In Early April, several members of the GHC family attended the John N. Gardner Institute’s Teaching and Learning Academy and the Gateway Course Experience Conference 2016 in Atlanta. This conference is tied to GHC’s efforts with the JNGI Gateways to Completion efforts.
The Teaching and Learning Academy featured an all day workshop that allowed participants to interact with others in their disciplines. These groups will work across institutions, to discuss, plan for, execute, and support the redesign of gateway courses.
There were many thematic strands within the conference itself, allowing the participants to hear from presenters who have been participating in Gateways to Completion (G2C) and improving student learning outcomes and student success.
Maggie Murphy, Assistant Librarian, was in attendance as a GHC representative. She noted, “This was actually a great opportunity for me to meet and engage with colleagues at the college whom I have little regular contact with in my role as library faculty. It was also a chance offer myself up as someone ready and willing to contribute time and effort to this facet of student success.” Murphy’s enthusiasm was echoed by other participants, such as Dr. Tim Floyd, Dean of Mathematics, and Dr. Renva Watterson, Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Conference attendees were able to hear from a number of Gateway to Completion (G2C) participants, who discussed many of the practical and transformative aspects of the program. Knowing that others have used this process to redesign their approaches to student success was reassuring for many. Having the time to hear from experts and participate in activities within our own G2C group was one of the most useful aspects of the trip.
One of the keynote speakers was Dr. Daniel Greenstein, director of Education, Postsecondary Success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He charged those in attendance to think critically and carefully about the changing nature of students seeking higher education, a cause near and dear to many at GHC.
The GHC group returned to campus to begin the task of collecting and analyzing data, eager to begin thinking about ways that they might help our students better meet their educational aspirations.