Individual Growth and Development
The Faculty as Change Agents program sought to support faculty Change Agents' growth as instructors and leaders so that they could have a greater impact on their students and in their programs, departments, institutions, and regional networks.
Catherine Etter, Cape Cod Community College
I initially came to Cape Cod Community College from industry, so I was originally focused on outcomes related to jobs. The SAGE 2YC project has helped me to think more about factors in academic success, such as students' sense of belonging. As a Change Agent, I have been working with my colleagues to increase enrollment and engagement in all geoscience courses and to provide more students with a successful transfer pathway to geoscience careers.
I have been overwhelmed with the enormity of our project – we undertook a complete overhaul of our courses and programs – but it has been a necessary undertaking. Before I got involved with the SAGE 2YC project, I was spending a lot of time with frustrated students due to dead ends in our program and ineffective teaching practices. Many rigid classroom policies have been thrown out as I flipped the classroom into a loud collaborative learning center. These changes have been implemented in stages and one of the most helpful supports has been using an videoconferencing software (zoom) for our SAGE 2YC workshops. Because I am more confident in using zoom, I am now able to record mini-supplemental media lessons, include students from remote locations in our live lessons, and meet online with individual students. I believe my students and I feel we have a mutually supportive relationship with a common goal to meet the learning objectives. We have been able to increase student involvement in transfer opportunities and a new mentor program.
Audrey Russano, Cape Cod Community College
As a newcomer to this project, I started by implementing changes to my particular course to reflect current technology, increase student satisfaction, and fit into the institution's program mission. In order to achieve this, I reviewed the SAGE 2YC resources, our institution's learning objectives, and the current technology. I am hoping to try the sense of belonging tools this semester. I am hoping to have my proposed changes approved and implemented. I look forward to facilitating our second regional workshop and collaborating with our regional colleagues.
I became the instructor for the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course in 2016. At this time enrollment at the institution was, and still is, declining. The course was offered Thursday evenings from 6:30 - 9:30 pm both fall and spring semesters. We changed the day and time for the spring semester to Monday afternoons, 3:30 - 6:20 pm. This proved to be successful as enough students enrolled to have the course run. I am working with the department to also change the fall semester schedule to the same afternoon time slot. I believe with this change we will also see a healthy number of students enroll in both the fall and spring semester. I evaluated the syllabus that was on file and re-worked the learning objectives to reflect the current GIS technology. GIS is moving from desktop usage to cloud-based mapping with the ability to create our own map-based applications for both the programmer and non-programmer. As the technology changes, the course material will change as well. Other changes include using a tutorial workbook and grading rubrics. These may seem minor but they made a big improvement and gave structure to the course.