Bryan Ryan

Great Teacher’s Conference Keynote

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On 11/10/18 at 8:55am, I attended the Great Teacher’s Conference Opening Keynote at the Rizzo Center in Chapel Hill, NC presented by Wake Technical Community College

Great Teacher’s Conference Keynote

3rd annual Kelly markson, caralyn house, meghan macintyre, alison consol,  lead coordinator from RTP Campus.

After a short Intro with our group facilitators and team members, we began the discovery process. We paired up with one another based on our years of experience. We began by creating a line with members at one end (half a year) and in the other end with the longest teachers (27.5 years!). We then paired up. Rather than folding the line in half, in a method similar to DNA replication, the line split and moved in opposite directions around the room, meeting again on the far side of the room. Both halves of the line met in a handshake, reconnecting to learn about one another. My partner was Mark DeCain.

Mark DeCain, Assistant Professor at Wake Technical Community College
Mark DeCain

After getting to know one another, we then had to introduce each other in a fashion similar to a tweet format in 160 characters.

Mark has my same birthday. His tweet intro was “Tinkerer, Father, Insatiably Curious.” My introduction was “Father, Standard Nerd, No Hobbies”. We later Learned that our partners would then be our lunch dates.


We are a very diverse group on individuals, and have a lot to learn about one another over the next two days. We were encouraged to turn off and put away our cell phones, and to visit the reading library at the back of the classroom. We were also further encouraged to take notes between sessions in addition to the materials in session.

Learn from one another.

We’ll have a final examination at the end, and we’ll want to jot down “which things make a great teacher” so you can use that to complete your final exam

Great Teachers

David Godfrey started in the 1970. He did not know how to teach effectively and he has built a program like this to learn more. It is all over the nation, and has been adapted to an international movement. The Council of Excellence was charged by Bryan Ryan to “increase excellence” at the college. The Great Teachers Conference was an existing item that they visited in 2016 and found how excellent the idea was. This is the third annual seminar, and is funded moving forward for several years. This “energizes faculty” as noted by dr. Gayle Green.

Teaching is difficult and you’ll only learn as set of working best practices from one another. This conference is for teachers only, those down in the trenches. Experts are not invited. They are not welcome here. The keynote today is not a single idea. The power is in diversity. We’ll be kicking around outside of our departments. We have Professional Development to learn different ideas, but we can use this opportunity to get to know a larger more diverse group of people within the school, and get to know them better.

You Are Encouraged To Write Thank You Letters.

While we are here, we have been encouraged to think deeply about our situation, our performance in the classroom, what we’ve learned while we’re here, and what we’ll be able to bring back to the classroom. We are also encouraged- if we feel the spirit- to write letters if we like it. It can be forwarded on, compiled, etc. to the powers that be which make this a reality. They appreciate the feedback and this really keeps the conference going.

Less is more.

The following was given to us from Jason Whitehead

“There is no pre-planned agenda. It is made as simple as possible so that we can have a flowing agenda. There is no “this is what you need” keynote. It has to be uncovered as you go. We’ll let you know where to go and what you’ll do. Food is here, rooms are here. How can we teach a little bit made well? If we all increase a small amount each week, we’ll do better.

“This seminar is about you, and every one of us has their own flavors. Pick and choose. Today we’ll share our innovations, lunch will follow at 11:30 in Debose Hall, and then back here at 12:30pm. Tonight we’ll be working on tricks of the trade, but for now, lets live in the moment.

We come from different parts of the college, but we can share ideas, stealing like a ninja. Adjust ideas to share in your class. There is NO need for humble apologies. We’ll run in 10 minute increments, so be ready to talk and listen.”


Our Commandments:

  • Thou shalt provide equal time- if you drone on, shut up. You can always continue conversations with others. Talk often, but do not dominate.
  • No whining, griping, or telling war stories. Whining is complaining, griping is when two people are complaining together. War Stories are told trying to outdo one another.
  • Thou shalt mutually enforce these commandments. We police ourselves. Don’t take things personally.


Remember, this conference is about you. Our facilitators will be doing the listening and not talking. You cannot listen and talk at the same time. They are listening, teachers should be talking and discussing. Don’t engage the facilitators, focus on the groups and group members.

Dr. Scott’s Townhall Discussion, presented by Gayle Greene

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At 10:30am on 4/13/2017, I attended Dr. Scott’s Town Hall , presented by Dr. Gayle Greene at the 2017 Spring Faculty Professional Development conference in Raleigh, NC.


RTP Campus Update

Rita Germain highlighted the following: WE would be innovative, flexible, and adaptive to the new generation.

Phase I. We are looking at 1 building with physical plant. 3 floors, 110,000 sqft, 28 instructional spaces, 720 surface parking space and 1000-1500 student capacity. There are several

Phase II. we will include a parking deck. We will have a full complement of services, library, ILC, etc.

We are on the corner of Watkins and chapel hill rd. Watkins will be paved at the time the campus is over. Linovo campus is right above us. There are some concerns since Linovo is so close, but Wake Tech will be paying for a turning lane on Chapel Hill rd.

There is a great deal of glass here. The reason for this is that in this location, IT will be on display, instead of a basement. We will reverse the bottleneck by having a large open area and long counter for personal help. One side of the building is the corporate solutions end. It will be training for external clients. it looks out from the courtyard from the “Catchers mitt”.

There will be numerous wireless access points in this campus. Students should be able to get wireless access as soon as they step out of their cars.

In the server and instructor spaces, glass rooms have all the servers and network equipment, security, wireless, etc. Over the last 2 years we’ve had 100% hiring rate for graduates of the program. The class rooms will demystify and open up the realities of the situation to make learning and performance accessible and visible goals. They can see it, imagine themselves, and then achieve that.

Students in the IT program will work with IT partners, doing real-life on-the-job training, and make relationships in the industry. We’ve got new cyber security, digital forensics, and other programs to allow a wide host of networking and IT to assist law enforcement

We will have a full complement available for students in Fall 2018, but completion in Fall 2017 should be a reality. We have just enough students to fill 60% of the current job openings and needs in IT.

We need to expose the materials that we teach. By opening up the teaching and learning process, the more students will be excited and interested in our programs.

How is the money being used for tech and online infrastructure

Instead of giving us $48M for a new building, we’ve asked for ongoing $8m a year for adding IT infrastructure increases. We’re almost always running at capacity. We serve more students online than we do at North Campus.

Four-Year Status in Community Colleges

While other states like Florida are offering 4-year degrees, what is our possibility? Not right now, unfortunately. Dr. Scott has put his neck out to make this a reality in the past, but was not able to gain purchase. Ther is not a lot of university agreements. For the taxpayer it makes more sense, but the colleges in the area are against it. There is not a political will for this. Some other colleges cannot do this, and therefor would never support it.

To change their minds, we’d need to really push the governmental structure but it would be a very hard sell.

Are we doing anything special to keep or encourage women in STEM programs?

Its worse than you think. They cluster in GRD and WEB programs rather than STEM. Discussion with those students from our program (advertising campaign to encourage women in those courses!). We need to change those ideas, and get them in middle school to change their minds and capture them early. WOmen have made big gains, and graduates are employed instantly. While STEM seems a difficult draw, if we can get them in the door

With full FTE funding for the summer, how is that affecting Wake Tech?

We had a 7% increase in students with FTE over the last summer. There were faculty who could not get full funding over the summer, but now we can! A big thank you to everyone who worked over the summer. WE expect to do better this summer.

A concern faculty have had is the week during the summer/fall in which faculty are not paid?

The extent of an extended contract is payment for time teaching. Extra pay contracts are paid for teaching but not time off. If you’re not teaching a class, you will not earn the payment. We certainly don’t want to go over-budget, and we need the full 2-month extension.

How will we be paid?

Adjunct pay is for part-time facutly based on hours.

How many classes will be open?

Department heads will determine the class structure. We don’t want to undermine the fall sequence. We have some grandfathered 12-month faculty, and there are issues with seniority, etc. In the summer, you may teach less courses but more intense contact hours.

Shared governance?

We’ve invited a shared governance subcommittee to investigate this idea. COuld we have a tradition or event in which we can focus on Shared Governance. The faculty association would love assistnace if you’re interesed. Please see Lloyd Dunn.

Can we connect employers and students earlier

Clear cohorts exist in the school, but not so much in college transfer side.
We’re interested in anything which makes a stronger connection with our students. We would love for more seamless opportunities. If there is anyone here that has ideas, we’d love to hear them.

Students have spoken up in the futurist club that they’d like the opportunity to shadow faculty of other professionals. We’d like to give more guidance to our transfer students. What ROI will transfer students get vs. jumping to the job market. Mock interviews are a great way to give insight into the work needed on the job.

While Health sciences do not allow students to go to hospitals (rights violations), but we do mock interviews and service learning at both the beginning and the end of the degree path.


As always, the town hall is a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of the organization and see where the ideas of the administration are heading. They do a good job of sheltering us faculty. Hearing their concerns allow us to better understand the leadership side of the organization while being on the faculty side.

Faculty Professional Development Conference 2015 Keynote: Dr. Stephen Scott

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On April 2nd, 2015 at Wake Tech’s North Campus, Dr. Stephen Scott addressed the Wake Tech Faculty Professional Development Conference at 8:30am

Faculty Professional Development Conference 2015

Faculty Professional Development Conference 2015 Keynote: Dr. Stephen Scott

Today’s faculty development keynote was opened by James Roberson, Chair of Faculty Development. After a set of brief introductions, he introduced VP Bryan Ryan, and several other key members of faculty PD staff.

Dr. Stephen Scott began with his keynote with a quick breakdown of Wake Tech’s current system. In the last year, Wake Tech had over 64,000 registered students, making us the largest community college in North Carolina. We have increased our full student offerings, increasing from 67 degrees and certifications offered, to a full compliment of 231 degrees, certifications & diplomas.


Dr. Scott went on to discuss the changes taking over both the industry and the United States. This economic recovery is different from others. Typically, the economic recovery and recession cycle is on a 10/11 year cycle. the determination for the economic cycle is typically based on jobs and job numbers. For most people, the number of jobs available and the % of people jobless represent 100% of the recession determination.

What’s the difference between a recession and a depression? Well, the answer is relative. How do we help students face the new business models and the new job paradigms of this modern era? How can we prepare the students of today for the new jobs that are going to be created or available in 2-4 years? Many of the jobs we have today, and the degrees we offer now simply didn’t exist 10 years ago. To remain relevant, we need to constantly keep on the cutting edge and prepared for the trends and technologies of today and tomorrow. That is why we focus on value-added education and continuous improvement through professional education, professional development and applied benchmarking.

We strive to catch that wave of the future, and ride where it takes us. Ideally, you’re a surfer, but its not as easy as it looks.>/i>

We at Wake Tech have grown in size and scope to reach 100,000 students enrolled by 2020. Community college enrollment in the state is down across the board, but we have been growing. How can we continue to grow? What can we do to reach our true and best potential?

Full funding over the summer would only grow our programs and student body here. We have truly been pushing STEM education, and it has really been helping us and our numbers. The process of construction is looking good, and we will begin breaking ground in Fall 2016 at our RTP campus.

Dr. Stephen C. Scott is the third president in Wake Tech’s history. His personal focus is on value added education and leadership development for faculty, staff and students.