EPIC Student and Faculty Preparedness for Online Learning Success

Concurrent Session 3
Community College

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Brief Abstract

To remove learning barriers and better support online student learning, persistence and success, Wake Tech has launched a QEP based upon best practices in eLearning called EPIC.  A collaborative effort by faculty and staff has developed and implemented eLearning Standards, an online student orientation, and an online faculty certification program.


Alison has been teaching online since 2002, and can fondly remember the iconic sounds of a dial-up modem connecting to the Internet. She has a BSBE in Information Technologies, and a MS in Vocational Education: Information Technologies from East Carolina University. Recently she earned a certificate in Excellence in Online Teaching from Washington State University and became certified as a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer. Currently, Alison is an Associate Professor/Program Director at Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh NC teaching and managing two seated and online applied science degree programs. She has a leadership role on Wake Tech’s Quality Enhancement Project, entitled EPIC, as the Online Certification Coordinator. A self-proclaimed IT geek on a mission is to improve the quality of eLearning one course at a time.
I am a seasoned professional with experience as a UPS truck driver, small business owner, supervisor, manager, consultant, book reviewer, trainer, director, and professor. My 18 year tenure at Wake Tech has led me from an adjunct instructor to the business administration department head, the director of human resources and EEO officer for the college, a professor, and currently an EPIC master certified senior professor, and mentoring coordinator for faculty new to teaching online. For the last 13 years, I have also served as an adjunct professor for Campbell University's RTP campus teaching human resources, retailing, marketing research, and strategic management. I completed my PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources with Northcentral University. My certifications include diversity management, synectic problem-solving formula, the customer program, facilitation, and leadership assessments for the Center for Creative Leadership. I also have my senior professional in HR (SPHR, SHRM-SCP) and hold a practitioner and coach certification in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

Extended Abstract

Wake Technical Community College offers the largest number of online courses in North Carolina, filling nearly 45,064 seats for online courses in 2014-15.  To help bridge the gap between the success of seated and online courses the college is implementing EPIC (Elearning Preparedness Initiative across the College) to better prepare students and faculty for online learning and teaching.  EPIC is designed to help students overcome online learning barriers and gain the skills to be successful learners.  All new online students are now required to complete three interactive eLearning student orientation modules, during which they will gain the skills, tools and awareness to be a successful online learner.  We are improving faculty preparedness to design and delivery quality online courses through developing and implementing an online faculty certification program and offering a mentorship program for new online faculty members.  Our presentation will discuss the implementation of this initiative, along with challenges and successes we have witnessed along the way.