Community College Summit: Part 3

Concurrent Session 6
Community College

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Brief Abstract

Join us for this last session of three sessions at OLC’s Community College Summit, where we bring together educators and advocates of community colleges. This session will focus on promoting and supporting both student and faculty engagement in the time of COVID-19.  As a result of the pandemic, student enrollment in community colleges across the country has taken a dramatic dip, with a significant decrease in students of color.  There has never been a more critical time to focus on engagement as student engagement helps students persist and complete college programs.  This session will explore the continued need to remove cultural barriers that impede successful engagement, and we’ll see how one college does this by leveraging the library, and how another college engages faculty.  


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Extended Abstract

Last summer racial unrest permeated the air and COVID-19 held the nation in a vice grip.  As we kick off a new year,  enrollment at community colleges across the country continue to decline.  Engagement strategies can help students succeed and complete programs, but today, engagement looks different.  TaChalla Ferris is the librarian at Shoreline Community College and she works to create an open, engaging and socially relevant experience for the students.  Ms. Ferris will share her philosophy and initiatives implemented at Shoreline to engage students is culturally relevant learning.  Dr. Townes is the director of the Teaching Academy at Southwest Tennessee Community College where she focuses on faculty engagement and excellence.  She will share insights on keeping faculty motivated and inspired.  The teaching academy promotes faculty development, and since COVID-19 has shifted focus to help faculty identify and  include culturally relevant teaching strategies. 

Just when we thought we had things under control, COVID-19 interrupted our lives.  Community college faculty, like many other industries, jumped into action. At times it may have felt like we were on the proverbial treadmill that kept speeding up and all we could do was to hang on.

Well, we not only survived, we added awesomely to our innovation toolbox.

This summit celebrates all of that energy, through discussion, sharing and brainstorming about what was and what comes next. Learn more about the Community College Summit on our website.