New Achieving the Dream Initiative Harnesses CCBC Faculty Expertise to Improve Student Success

Jul 29, 2016 | by Hope Davis | 443.840.5053 (office) | 410.971.5560 (cell)

Baltimore County, MD – Achieving the Dream (ATD) has selected Community College of Baltimore County, a Leader College in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, to participate in a new initiative to engage part-time faculty as active contributors to the college’s reform efforts under the leadership of full-time faculty.

“We are excited to participate in this new initiative which will benefit our adjunct faculty,” expressed CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “Strengthening the connection between our full-time and adjunct faculty creates a valuable opportunity of exchange -- of ideas, best practices as well as resources. Providing additional supports will enhance the overall work experience of our adjuncts, enabling the college to support them better and better empowering them to positively impact students.”

Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit organization working with more than 200 colleges to increase student success across the country, is administering the 24-month initiative, which will help the participating colleges strengthen relationships with their adjunct faculties to encourage instructional reform and make all faculty members’ skills and experiences fully available to students.

Adjunct or part-time faculty teach more than half of all students in U.S. community colleges, frequently in students’ first college-level courses and developmental education courses.

The initiative will enable CCBC to provide support for their adjunct faculty and create more opportunities for them to increase their knowledge of and satisfaction with professional learning and build awareness of campus resources and policies relevant to adjuncts. Policy changes could lead to improved orientation, stronger communication channels, allocation of resources, data collection and reporting, and common hiring and evaluation processes.

In addition to placing full-time faculty at the center of the initiative, colleges also are planning to review professional development systems, expand teaching and learning centers, begin faculty mentoring relationships, and revise existing policies and practices that limit adjunct faculty’s involvement in colleges’ culture and operations.

The initiative recognizes that adjunct faculty with close connections to their colleges can be more valuable to their students if they have access to information about college programs and resources, data on student performance and progress, and the informal knowledge developed by full-time faculty. Over time, the colleges may build capacity to include adjunct faculty in college governance structures and college-wide student success agendas.

A team from CCBC will formally begin its work at a launch event on Saturday, July 30, at Evergreen State College, in Olympia, WA. Following the one-day event, the team will participate in the Teaching and Learning National Institute (TLNI), co-sponsored by Achieving the Dream. The TNLI is bringing together faculty teams from 30 community colleges and four-year institutions to develop evidence-based action plans to improve instructional practices, student engagement, and student learning at their campuses.

Achieving the Dream received $2.3 million from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation to fund the project.

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About the Community College of Baltimore County (www.ccbcmd.edu)
CCBC offers hundreds of programs and thousands of courses helping people of all ages, backgrounds and interests earn degrees, transfer, launch or advance careers, and prepare for in-demand jobs.

Providing accessible, affordable and high-quality education since 1957, CCBC educates more than 70,000 students each year, including half of all Baltimore County residents attending college in Maryland as undergraduates. Committed to student success and the development of lifelong learners who strengthen our regional workforce and enrich our community, CCBC has also been selected to participate in Achieving the Dream, a national student success initiative. In 2011, the Chronicle of Education honored CCBC as one of only 26 community colleges across the nation named “Great Colleges to Work For.”

CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

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