Community College Conversations: An Unconference Session on access, equity, and quality at the Community Colleges

Concurrent Session 3

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Brief Abstract

Online Education at the community colleges has many unique issues and opportunities. Come to the 'unconference' session to participate in a discussion about this segment where access, student success, equity, and innovation are changing and transforming lives daily.  


Kate Jordahl, Director of Academic Affairs and Consortia, provides leadership and coordination for the CVC-OEI Consortium. She oversees the implementation process for colleges joining Consortium. Prior to joining the CVC-OEI, Jordahl worked at Foothill College for 19 years as professor and administrator. She served Foothill College Faculty Representative on the Foothill College OEI Implementation Team, OEI Consortium, and the OEI Common Course Management System Committee. In addition to being a Peer Online Course Reviewer and online faculty mentor, she designed and facilitated the Foothill College Online Teaching Certification Course (OTC). She is an Online Learning Consortium board member.
Michael Torrence, Ph.D. serves as the President of Motlow State Community College. The college has campuses in Smyrna, Tullahoma, McMinnville and Fayetteville, Tennessee. President Torrence has spent his career embracing the use of technological literacy as a platform to increase student engagement and success. He has served in roles in support of online, accelerated, and mode neutral learning, engaged with TNeCampus and as a Tennessee Board of Regents statewide team leader for the integration of Emerging Technology and Mobilization in the areas of Gaming, VR, AR, and MR into teaching and learning. He has trained faculty, students, executives, and community members and developed immersive curriculum focused on STEAMB (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Aviation, Mathematics, and Business) for all grade levels and utilized these platforms teaching undergraduate and graduate students in his own classes where VR and entrepreneurship have become a norm. Currently, through researching and developing a platform for OER through support of Hewlett-Packard and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he hope to utilize the findings to support workforce development and student success. He earned a doctor of philosophy degree, with a major in exceptional learning, at Tennessee Tech University, and master of arts and bachelor of arts degrees at South Dakota State University, both with a major in English. President Torrence, a veteran, served in the U.S. Air Force.
Kevin Kelly teaches both graduate and undergraduate classes for the Instructional Technologies (ITEC) Department at SF State, including his current fully online class, How 2 Lrn w ur Mobile Device. Kevin has taught at Santa Clara University as well. He also works as a higher education consultant with colleges, CC districts, universities, non-profits and educational technology startups. He received his Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco. Dr. Kelly also holds an M.A. in Education with a Concentration in Instructional Media and Technology from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Prior to his current role, Dr. Kelly was the Manager of two Academic Technology (AT) units--Online Teaching & Learning and Media Distribution & Support--at San Francisco State University (SF State). In this role, he led or co-led several large-scale technology adoption and implementation initiatives (e.g., Moodle LMS, ePortfolios). He also served as the Assistant Director at the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching responsible for faculty development at SF State, and Co-Director of ITEC's federal grant program, Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology (PT3), which helped more than 1000 credential students integrate technology into curriculum.

Extended Abstract

Kate Jordahl from California and Michael Torrence from Tennessee, bring their Coast-to-Coast view to the discussion of Online Education at Community Colleges. Kate brings her perspectives as a long time faculty member now working as Director of Academic Affairs and Consortia, California Virtual Campus-Online Education Initiative to expand access, equity, and quality for the California Community Colleges, the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Michael as President of Motlow College brings his viewpoint as a leader, but also his work open educational resources, STEAMB (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Aviation, Mathematics, and Business)  and his work embracing the use of technological literacy as a platform to increase student engagement and success. They will be joined by Kevin Kelly, an online instructor at SF State and a higher ed consultant who has been working with community college partners like Peralta Community College District to research and address online achievement gaps through collaborative projects like the Peralta Online Equity Rubric.
What are the unique issues and equally unique opportunities for those of us dedicated to this sector for contribution, expanded access, enhancing student success, and creating equity for our many students? What are the innovations that can make significant differences in our effectiveness? What are the analytic and metrics we need to validate our work and be more effective in our efforts? 
After sharing about their work and examples from the field, Kate, Michael, and Kevin will lead this 'unconference' session having participants helping to set the agenda and, after discussion in small groups led by community college leaders,  share their insights. What concerns you? What excites you? How is your work with and for students of the nation's community colleges changing in light of technology and practices in pedagogy? Join us.