NCCCS Conference 2012: Empowering Students to Create their Own Internship Opportunities
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.
Monday, Oct 8: 8:30-9:30 Plenary 1: (access)
Today’s Plenary Session addressed the need for developmental education redesign in the NC Community College system. The two presenters ( Clive Belfield, Ph.D, and Michael L. Collins ) showed recent research findings that would be informing policies to support developmental education redesign in the NC Community College System.
It was basically a great deal of statistics and information based around developmental education. What was great about this session, was the depth of knowledge that the presenters could bring, including statistics and lessons learned. The bad thing about this presentation was that it was based solely around developmental education. So, for anyone NOT directly related to developmental education, this was an early-morning, nearly hour-long lecture about something you could not relate your teaching to. I had never seen so many people with their faces in their phone or tablet devices.
This gets to one of my biggest beefs as far as speeches go: Relating to your audience. Too many speeches are about the speech-giver or a public policy, and NOT about the people being spoken to. The most important thing when delivering a speech to a group of individuals is to give them content they can relate to.
A speech about your business, or your accomplishments can do very little to help me run my business or teach my classes. If you find yourself giving a speech to a group, make sure your content relates to your audience or at the very least comes with some straight tips or suggestions in which those enjoying the speech can walk away with to improve themselves or their programs.
Michael L. Collins, Jobs for the Future Associate Vice President for Post-secondary State Policy, is a policy researcher, analyst, writer, and thought leader who is assisting the NC Community College System as we develop and implement policies to increase the number of low-income and minority students who successfully transition from high school into college, persist, and earn credentials and degrees.
Dr. Clive Belfield, Associate Professor of Economics at Queens College and Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, is leading two research initiatives for the NC Community College System: a study of multiple measures of placement for entering college students, and an analysis of labor market outcomes for community college graduates.
NCCCS Conference 2012: Capstone Roundtable with Roanoke-Chowan Community College
Tonight’s ceremony had a session followed by a fine conference opening with a great food reception and discussion board afterward.
The Opening Session was followed by a short discussion set. I joined the Capstone Roundtable lead by Roanoke-Chowan Community College. This roundtable outlined how Roanoke-Chowan community college was using their capstone courses as an opportunity to connect real-world challenges with their students. Materials involved showed a strong connection between local businesses and college students, followed by a fair amount of pre-degree hiring. Rountable discussion progressed with an effort to get feedback on how to improve their processes and moved into general discussion and recommendations from Roanoke-Chowan Community College to participants, including lessons learned, and plans for future expansion.
After the initial discussion was closed, we descended to the expo floor in order to taste the fine trappings of the culinary departments from several schools, to visit traveling exhibits from several community colleges, and sample some entertainment. I myself enjoyed a brief discussion with Woody Hayes and Marsha Mills, Advertising and Graphic Design instructors at Wake Tech Community College, and stayed until the gospel choir had finished their initial set.
I was really looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions, and went back for a good night’s sleep.