January 16, 2016 was an exciting day in the history of Skyline College, as the first-ever Skyline College Adjunct Faculty Teaching & Learning Symposium brought nearly 70 adjunct faculty members from a broad cross section of divisions and departments to the Saturday event. Given that a major component of The Skyline College Promise includes the promise that students’ academic experience/success will be “supported by a foundation of quality instruction,” the Symposium was designed to provide adjunct faculty the opportunity to engage in workshops and collaborative activities that help promote “meaningful and culturally relevant learning experiences” (The Skyline College Promise), particularly in regard to first and second semester student success.
The day began with breakfast, followed by a brief welcome by Professional Development Coordinator, Nina Floro, who then passed the podium to Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Angélica Garcia, who also welcomed everyone and then introduced Skyline College President, Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud. The President shared in her keynote, titled “The Courage to Transgress,” some of her history as a faculty member, and explained The Skyline College Promise. She also noted that adjunct faculty have an important role to play in The Promise and in helping students achieve their educational goals. Dr. Stanback Stroud lauded faculty as pivotal to student achievement and challenged them to become better instructors by further exploring resources and opportunities that have the potential to impact and transform students’ learning and their lives.
Following Dr. Stroud’s keynote, Symposium attendees had their choice of attending the following workshops:
- “Designing Backward: Thinking Forward” (led by Ricardo Flores, Instructional Technologist)
- “Strategies for Active Learning” (co-led by Nina Floro, Professor/Professional Development Coordinator, and Bridget Fischer, Professor/Distance Education Coordinator)
- “Are Students Learning? Formative Assessment for the College Classroom” (led by Jesse Raskin, Associate Professor)
- “Getting to Know Student and Academic Support Services: A Panel Presentation” (moderated by Marisa Thigpen, Language Arts Program Services Coordinator, and featuring panel members Dr. Angélica Garcia, VPSS; Melissa Mathews, DRC Coordinator/Counselor; David Reed, Learning Center Manager; Pearl Ly, Learning Commons Director; Michael Stokes, TRIO Director; Jorge Murillo, EOPS/CARE/CalWorks Program Services Coordinator)
With the two morning sessions complete, adjunct faculty enjoyed lunch and had a chance to exchange ideas/information and network. After lunch, all participants were brought back together for an anchor session, “Classroom and Campus Crisis Training,” facilitated by Tom Maloney, District Safety Consultant, and Jim Vangele, Chief Public Safety Officer.
Dean of Academic Support & Learning Technologies, Dr. Jonathan Paver, completed the afternoon with some closing remarks and expressed his appreciation for all the hard work by the CTTL/ASLT faculty and staff, media services, facilities, and the participation, support, and assistance of Skyline College administration. The CTTL is planning follow-up events as a yearly or semi-annual event, but in the interim, the Spring semester promises a calendar filled with additional teaching and learning opportunities.
Article by Bridget Fischer and Nina L. Floro | Photos by Liezl Madrona