Workshop Focuses on Making Course Material Accessible and Engaging for Students

Faculty members at ASU and ECU are learning together and modifying their course designs to promote academic success for all learners, including those with learning differences. Some 50 faculty members from more than 20 different departments recently participated in a four-day workshop to learn about and implement the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and effective course design.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework based on neuroscience research that guides the development of flexible learning environments that can accommodate individual learning differences. It encourages a curriculum that presents information in multiple ways to give learners various ways of acquiring knowledge, providing learners multiple ways to demonstrate what they know and using multiple ways of engaging learners to keep them interested and more.

East Carolina Embedded Lead Tutors

College STAR supported activities were featured on the ECU homepage this week. ECU News Services published a full page feature article on the benefits of using the Embedded Lead Tutor model. Congratulations to tutors, Briana Horne, Evan Arthur and Ethan Cooper! Thank you professors David Bjorkman, John Kerbs and Subodh Dutta for mentoring our tutors and using this tutoring model. Special appreciation and recognition to Elizabeth Coghill, Director and coordinator of tutoring activities on the ECU campus. Read the complete article at

Starfish CREW's research to appear in the winter 2014 Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin

Research conducted by the Starfish CREW at East Carolina University was accepted for publication in the winter 2014 edition of The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, International Journal for Professional Educators. The title of this paper is “Adoption of an Early-Alert System to Support University Student Success”. This faculty learning community is studying the impact of an early alert system (Starfish) on ECU campus. Congratulations to authors Johna Faulconer, Jayne Geissler, Diane Majewski and John Trifilo! Read the complete article here.

2013 CRLA Mid-South Region Higher Education Summit

On Friday, October 4, 2013 professionals from across the state joined together to share trends in higher education affecting our region. Limited to 25 participants, the 2013 Summit was designed to foster dialogue between tutoring professionals in a more intimate setting. Hosted by the Pirate Tutoring Center at East Carolina University, sessions focused on two primary trends: the integration of technology in tutoring services to increase student access and implementing tutor training sessions that fosters academic community building.

Summit materials and lunch was provided by the College Reading and Learning Association. As Mid-South Region Director, Elizabeth Coghill invited tutoring professionals from across North Carolina. Twenty four professionals attended representing the following institutions: UNC Charlotte, Nash Community College, Beaufort Community College, College of the Albemarle, UNC Pembroke, Methodist University, Barton College, Pfeiffer University, East Carolina University, Guilford College, and Halifax County Community more.

East Carolina University's Project STEPP has released a Transition Curriculum.

Project STEPP at East Carolina University has recently released curriculum materials designed to help high school students with learning differences take one STEPP at a time to prepare for the college setting. Project STEPP, a program on the ECU campus for students with learning disabilities, provides comprehensive supports for participants throughout their college careers. In addition, the program supports incoming students during the year prior to matriculation to help them lay the groundwork for this major life transition. These transition-year resources became the foundation for the curriculum, which is freely available for teachers (and families) to use. The transition curriculum contains eight modules, each with fully developed lesson and activity plans, lecture slides, teacher notes, and student handouts. Each module centers on a specific college-related theme, such as the differences between high school and college, balancing academic and social life, organization and time management, communication, and technology. Click here to read further, and check out the curriculum resources at

Check out the posters from the 2013 Shared Learning Conference

In case you missed them, here are the posters from the 2013 Shared Learning Conference in Greensboro, NC.

ECU Faculty Define Student Learning Outcomes Using Think, Value, Communicate and Lead

ECU’s Office of Institutional Planning, Assessment and Research, in conjunction with The Department of Education (Title III), and College STAR are collaborating to support 32 ECU faculty from 8 academic departments who will incorporate the Think, Value, Communicate, Lead (TVCL) Curriculum Matrix. This matrix focuses on student learning and serves as an effective framework for curriculum mapping to ensure positive student learning outcomes. Each TVCL Faculty Fellow team has agreed to become a Pirate CREW where they will map their curriculum, as a team, to align with TVCL. They will take this effort to the next level by identifying instructional practices that support the principles of UDL and students with learning differences.

ECU Chapter of Eye to Eye Mentoring Program Kicks off a New Year

Late on Friday afternoons, the Project STEPP office is quieter than usual. Watching a group of students leave around 3:15, you might assume they’re rushing off to start the weekend early. However, for these ten Pirates, this mass exodus leads two blocks down the street to a community center where they’ll spend the next hour and a half elbow-deep in paint, glitter, glue, or construction paper while chatting with a child about topics including school, goals, families, sports, and most importantly, the challenges and triumphs of being a student with a learning disability and/or more

Technology and the Pirate Tutoring Center

At ECU, tutors in the Pirate Tutoring Center (PTC) are utilizing new methods to deliver tutoring; the iPad and Tegrity, a desk top lecture capture recording system. In a recent article in EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Redfield and Larose describe an intelligent tutoring center as one that combines computer programs and face-to-face tutoring to better address the needs of all students desiring assistance. The vision for the PTC is to be a place where multiple educational resources are available and tutoring methods of delivery are a combination of online Tegrity recordings, iPad applications, bamboo tablets, and other innovative approaches to providing tutoring more

ECU Can Now Access Read and Write Gold

Read and Write Gold, a literacy software solution, allows individuals to access any curriculum and complete reading, writing, and research assignments as well as take tests independently. Users can access digital content and have text read aloud with highlighting using natural sounding voices, which boosts reading comprehension and allows writers to listen to their written work. Faculty can provide instruction utilizing the principles of Universal Design for Learning ( that is vital to meeting the needs of diverse learners.

Read and Write Gold is free to all faculty, students and staff at ECU through the ECU Download Center (, click on Classroom Tools). Consult the ECU Office for Faculty Excellence for the Read and Write Gold training schedule. Additional training sessions can be scheduled through the Office for Faculty Excellence.

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