With more than 15 years experience in education, Dr. Tanya Hudson is more than a little familiar with the concept of “show and tell.” Now as an assistant professor in the Department of Elementary Education at Fayetteville State University she is taking it to a higher level.
Hudson has embraced the learning opportunities presented through the faculty component of Bronco Star at Fayetteville State. She recently attended the course redesign workshop at ECU and is now applying the principles of Universal Design for Learning to her elementary math teaching methods class. read more
ECU Freshman Earn Top Academic Honors
Congratulations to the first-year students in the Walter and Marie Williams STEPP program at East Carolina University for achieving superior academic success their first term in college. Collectively, the average grade point average for this cohort was 3.6. These 13 students will be recognized by the university advising collaborative at the annual ECU Excels Honors program. This program recognizes first time freshman who achieve academic success by earning at least a 3.0 grade point average.
East Carolina University's Walter & Marie Williams STEPP Program's Patrick Young and Logan Darr have been featured in an article at ecu.edu. The article describes what the new leaders of the student blog have in store.
Getting students to relate to him so they will remember the material is a strategy employed by Dr. Jason Gee, a teaching assistant professor in biology who has been at ECU since 2008. It’s a practice that his students appreciated and mentioned when they were surveyed by the College STAR program last year.
“I loved how he applied the information that we learned; it allowed me to grasp the new information and remember it. Many professors teach the information and that’s it. Dr. Gee went into the information deeper and made sure we understood it,” said one student. read more
Long-time successful faculty development programs at three universities are quick to give College STAR credit for giving their efforts a boost and providing a unifying framework around Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
From its inception, College STAR has been a two-track program with Component A focusing on student-support programs and Component B supporting each university in designing an instructional support model for faculty members. Much of this support has focused on assisting faculty members who want to infuse UDL principles into their classroom instruction. Use of these principles has the potential to enable them to better serve the wide range of learners in college classrooms today, including, but not limited to, some of the students in Component A. read more
Some 26 faculty members at Appalachian State wouldn’t have any trouble writing an essay on how they spent their summer. They were busy infusing new energy into a course they had identified earlier in the year as a target for redesign. Their efforts weren’t undertaken in a vacuum, however, because they were all participants in Appalachian’s Course (Re)Design Institute sponsored by the Hubbard Programs for Faculty Excellence as part of the College Star component B program supporting faculty.
The journey began in April as part of a hybrid face-to-face and in-person institute. After 15 hours of individual preparation, participants met as a group for a week in May and then continued their course revision work throughout the summer. read more
When everyone on the team is dedicated to helping students succeed, a Faculty Learning Community can make real progress and deliver tangible results for students and instructors.
That’s been the experience of the Tegrity CREW at East Carolina University formed 3 years ago under the auspices of the College STAR program and the Office for Faculty Excellence. The team, which includes faculty, technical experts, members of the OFE staff and the Pirate Tutoring Center, has focused on Tegrity lecture capture technology that enables faculty and tutors to record their audio, web-cam video and computer screen activity, right from their desktop. read more
All college students struggle with adjusting to a new learning environment. Students with extra challenges at Fayetteville State University can now get assistance through a new program called Bronco STAR.
Bronco STAR is a support program for students with executive function challenges (EFC) and ADD/ADHD which can show up as chronic difficulties in starting projects, planning, organization and decision-making. These types of learning challenges can have long-term implications for academic and personal success. They may or may not have been identified earlier in a student’s academic career. read more
Congratulations to teaching assistant professor of Music at ECU, Dan Guberman! Dr. Guberman presented his teaching and learning innovations at the Lilly International Conference in Bethesda, Maryland on May 28. His evidence based teaching and learning research project focused on the ways faculty use technology, like lecture capture software, in the classroom to create original instructional practices. According to Dr. Guberman, “In this presentation, I share how I use these technologies outside of the classroom to fulfill a variety of needs, from introducing or reviewing important topics, to giving feedback on large assignments. Ultimately, use of these technologies elsewhere makes classroom time more efficient and effective. In addition, I share other implementations of these technologies and best practice strategies based on an in-progress study by a faculty research group.”
Creating an atmosphere where students can determine themselves when they are struggling with a key concept has been a successful strategy for Dr. Carol Goodwillie, an associate professor of biology who has been at ECU since 2001. Her students have responded positively and cited her encouraging attitude when College STAR surveyed students last year.
“As a student with learning disabilities, the motivation and true compassion towards my learning the material was essential in my succeeding at East Carolina University,” one student wrote. “She helped me learn not only the material in the class but, more importantly, how to learn in general.” read more
The smiles were big as a small group of students from Hardin Park Elementary School showed off the artwork they had created with their mentors from Appalachian State University. The show was the culmination of weeks of work as part of Appalachian State’s Eye-to-Eye chapter.
Eye-to-Eye is a national mentoring organization that utilizes an arts-based curriculum to pair students with a learning disability or attention deficient hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) with college students with similar diagnoses as a means of academic and personal empowerment. read more
Recent STEPP and ECU graduate Marell Cook has some advice for those who would like to have as positive a college experience as she has enjoyed—Stay focused and treat school as a full-time job. Then enjoy college life in the evenings and on weekends.
It’s an approach that worked well for her based on an impressive list of accomplishments including the Eastern Carolina Association of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Award and the undergraduate Outstanding Senior Award for the English department. Even if you don’t know Marell, you might recognize her name from the permanent mark she has left on ECU. Early on in her time as a Pirate, she wrote the poem “Where Pirates Plunder” which graces the entry to the Boneyard, Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium's raucous end zone section. read more
When you’re a contractor with more than 20 years’ experience, the concept of redesign is not a new one. But Bryan Wheeler chose to redesign his construction management course at ECU rather than a physical project.
A charter graduate of ECU’s construction management program in 1984, Wheeler returned to the campus seven years ago as a teaching instructor. He chose to review and redesign his Construction Management 2400/01: Building Systems and Codes Course using principles of Universal Design for Learning that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. read more
The campus faculty development directors at East Carolina University (ECU), Appalachian State University (ASU) and Fayetteville State University (FSU) co-hosted the first cross campus faculty development webinar entitled, “Flipping the Class to Support Student Engagement”. Eighty-seven of the 122 registered participants from universities and community colleges across the state of North Carolina participated in this event. Presenters shared the flipped classroom instructional methods they use that also align with the principles of Universal Design for Learning. Dr. Dorothy Muller, Director of ECU’s Office for Faculty Excellence commented, “Presenter, Dan Guberman used UDL language like ‘multiple means of representation’ in a way that sounded like it is now a part of his everyday language. Special thanks to our presenters for sharing their expertise in this unique forum. Presenters from ECU were Steve Sligar, Rosa Bell, Dan Guberman and Heidi Bonner. The presenter from ASU was Mark Venable, and the presenters from FSU were Bonnie Grohe and Shunta Hailey.
For Dr. Hamid Fonooni an interest in ergonomics meshed with the principles of Universal Design, and an interest in enhancing the student experience led to embracing the concept of Universal Design for Learning. read more
After years of experience with an academic early alert system at East Carolina University, academic advisors are sharing their success tips with others through an article in the December issue of “Academic Advising Today.” read more
The Walter and Marie Williams STEPP program (Supporting Transition and Education through Planning and Partnerships) at ECU will get an important boost from a two-year grant recently awarded by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust. read more
Recognizing how much her students’ backgrounds resemble her own profile is a motivating factor for Dr. Jennifer Valko, an Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures who has been at ECU since 2004. As a non-native speaker of Spanish who took many of the same courses as her students during her undergraduate studies, Dr. Valko can relate to their experience. "Mastering a second language is challenging, yet quite achievable and essential in our increasingly globalized society," she said. Moreover, like many of her students, Dr. Valko was the first in her family to go to college, and she appreciates that some students may need a little more guidance and patience. read more
When multiple initiatives support the same end goal, the result can be a win for faculty and students alike. Such is the case with the biology curriculum redesign project at Appalachian State University.
A faculty team has been hard at work to restructure the four-year biology curriculum, starting with the introductory courses. Their efforts are part of the nationwide PULSE (Partnership for Undergraduate Life Science Education) initiative to rethink the way biology is taught at the university level. read more
The As-U-R program at Appalachian State offers support to students with executive function challenges (EFC) which are chronic difficulties in starting projects, planning, organization and decision-making. These types of learning challenges can have long-term implications for academic and personal success. read more
The East Carolina University Starfish CREW recently published their article, “Maximizing the Use of an Early Alert System through Advisor Outreach” in the December, 2014 edition of Academic Advising Today. The folks at Starfish Retention Solutions are as excited as we are about the publication and have featured the paper on StarfishSolutions.com
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (February 12, 2015) – Students who learn differently will have access to an array of academic supports through a new program at Fayetteville State University (FSU) called Bronco STAR (Supporting Transition, Access and Retention). The program has been made possible through a three-year $1 million grant from the N.C. GlaxoSmithKline Foundation. read more
When it comes to giving thanks during the holiday season, several STEPP Program participants will have the Peter J. Frenkel Foundation on their list. Thanks to the foundation’s generosity, some very hard-working students have been able to assist the STEPP Program while helping to finance their college education and gaining valuable work experience. read more
Congratulations to Kelly Reddick, John Trifilo, Steven Asby, Diane Majewski and Jayne Geissler from the Starfish CREW at ECU! Members of this CREW or faculty learning community published their article, “Maximizing the Use of an Early Alert System through Advisor Outreach” in the December, 2014 edition of Academic Advising Today. This manuscript describes the strategies advisors use to engage students in the academic early alert process. Read the full article at http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/Maximizing-the-Use-of-an-Early-Alert-System-through-Advisor-Outreach.aspx
Learning communities come in all shapes and sizes, but a group of Appalachian State professionals now have increased awareness of what makes them truly successful. Forty-five faculty, staff and administrators recently completed the five-day intensive "Designing and Leading Powerful Learning Communities Institute" led by Dr. Brian Smentkowski, Assistant Director of Faculty and Academic Development at Appalachian State University.
Learning communities are trans-disciplinary groups of administrators, faculty, staff, and/or students who share a common interest and work together to accomplish a specific goal. They can either be cohort-based or topic-based. read more