What's New at the CTC?
College Teaching Center Theme for 2014-15
The CTC's theme this year is "Challenge and Support." Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that we have to do one or the other: EITHER demand rigorous and challenging academic standards. OR support struggling students by telling them they're doing a good job no matter what. The truth is that students need both. Students give their best when they know that we care about them and that we have high standards for them, what Lisa Delpit has called a "warm demander."
Our theme grew out of last year's Reading and Discussion Group. It combines two of the five benchmarks of effective educational practice in community colleges identified in the 2014 CCSSE. We will revisit this theme throughout the year in various programs.
Here's a rundown of what we have planned for the year:
Writing to Learn Expands This Year
The Writing to Learn program, which we introduced on campus last year, is a set of teaching practices that use the writing process as a learning tool for all disciplines. The program was developed by Bard College's Institute for Writing & Thinking. The response from teachers that participated last year was overwhelmingly positive. Based on the response, the College is expanding the opportunities for interested faculty. Fifteen faculty have been selected from across the arts and sciences to participate in a year-long program that will include 6 full days of training. Watch for announcements of other opportunities to participate in shorter workshops throughout the year.
Connecting, Collaborating and Celebrating the Art of Teaching Comes to Coltivare
We're pleased to announce that the 2015 CCCAT conference will be held on Friday, April 17, 2015, at TC3's new Coltivare center in downtown Ithaca. It will be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the new facility together and to show it off to our colleagues from the six other participating colleges.
Would you like to be one of TC3's presenters at the conference? CCCAT is by and for community college faculty, and the feedback tells us that teachers find it to be a valuable professional development experience. This fall, we will be soliciting proposals for presentations, so be thinking about what you are doing in your classroom that other teachers would want to know about.
Roundtables Focus on Sharing About Teaching
We hear often from faculty that you want time to simply talk with each other about teaching, with no agenda. So we are changing the Roundtables a little bit this year, focusing less on presenting and more on sharing. So far, we have planned three monthly opportunities for faculty sharing.
- "What's Working?" Bring your success stories, so others can benefit. You might also want to bring a pedagogical problem and get ideas and feedback from your colleagues.
- Reading & Discussion Group Another monthly Roundtable will be a new "section" of the Reading and Discussion Group. This group has met for 3 semesters now and the conversation and comraderie have been just wonderful. Since we meet at 4 in the afternoon, we know not everyone can come. So we're starting another group that will meet at noon. Both groups will be reading and discussing the same selections. We distribute the dates and readings to all faculty by e-mail. If you have any questions about what we're reading or when we're meeting, you can always contact CTC Co-ordinator Barbara Kobritz.
- Adjunct Conversation With the Dean The monthly adjunct get together is one of our most popular Roundtables. It will continue this semester on the last Monday of each month.
As always, the Rountables will be held in the CTC on Monday and Wednesday at noon. (And maybe an occasional Friday.) There are many slots open for any topic you want to offer. Just let us know by e-mailing Barbara Kobritz , CTC Coordinator.
New Adjunct Orientation
A committee of the CTC Board is meeting this semester to evaluate our procedures for New Adjunct Orientation and make recommendations for an even better welcome to the TC3 community. We encourage adjuncts, whether you're an old hand or relatively new, to let us know what you found out along the way that you wish you had known at the beginning. Suggestions can go to Patty Buchanan, our CTC Adjunct Coordinator.
Reading & Discussion Group
Every month we get together to discuss an article, a book chapter or a video about issues surrounding teaching. This semester we are focusing on the role that race and class can play in the learning process. Some of our reading has focused on Critical Race Theory as a way of understanding the sometimes confusing racial dynamics in the classroom. Readings for the group are distributed via e-mail each month.
Professional Development Mentorships and Partnerships
Mentorships and Partnerships take many forms. Sometimes a more experienced teacher mentors a newer one, visiting each other's classrooms and working on pedagogical issues together. We have also had some very interesting Partnerships between two experienced faculty. For example, last year two of our Writing to Learn participants took on the challenge of incorporating the writing strategies they were learning into art classes. One of our full-time faculty members partnered with an adjunct to develop a new curriculum for pre-college math. The CTC program provides a small stipend to encourage and reward all these types of projects. If you have a project in mind that goes beyond your regular teaching responsibilities, you can apply to be part of the Mentorship/Partnership program. For more information, contact the CTC Coordinator, Barbara Kobritz.
Every day at the CTC
The CTC door is always open. If you need some space to spread out and work, or if you're looking for a quiet, relaxing place to chat with colleagues between classes or over lunch, please make yourself at home.
We have two computers, a black and white printer, and a color printer to help with your work. We also have comfy sofas and chairs where you can read or chat, a microwave for heating your lunch, and some professional reading you might want to peruse. And check out our photo gallery, curated by TC3's own Harry Littell.
About the CTC
The mission of the College Teaching Center is to help educators share resources and experiences to enhance teaching and learning.
How do I contact the CTC?
What does the CTC do?
- Organizes and hosts roundtable discussions
- Sponsors and manages the Professional Development Mentoring Program
- Co-sponsors the annual Connecting, Collaborating and Celebrating the Art of Teaching conference
- Houses computers, printers and scanner for faculty use
- Houses publications on teaching and learning
- Provides orientation for adjunct faculty
- Provides a place and a space for faculty to converse and interact.
Where is the CTC?
The CTC is located in the Library on the second floor of the Baker Commons.
Who runs the CTC?
The CTC is managed by a Board of Directors, with both elected and appointed positions. Elections are held every May. Faculty and adjunct faculty members who are interested in serving should notify our current chair, Travis Vande Berg.
Each year the Board selects two paid coordinators, one faculty and one adjunct.
Current Board members:
- Cornelia Rea –Faculty
- Michele Whitecraft – Adjunct Faculty
2013 - 2016
- Kelly Wessell - Faculty
- Jeanne Cameron, Chair - Faculty
- Katrina Campbell - Faculty
- Nancy Estep – Adjunct Faculty
2014 - 2017
- Susan Cerretani - Faculty
- Becky Spencer - Faculty
- Ken Whitener - Faculty
- Kathy McDonough - Faculty, Alternate
- Victoria Zeppelin – College Now Director
- Bob Yavits – Instructional Software Specialist
- Khaki Wunderlich – Dean of Organizational Success and Learning, non-voting
- Carl Penziul – Dean of Instruction, non-voting
Coordinators for 2014-2015