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CENTERING STUDENT LEARNING


by Vera Zdravkovich
(Vice President for Instruction)

A few years ago we heard over and over that “it takes a whole village to educate a child,” and basically we all agreed. A number of you took the axiom seriously and effectively used it to work with our students. Thank you. Our students and the college have benefited from your work.  You model what the rest of us must emulate.  If we are to live up to the title of “learning centered college,” then each of us is responsible for advancing student learning. From classroom to commencement, we all must engage our students in learning. 

Research shows and our own experience confirms that the more our students are engaged in the college, the more successful they are in the classroom, and the higher the retention and graduation rate.  To get our students more involved in the college requires more than telling them; it requires leading them. Faculty must set the example and be fully engaged in college activities. The college is rich with opportunities. Here is a sampling:

Service Learning/Civic Engagement – By including this component in your courses, you are giving students a practical opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom.  Contact Betty Habershon, coordinator of Service Learning, extension 0713, for more information.

International Center, Academic Support – Thanks to Marlene Cohen’s persistence and dedication, the new academic International Center, located in Lanham 117, is a reality. It is a haven of academic help and support for international students. It is staffed by faculty who volunteer an office hour to help in the Center. To be part of the International Center, contact Marlene Cohen, coordinator of the International Center, extension 0177.

Honors Courses – Our most academically able students graduate with us when we provide the challenge and intellectual stimulation that they need. If you are interested in teaching an Honors course, contact Melinda Frederick, coordinator of the Honors Program/Honors Academy, extension 0433.

Collegian Centers – We have five of them. Each provides an academic “place to belong”  that mentors students and, through a variety of activities, helps them “experience” the majors that they have chosen.  Each of the Collegian Centers is dependent on faculty help and support. To become involved with a Collegian Center, contact:

Laura Ellsworth, coordinator, Ext. 0553 – Administration of Justice Collegian Center

Nancie Park, co-coordinator, Ext. 0994 – Bernard Center for business management and accounting

Michele Hardy, coordinator, Ext. 0596 – Humanities Collegian Center

Dawn Lewis, coordinator, Ext. 7587 – Psychology Collegian Center

Christine Barrow, coordinator, Ext. 3086 – STEM Collegian Center

Writing Center and the Tutoring Center – Faculty in the Tutoring Center work with students in their own disciplines.  Faculty in the Writing Center help students improve their writing skills and ability to handle writing assignments. To learn more about these centers, contact June Fordham on extension 0414.

The PI Shop – This new math learning center includes math tutoring and Peer Lead Team Learning (PLTL) groups. For more information, contact Eldon Baldwin, extension 0446.

Mentoring – Within your own discipline, you need to provide guidance to students. You also can volunteer for training to become a faculty advisor during arena registration.

Co-op/Internships – Students can earn college credit “on the job,” but each coop position or internship requires a faculty member to monitor student progress. For more information, contact Randy Poole, extension 0135.

Clubs – College Life enables students to organize clubs; however, a club can become a reality only if it has an advisor. For more information, contact Lisa Byrd, extension 0856.

For students to center on learning, it will require the whole college, and the whole college requires each faculty member’s contribution to the learning success of students both in and out of the classroom. To the faculty who need to become more actively involved with student learning, get involved now. To the faculty who already engage your students in learning by involving them in opportunities provided by the college, thank you for your leadership helping to make Prince George’s Community College a learning-centered institution.  

 

The Instructional Area Newsletter, Volume 20, No. 2 

Spring 2005