Mt. Hood Community College
I (Daina) have just begun sharing my SAGE 2YC learning with other faculty at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC). Working with the the Teaching & Learning Center on campus, I have led two sessions about active learning strategies for faculty at MHCC, and am planning to lead another one. I will be following up with the faculty participants in these sessions to find out if and how they have implemented these strategies. I will continue to work with the Teaching & Learning Center on campus, as I have been doing, in order to share active learning strategies and my experiences with teaching students about metacognition.
We are doing college-wide Unit Planning (unit is program level, so Geosciences is the unit I am involved with) as part of our accreditation process and I am setting goals for this process based on the SAGE 2YC goals and strands we have been discussing. Specifically, as the Oregon Trailblazers (the Portland-based SAGE 2YC team), we have been discussing increasing the diversity of underrepresented groups in our Geoscience courses so that it will align with the campus diversity, such that this became one of my unit planning goals for the upcoming year. Broadening participation and increasing diversity in the Geosciences is important.
Portland Community College - Rock Creek Campus
I (Andy Hilt) have been trying to connect with our Multicultural Center (MCC) for some time now. The main challenge I have faced is the revolving door of leadership within the MCC. Each position of leadership is filled from our student body at Rock Creek campus. Within a year of so, these students move on to a 4YC and vacate the positions. It has been difficult to establish any sense of consistency in this quest. This year I rented banners from a local non-profit organization (Vanport Mosaic) to utilize during a newly developed G202 "Physical Geology Surface Processes" activity centered around the 1948 Vanport flood. I contacted the MCC to see if they would allow me to set up the banners in their room so that other faculty members, staff, administrators, and students could enjoy them and learn about this historic event. We used this gallery walk/jigsaw activity during our 2017 regional workshop at Portland State University (PSU). The Vanport flood displaced African-American and Asian families and has had social/cultural ramifications for the city of Portland ever since. The current director of the MCC was not aware of the flood and the destruction of Vanport nor the social implications of this event specifically to African-American and Asian families, and the mark this event left on Portland. Through a stroke of luck, my G202 activity coincided with Black History Month, and so the new director has already asked me if we could partner up again next year during Black History Month regarding the banners and my G202 class. It seams that by implementing my new activity, I have finally established a long-term connection with our Multicultural Center, as long as this potentially new tradition is carried on into the future.
Today I met with a faculty member of our Sociology department to discuss the newly developed Vanport activity for my G202 "Physical Geology - Surface Processes" course. Because of my collaboration with our Multicultural Center regarding this activity, the Sociology department contacted me about Portland Community Colleges (PCC) Community Based Learning (CBL) program. Apparently my collaboration with the Multicultural Center on this activity got their attention, and now we are looking at G202 as a possible CBL course and whether or not it should be listed as such in the course catalog.
Recently, I had a conversation with the Dean of Instruction at Rock Creek Campus, Cheryl Scott. Cheryl attended the 2016 SAGE 2YC annual workshop in Madison, Wisconsin with us. The purpose of our discussion was to bring her up to speed regarding progress made on the three SAGE 2YC strands in my classroom, within our program, and at the regional level. One interesting thing I learned during our discussion is that Cheryl supports our Subject Area Committees (SAC) goal of securing transportation vehicles (vans/buses) for our field trips. I was not aware of her support for this cause until now and it was interesting to learn that her involvement with SAGE 2YC may have led to this opinion. I will have to explore this potential opportunity further as it may lead to increased opportunity of all of our students to participate in field trips, particularly those who may not have access to a vehicle of their own.
Portland Community College - Southeast Campus
At Southeast campus we have raised the profile of STEM internships and REUs by putting on outreach events in fall and winter term in collaboration with the STEM Center (https://www.pcc.edu/maker/scholarships/). Our students have received several one term research awards from the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium (SCORE Awards) and various REUs . As a result of promoting STEM internships and REUs I have strengthened my connections with the STEM Center and the Career Center as well as the full time chemistry instructor at our campus.
I have worked with part-time instructors focusing on active teaching techniques and increasing the relevance of the course content to students' daily lives. Given the small group of part-time instructors (3 to 4), the varying non-overlapping schedules, the lack of scheduled professional development time for part-time instructors and the significant turnover in part-time instructors in the last two years after a period of stability this has been a bit of a "catch as catch can" effort. However, most part-time instructors are changing their orientation to include less lecture and more active learning as well as focusing on the socially relevant aspects of the earth sciences.