing the QEP HCC INSPIRE: Innovative Science Program Initiatives to Reform Education: Changing the way we teach based upon how our students learn, beginning with the sciences HCC INSPIRE will improve student learning in the sciences by providing real-world, active and collaborative learning opportunities. We define real-world, active and collaborative learning as students engaging with each other and with faculty in a mutual search for in-depth understanding, meaning or solutions in the context of real-world situations relevant to everyday life and career. The sciences were chosen as the starting point for the QEP because of the growing national need for improvements in science education. Over time, HCC INSPIRE-driven strategies and infrastructure will allow extensive scaling up of real-world, active and collaborative learning across all disciplines. Students engaged in this type of learning will gain skills identified as important for 21st century learning: critical thinking, information literacy, communication, personal and social responsibility, teamwork and quantitative reasoning. October 2011 QEP Q & A: What is a QEP and why is it important? What is a QEP? QEP stands for Quality Enhancement Plan. As part of its reaffirmation process, HCC is required by our accrediting agency (SACSCOC) to develop a comprehensive, 5-year QEP that will improve student learning, engagement and success. What is SACSCOC? The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the regional accrediting body for institutions of higher learning in most of the southern United States and Latin America. HCC is accredited by SACSCOC to award 2-year Associates’ and Applied Associates’ degrees. Reaffirmation of accreditation occurs every ten years. Why is accreditation important? Accreditation by one of the regional accrediting bodies like SACSCOC ensures that HCC maintains its high educational standards and international reputation. In addition, accreditation means that HCC and its students will have access to federal grant funding, including student financial aid, and students’ credits from HCC may be transferred to other accredited institutions. What is unique about the QEP? The QEP is unique in that it is a faculty-driven effort with district-wide, broad-based involvement from all stakeholders: students, staff, faculty, administration, the HCC Board of Trustees, and the community. How was the QEP developed? HCC’s QEP is the result of: • District and college-level forums • Over 400 online topic suggestions by staff, administrators, faculty and students • Eight white papers • District-wide roundtable discussion • District-wide faculty and student surveys 10142011.Dist246_QEPnewsletter.indd 1 10/14/11 9:54 AM
  • 5. Read the QEP online The QEP has its own web pages on the SACS web pages online at hccs.edu/qep. On this site you can learn more about the process HCC used to create the QEP and read the entire QEP document. You may also read the online at hccs.edu/qepdocument. The QEP Director is Dr. Tineke Berends. After a postdoctoral fellowship at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, she joined Houston Community College as a biology instructor at the Northwest College in 1995. Read more of Dr. Berends’ biography on the QEP web pages referenced above. Key elements of HCC INSPIRE • Improving Student Learning: Enhancing existing biology, chemistry and physics courses with substantial problem-based learning modules and concurrent development of online, module-supporting learning object collections. • Improving Student Engagement: Increasing STEM student access to extra-curricular learning opportunities through district-wide expansion and sponsoring of science clubs. • Improving Student Success: Developing more student learning communities involving science courses and a science-based Freshman Success Course. _______________________________________________ SACS is coming A SACSCOC reaffirmation team will be visiting the HCC campuses on November 7 – 10, 2011. You may be asked to answer questions and provide feedback about the QEP . This issue of the QEP newsletter is designed to give you the kind of information about HCC’s QEP that you might be expected to know. Dr. Tineke Berends, HCC QEP Director For more information, questions or feedback, please contact: Dr. A. Tineke Berends, QEP Director at 713.718.5875 or tineke.berends@hccs.edu or Judy Cantwell, HCC Accreditation Compliance Director at 713.718.7032 or judy.cantwell@hccs.edu. 10142011.Dist246_QEPnewsletter.indd 2 10/14/11 9:54 AM
  • 6. Newsletter FROM THE HCC QEP OFFICE August 2012, Vol. 2, #1 QEP Off to a Good Start New Faces Development Teams Will Pilot Their Modules during the Fall Semester An Associate to the Director and a Secretary are added to QEP Personnel Seven HCC science faculty members spent Summer I designing and creating problem-based learning modules to be utilized in Biology 1406, Chemistry 1411 and Physics 1401 courses during 2013-2014. Three Biology faculty: Audrey Bush, Leena Sawant and Pauline Ward; two Chemistry faculty; Paul Clemens and Ammani Krishnaswamy; and two Physics faculty: Aaron Marks and Yuriy Pinelis were lead and supported by QEP Director Tineke Berends, and her Associate Director, Jennifer O’Neil. Instructional design advice was available from Terri Bubb, an instructional designer with Teaching and Learning Resources. Jennifer O’Neil (pictured above) came on board during t h e Spring 2 0 1 2 s e m e s te r f r o m t h e biology faculty at Northwest College. One of her major contributions was to assist in writing the final QEP document. She also provided support for Camp INSPIRE and the launch of the forum. Earlier this year, Dr. Berends and Dr. O’Neil created an online QEP Faculty Forum open to all faculty in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Suggestions and advice concerning the modules were solicited via the forum, and science faculty members were apprised of the progress of the three teams through daily updates posted on the forums’ wiki pages. The online sites were also used as discussion forums for the faculty to comment on questions concerning teaching methods, textbook issues and other instructional matters of interest. Leona Sanders (pictured above) joined the QEP team as Secretary to the QEP Director in July 2012. She may be a familiar face to some in that she has been a library assistant at the Northeast College for the past three years.
  • 7. Faculty Teams Produce Three Modules will enable students to test their hypothesis and solve the crime! New equipment for this lab exercise was The QEP learning modules are designed to cover one recently purchased using QEP funds. textbook chapter in the basic science courses. Topics were chosen by faculty during roundtable discussions The Chemistry module covers stoichiometry. Students led by the Program Coordinators in each discipline will act as quality control chemists in an automobile during Camp INSPIRE. The module developers factory and will examine the chemistry behind the created unique case studies for each discipline that will proper deployment of airbags in car crashes. Students incorporate active and collaborative teaching will form hypothesis and examine data before solving strategies, address common student misconceptions the case. and provide instructors with a toolbox of online and offline learning objects that will enhance student The Biology module will address all aspects of cellular learning. respiration. Students will act as CSI interns The Physics module will address the concept of vectors, 2-D kinematics and projectile motion. Students will act as ballistic specialists as they solve the murder of a famous actor on a movie set. This module will also include a laboratory exercise that investigating a suspicious death. You can read the daily blogs written by the module developers during Summer I on the QEP faculty forum, under “wikis”. Scenes from Camp INSPIRE January and May 2012 For more information, questions or feedback Please contact QEP Director, Dr. A. Tineke Berends at 713-718-5875 or tineke.berends@hccs.edu or Judy Cantwell, HCC Accreditation Compliance Director at 713-718-7032 or judy.cantwell@hccs.edu
  • 8. HOUSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE N ewsle t te r QEP SCIENCE FACULTY FORUM UP AND RUNNING With the help of the Teaching and Learning Resources group, the QEP Science Faculty Forum has been up and running since summer 2012. Through this forum, we hope to usher in a new level of communication and collaboration among all HCC science faculty. This is the place where we can come together to ask questions, solicit how-to’s, share resources, exchange ideas, offer comments, laugh at the latest “Science Smile of the Go to http://www.hccs.edu/portal/site/hccs > Online Courses > Eagle Online Login, > Username: first.name.lastname >Password: machappy Week”, find out what happened at the latest Camp INSPIRE event, or find out about upcoming STEM events and opportunities. Most importantly, science faculty will be able to help shape our QEP project as we go along. We are finding that multiple brains really are better than one; together we CAN make a difference in how well our students learn. The QEP Science Faculty Forum is structured as an Eagle Online shell. So far, all known HCC Biology, Chemistry and Physics faculty have been “enrolled”. To access the forum, start on the HCC web page and click on “online courses”, followed by “Eagle Online login”. First-time forum users should enter first.last name (same as HCC email login), and Let’s get inspired Volume 2, Issue 2 In this issue: JANUARY 3, 2013 HCC INSPIRE FAQ QEP Science Faculty Forum Up and Running 1 QEP Active and Collaborative Module News (BIOL 1406, CHEM 1411 and PHYS 1401) 2 Camp INSPIRE NEWS 3 Student Quotes 3 Does active learning work? Find out by clicking on the video link on the QEP Faculty Forum (posted directly below the contact information). For login information, see above.
  • 9. QEP ACTIVE AND COLLABORATIVE MODULE NEWS (BIOL 1406, CHEM 1411 AND PHYS 1401) W e are happy to report that the new, realworld, active & collaborative modules developed over Summer I, 2012 have now been piloted in 15 sections by our 8 hard-working module developers. Each module was structured as an interTarget Course PHYS 1401 Central Concept Projectile Motion rupted case study. In a typical case study, students take on the role of someone responsible for solving a real-world problem or crime. Students cannot solve the mystery unless they truly understand the chapter material: Real World Application “A Bad Day for the Monkey”: Students must use projectile motion concepts and calculations to solve a fatal blow dart shooting on an action movie set. (Developers: Aaron Marks and Yuriy Pinelis) CHEM 1411 Stoichiometry “Failure to Launch”: Students must use stoichiometry knowledge and skills to determine if a faulty airbag is to blame for a fatal car accident. (Developers: Paul Clemens and Ammani Krishnaswamy) “Cellular Respiration: A CSI Investigation”: Students must use knowledge of cellular respiration pathways and cellular structure to investigate a possible poisoning. BIOL 1406 Cellular Respiration (Developers: Audrey Bush, Jennifer O’Neil, Leena Sawant and Pauline Ward) I n an interrupted case study, the case is presented in distinct parts over the course of one or two class periods. Each successive part involves disclosure of additional data and/or clues, followed by discussion questions. The latter are carefully designed to encourage critical thinking, actively draw out common misconceptions , and create a need for further knowledge. Hence the case study parts may be “interrupted” by chapter material presented as short lectures, video or animation presentations, reading, and/or other student exercises. In fact, in addition to developing the case study materials, QEP module developers also collected many useful teaching resources for all to share. N ot surprisingly, first-time implementation proved quite a challenge, and we look forward to learning more during each implementation round. Departmental finals data is still being analyzed. However, anecdotal evidence shows that active learning techniques did boost performance on instructor tests. Students participating in the module experience definitely were engaged and thinking critically. Several module piloters reported greater student-to-student interaction (both inside and outside of class), and a much greater willingness on the part of students to ask questions. Many students expressed appreciation for the real-world application of seemingly abstract chapter concepts. With its focus on metacognition, active learning also turns out to be a great way to monitor student thinking in real time, and to draw out major misconceptions that might otherwise have gone undetected and uncorrected. On the instructor side, time of course remains a big issue. However, most module piloters found that incorporation of the case triggered a useful focus on student reception and efficiency. Teaching with the end in mind became very important: what is it we really want our students to learn, and what is window dressing? It also became clear that student-centered teaching techniques such as leading productive group discussions takes some practice (then again, how stellar were our very first lectures?). One of the greatest benefits was the opportunity to share successes and learn from each other. Based on the Fall 2012 piloter experiences, all case study materials were revised extensively. These revised case study materials, along with interchangeable data/clue sets and relevant teaching resources have been uploaded their own repository – a password-protected shell in Eagle Online. All BIOL 1406, CHEM 1411 and PHYS 1401 instructors who have completed a QEP Module Workshop will be “enrolled” for access during the next implementation round. The first workshop is scheduled for January 10, 2013. Participants were nominated by QEP Module Developers, Chairs and Program Coordinators and include FT and PT faculty from all across the district. Additional workshops will be held on a semesterly basis. As the product and our skills improve, we hope that all BIOL 1406, CHEM 1411 and PHYS 1401 will be able to join our growing faculty learning community!
  • 10. Camp inspire news First of all, we’d like to extend a sincere thanks to all those who contributed to our Camp INSPIRE events on January 11, May 15 and 16, and August 24, 2012. It was great for everyone to get to know one another face to face, and your input gave us valuable direction on how to proceed with the various QEP projects! Our 4th Camp INSPIRE on January 10, 2013 will be no less important (http://imc09.hccs.edu/campinspire). This time, we will be looking for STEM faculty input on two key topics: how to engage STEM students outside of class, and how to prepare first year students for rigorous science course work. For the former, we will want to brainstorm appropriate district-wide activities for STEM club students. Already, several great, faculty-driven ideas are emerging: science fair projects, the “It’s Just STEM” competition, lab skill certification, research “internships”, iGEM competitions, faculty-guided research paper, PowerPoint or poster projects. For the latter, we will want to discuss what we would like for our students to be able to do in terms of reading, processing, and studying scientific information before they enroll in science classes. Once these needs have been catalogued and prioritized, a team composed of science faculty and EDUC 1300 faculty will work together over the summer to create appropriate “science learning modules” for implementation in “science-emphasis” EDUC 1300 sections. Student quotes “Being able to see that real-world tragedies can be explored w/what we learn in the classroom is pretty awesome” ~ HCC Student “It really makes me feel like I learned something and could solve a problem on something that mattered rather than just seeing numbers and not knowing their significance” ~ HCC Student “The whole concept of “grams to moles, moles to moles, moles to grams” sunk in a heck of a lot better” ~ HCC Student Teaching Science will NEVER be the same!!! For more information contact: Dr. Tineke Berends Tel: 713-718-5875 Mobile: 713-515-8569 Fax: 713-718-8406 E-mail: tineke.berends@hccs.edu We are on the web hccs.edu/educationmatters/tag/sacs-qep