By CCWeek Staff  /  
2015 February 16 - 02:25 pm

Faculty Lounge

A spotlight on faculty at various campuses around the nation

When it came to finding a textbook for developmental education courses in reading and writing at Alvin Community College (Texas), staff members found their options limited.

“We looked at all of the materials on the market,” said Lynda Vern, Learning Lab director and ACC instructor. “We didn’t like any of it.” So over the course of a year, Vern wrote her own textbook, “Reading and Writing: Preparing for College Success,” which is now used in ACC’s developmental education courses. “We decided to use some good reading material from my previous reading textbook as a base and then to integrate writing assignments with the reading selections,” she said. The book and the courses help teach students the necessary reading and writing skills they will need to be successful in college. It was written to meet the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board requirements for reading and writing courses. Vern’s text also implements online videos and software. She said that she and her staff believe that, “none of the other texts reviewed engage students like this.” In addition to the content, the book contains diagnostic testing to help students determine their existing abilities and where they need to improve. It also covers rubrics so students understand how their grades are determined along with a midterm writing assignment. Students began using Vern’s completed book in the fall. She said that much of the material for the book has been used over the previous three semesters. Vern aligned the content of the book to coincide with the outcomes demanded in freshman English courses. Instructors in credit courses have reported that students taking the developmental courses using Vern’s material have fared well.

The American Association of Community Colleges welcomed two new senior advisors to the president and CEO, Kay McClenney and Michael B. McCall. Both well-known and respected leaders in the community college field, McClenney and McCall bring more than 60 years of collective experience to their new roles at AACC. Last May, McClenney retired from her position at the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. She had served as director of CCCSE for 14 years. In her new role, McClenney will provide support to AACC in its strategic planning and in its work with foundations. “I am honored to take on this role with AACC,” McClenney said of her new position. “...I am excited to begin working with AACC to support its network of colleges, 1,200-strong nationwide, as we continue to strive for a level educational playing field.” McCall recently retired as the founding president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System after 16 years of leading KCTCS. In his new role with AACC, McCall will support the organization’s efforts in government relations, workforce and economic development, and leadership development. “Following the president’s announcement of America’s College Promise, this is an especially fascinating time to be working in the community college space,” said McCall. “I am eager to apply my knowledge of the field to help AACC tackle the challenges that will inevitably arise as we enter this exciting, yet equally uncertain period for community colleges and their students. I look forward to working with AACC to prepare our member institutions to meet the opportunity of the president’s historic initiative.”

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