Santiago Canyon College Change Agent Team

Angela Daneshmand, Earth Science
Cynthia Swift, Physics

Individual Accomplishments

Angela Daneshmand

I have:

  • aligned and implemented active-learning activities using backwards design
  • reached out to professionals in the workforce and made connections for potential internship opportunities
  • offered professional development training on Bloom's Taxonomy, metacognitive strategies and student-centered learning activities to both full-time and part-time faculty members

Next steps:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of active-learning activities implemented by reviewing Student Learning Objective (SLO) scores
  • Create a joint-use metacognitive learning module on Canvas
  • Create Directed Learning Assignments for each SLO and work with STAR center (STEM tutoring center) to administer and guide students

Cynthia Swift

I have:

  • implemented exam wrappers in face-to-face instruction before going remote. Implemented quiz corrections in remote classes
  • attended Small Teaching Online Fall 2020 Book Club with Bridget James and Tania Anders
  • offered professional development training on Bloom's Taxonomy, metacognitive strategies and student-centered learning activities to both full-time and part-time faculty members

Next steps:

  • Create a joint-use metacognitive learning module on Canvas
  • Create a metacognitive workshop that could be offered through our tutoring center (The STAR Center)
  • Make a resource of student-centered strategies available to all STEM instructors

Team Accomplishments

Strengthening our Department/Program

Accomplishments/Action plan

  1. Increase visibility and improve student enrollment in Earth Sciences by 5% each year for the next 3 years
    • Hard to increase visibility when everyone is at home
  2. Increase passing Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) scores in Earth Sciences by 5% each year for the next 3 years
    • Data were not required for Spring semester, we are awaiting Fall semester data and analysis
    • Adjuncts are being pulled in many directions and we did not want them to feel forced to attend our book club.
  3. Align STEM students with a clear transfer/career pathway
    • STEM Success Team Pilot Group created as a subdivision of Guided Pathways
    • Networked with many organizations to cultivate partnerships and potential internship opportunities

Next steps

  • Analyze SLO data for Fall semesters and add to our spreadsheet.
  • Hold collaborative workshops with local 2YCs, 4YCs, adjunct and future adjunct faculty

Developing our Campus Community

Engaging our Colleagues:


  • Networking and maintaining connections while working from home
  • Exposure and gained interest in active learning activities/techniques
  • Shared expertise and collaboration between faculty


  • Discussions during the workshop led to realization that an easy to implement short course on metacognitive strategies was needed campus wide
  • Workshop attendees are excited to be mentors for a follow up workshop for adjunct faculty

Next Steps:

  • Create a joint-use metacognitive learning module on Canvas
  • Set up 2nd workshop focused on adjunct attendees and past workshop mentors during Fall 2021 FLEX Week

Team Members

Angela Daneshmand

Angela is in her first year of the tenure process at Santiago Canyon College. She is very passionate about outreach and regularly attends K-12 science nights to incite a love for science in future generations. Her current pursuits include incorporating gaming into education and creating new engaging activities to increase student interest and retention in the Earth Sciences.


Angela teaches Physical Geology (lecture and lab), Earth Science (lecture and lab), Oceanography, Environmental Geology, Natural Hazards, Earth Science for Educators, and Earth Science Communication.

Cynthia (Cindy) Swift

Cindy has been teaching since 1994. She started her career at the high school level, teaching advanced placement physics, physics, and chemistry. In 2006, she began teaching college full-time at SCC and since then has taught physical science, conceptual physics, calculus-based physics, and algebra-based physics. She is always willing to try new things to help her students be successful.


Cindy teaches both the lecture and lab parts of Physics for Scientists and Engineers I, and Introductory Physics I and II.


Santiago Canyon College serves over 15,000 students per year from its campus in Orange County, California. With Santa Ana College, SCC is part of the Rancho Santiago Community College District. Thirty-five percent of the students are over 25. Over half of the students are Hispanic/Latino and 68 percent of students are men.


The Earth Science and Physics departments are each self-contained departments within the Division of Mathematics and Sciences. Within the two departments, courses are taught in Engineering, Environmental Policy/Studies, Geology, Oceanography, Physics, Statics, Dynamics, and Physical Science. Although at some colleges astronomy is paired up with either Earth Science or Physics, at SCC it is its own self-contained department. There are are two full-time faculty and four adjunct faculty teaching courses in the Physics Department. Earth Science has one full-time faculty and two adjunct faculty.

Students in the physics courses include engineering, chemistry, computer science, physics, and geology majors. They take one, two, or three sequential physics courses for science majors. About 60 life-science-related majors take a separate two-course sequence each year. Students who take Conceptual Physics or Physical science are typically non-science majors needing to fulfill a general education requirement.

In Earth Science, most students are non-majors taking courses for general education requirements; 400 students per year take introductory-level geology/earth science and 180 take an introductory geology lab. There are ~5-10 geoscience majors at any given time;

Institutional demographic data is from IPEDS the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, U.S. Department of Education, typically for the 2018-19 year as available.

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