Month: October 2012

Software Business Analysis Certification Achieved!

Posted on Updated on

Having come from a background in project management, building whitepapers and presentations for Business Analysis and Software Development Life Cycle collateral through ASPE, and working in the field has really prepped me pretty well for this designation. With only a few days of mior enrichment and study, I was able to achieve this certification with only 30 minutes of the 40 minutes allowed through BrainBench testing.


Online Teaching Survival Guide

Posted on Updated on

This six-week online course provided us with tools and skills needed to effectively deliver an online course using the blackboard LMS (learning management system). This course combined several aspects within the topics presented of the Online Teaching Survival Series into one online course.

This course was run by Jennifer Jones. I felt this course did a great job of pointing participants toward solutions which allowed us to discuss lessons learned and how to best manage student expectations. I would heartily recommend this professional development for new teachers and new online teachers.

NCCCS Conference 2012: Closing Keynote Address

Posted on Updated on

Tyler Dockery attended the NCCCS conference 2012 Closing Address
Tyler Dockery attended the NCCCS conference 2012 Closing Address

NCCCS Conference 2012: Closing Keynote Address

2012 North Carolina Community College System Conference closing keynote address, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Introduction of Speaker by Ms. Benita Budd, Wake Technical Community College

Benita Budd gave an excellent introduction to Dr. Ralls. I found myself waiting for this discussion with interest.

Keynote Address: Dr. R. Scott Ralls, President: Milestones and Momentum:Celebrating 50 Years of Student Success in the North Carolina Community College System

In all honesty, I was worried that this discussion was going to amount to an hour-long pat on the back. However, Dr. Ralls pointed out some great room for improvement, involvement in the future. It was definitely worth sticking around for.

R. Scott Ralls, Ph.D., President, NC Community College System
Scott Ralls is the seventh president of the North Carolina Community College System. With 58 colleges serving almost 900,000 individuals annually, the North Carolina Community College System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the United States and is internationally recognized for its efforts to foster economic and workforce development.

Dr. Ralls previously served as President of Craven Community College, in New Bern, North Carolina and is only the second former North Carolina community college president to hold the System presidency. He was one of the original champions for early college high schools, and today, North Carolina hosts one-third of all early colleges in the U.S., the vast majority located on the campuses of community colleges.

As President of the North Carolina Community College System, Dr. Ralls has championed workforce development and student success. He led efforts to gain the System’s first weighted funding for technical education; to link career-technical and science and technology pathways with public schools and universities; and to redesign customized training programs to enhance opportunities for existing employers. In 2009, under Dr. Ralls’ leadership, the North Carolina Community College System initiated a comprehensive set of strategic initiatives focused on student success and program completion entitled SuccessNC. The model was recently recognized by the Brookings Institution and the Rockefeller Foundation as one of “10 State and Metropolitan Innovations to Watch in 2012,” and was noted as one of the most “forward-thinking economy-shifting efforts underway in America’s state and metropolitan areas.”

Dr. Ralls serves on over 30 national and state boards and commissions, and is the incoming Chair of the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges. He holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland, a Bachelor of Science with highest distinction from the University of North Carolina, and in 2007, was elected the tenth honorary fellow of Warwickshire College in Warwickshire, England.


Closing Remarks: Dr. Sharon Morrissey, Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer

The conference ended with more polite remarks and encouragement that as the future unfolded, we should renew our commitments to education and pursue the future of the industry.

Conference Adjourned

Now, for a long and deserved drive home.

NCCCS Conference 2012: Empowering Students to Create their Own Internship Opportunities

Posted on Updated on

NCCCS Conference 2012: Empowering Students to Create their Own Internship Opportunities

This session presented by Julie Trotter focused on encouraging students to gain experience within their field.
Internships have always provided students with excellent opportunities to gain valuable employment
experiences. However, there are never enough internships available – especially for community college
students. Teaching students how to create their own internship opportunities not only helps students
gain practice in communication, networking, job search, interview, and employment skills, but also
teaches them how to gain a competitive edge in the job marketplace through their own ingenuity and
self-motivation. This session will offer tips on showing students how to write and submit a proposal
to an employer about an internship of their own making. It will also offer potential places that would
be open to student internship proposals. Each year, the job search “rules of the game” change.
Empowering students to create their own opportunities is a valuable skill to learn!

NCCCS Conference 2012: Plenary 3: Completion

Posted on Updated on

8:30-9:30 Plenary 3: (Completion) Presented by Rob Johnstone.

Dr. Johnstone introduced us to a collaborative approach within institutional research that supports evidence-based decision making and inquiry. That’s a fancy way of stating that you can come to the right decisions if you ask the right questions. And, that finding the right questions to ask is often more difficult than interpreting the data and making the decisions.
While extensive, his talk boiled down to the following points:
  • Ask open-ended questions and really listen to the answers you get
  • Act on the results of your surveys, and then compare your results
  • You may not get everything right, but keep your lessons learned and move on
  • No matter what you say, or how you say it, the bottom line of all schools is student success
Rob Johnstone, Ph.D.
Dr. Rob Johnstone, a Senior Research Fellow with the Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges, is a data geek with a passion for student success. Dr. Johnstone leads the RP Group’s national programs and is currently providing technical assistance to NC’s Completion by Design Cadre Colleges. He specializes in working with faculty and administrators on how to ask the right questions and use the right data to make the right decisions about programs, policies, and procedures and their impacts on student success.

NCCCS Conference 2012: Developing Tomorrow’s Community College Leaders: Career Development Approaches that Enable SuccessNC

Posted on Updated on

Monday, Oct 8: 3:15-4:15

Developing Tomorrow’s Community College Leaders: Career Development Approaches that Enable SuccessNC

This session’s presenters: Molly Duggan, K. Paul Knott, and Ginger Bishop took us through three great leadership plans in this fantastic meeting.
In support of sharing best practices- a central goal of SuccessNC -this session focused on several successful approaches to developing faculty and staff tools, skills, and the perspectives that community colleges need in order to facilitate student success.
Three highly effective professional development approaches were explored in this session:
  1. Community college-based grow-your-own programs
    Offering “grow-your-own” programs that provide financial aid to students who agree to return to their school as teachers after graduation from college, and leadership programs which train teachers for department head or roles as deans, etc.
  2. Succession planning, including coaching and mentoring strategies
    This professional development program places a high value on coaching and mentoring to give faculty and staff members the training and skills they need to succeed and excel in the workplace. Emphasis was given on finding the proper mentor for the mentor/mentee relationship, and on the ability of co-mentoring within your programs.
  3. Graduate training programs.
    Ways to reopen relationships with successful collegiate candidates to expand learning options and increase hiring potentials within our programs.

I found this session, especially the co-mentoring process to be quite helpful. I think the two Wake Tech members I met earlier, Marsha Mills and Woody Hayes sound like excellent candidates for a co-mentoring situation.


NCCCS Conference 2012: Plenary Session II – Excellence

Posted on Updated on

Tyler Dockery is in search of and rewarded for excellence
Tyler Dockery is in search of and rewarded for excellence

Monday, Oct 8: 1:45-3:15 Plenary 2:  (excellence)

Today’s session on excellence was about student engagement, and going above and beyond the lettergrade. It was heavily involved in having a personal stake in student work and helping them to achieve all that they could. As our program focuses heavily upon constant improvement within the realm of craft, presentation, professionality and process, this was a strong affirmation of a job well done.

Dr. Sanford C. “Sandy” Shugart began his career in higher education in North Carolina, graduating from UNC-CH with a Ph.D. and serving as Vice President for Program Services in the NC Community College System from 1983 to 1990. In this role, he helped create this very conference in the mid-1980s. Later he served as President of North Harris College in greater Houston, TX and, for the past 13 years, President of Valencia College. The Aspen Institute recognized Valencia as one of the best community colleges in America with the inaugural Aspen Award last December. Valencia is best known as a leader in the learning college and the college completion movements and has achieved student completion rates that are three times that of their peer colleges. Dr. Shugart is internationally known as a speaker on student learning, college improvement strategies, and servant leadership. He is a published poet and songwriter and recently published a book called In the Crucible of Work: Essays on the Interior Lives of Leaders.