Monday, February 24, 2014

Welcome to Spring at Daytona State College

Each semester at Daytona State brings fresh opportunities to serve our community while focusing on student success. This issue of Communiqué details partnerships benefitting the region’s K-12 teachers as well as unique outreach projects with high school students, ranging from a STEM Expo to a culinary contest.

Read on and learn about our plan to meet new developmental education rules – a challenging transition faced by all higher education institutions in Florida. That segues to a story about innovative “academies” designed by DSC faculty to advance classroom instruction. 

In this issue’s mix, we’re also delighted to share national recognition news, side by side with wonderful student awards. All of which reinforces the value of our mission and ongoing work to foster student success.

We hope you enjoy the latest issue of Communiqué.
Carol W. Eaton, President
Daytona State College

DSC helping current/future teachers implement Common Core Standards

As school districts across the nation scramble to adapt their curricula to the newest education initiative called Common Core State Standards, Daytona State College is a key player in helping local school systems implement Florida’s still evolving version of the standards.

“This is a huge time of change,” said Dr. Amy Ringue, a faculty member and director of assessment for the College of Education at Daytona State. “We are working with the local school systems to implement best teaching practices and bridge the students’ transition from high school to college.”

The College of Education recently hosted what it called a Core to College Cadre, teaming with members of Daytona State’s College of Arts and Sciences and the school districts of Volusia and Flagler counties to discuss career and college readiness, identify gaps between K-12 and post-secondary curricula, and focus on best teaching practices in Common Core content areas.

The college also is part of the Florida Common Core State Standards Professional Development Consortium formed in partnership with Florida State University, Indian River State College and 10 other Florida College System institutions through a $7.2 million federal grant. Beginning next fall, the consortium will provide professional development training to working teachers, counselors and advisors in support of the Common Core initiative, with Daytona State gearing up to offer the training to K-12 teachers in Brevard, Seminole, Orange, Volusia and Flagler counties.

Students enrolled in Daytona State’s seven education-related baccalaureate degree offerings already are benefitting from the college’s role in the consortium. “Our faculty already incorporate Common Core into assessments used in the baccalaureate coursework,” Ringue said. “But through this grant, we can take it to a higher level because we are able to discuss concrete tools of implementation. Our teacher candidates are placed in field experiences at the elementary, middle and high school levels within Volusia and Flagler schools in which the directing teachers use the available Common Core tools. This access allows the teacher candidates to see it working in real-time in the classroom and gives our College of Education graduates a tremendous advantage when implementing the standards in their first year of teaching.”

Common Core standards were developed by professional educators nationwide to ensure that all students graduate high school prepared to enter college or the workforce. The standards were initially launched in 2009 through a partnership between the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Common Core is not a federal mandate; although, the U.S. Department of Education does endorse its adoption by all states and is providing funds for states to create tools that will help schools implement the standards.

Florida began phasing in the standards in 2010, and all classrooms will be using them by next school year. They include language arts and math skills students will be expected to master starting from kindergarten through grade 12.

Proponents say the standards provide consistency in what is expected of student learning across the country. That’s not to say that states and local school districts haven’t a say in how Common Core plays out in their jurisdictions. In Florida, nearly 100 adjustments to the more than 11,000 K-12 Common Core standards are being discussed and slated to be voted on by the Board of Education in February.

Ringue said Common Core centers more around expectations than curriculum, with a focus on problem solving and critical thinking skills development. “Whether you do that by getting kids to read the newspaper, or a poem or a section of text, for example, doesn’t matter,” she said, “so long as you address the standard that the student can critically evaluate text. So they really are not taking away local autonomy. Each county has recommendations for the teachers on what resources to use.”

INSIDER VIEW: Daytona State unveils its Developmental Education Implementation Plan

As with all Florida College System institutions dealing with legislative changes that alter the traditional way developmental courses are delivered to a wide swath of students, Daytona State College is embarking on a grand experiment officials hope will prove to be a viable alternative for students needing academic intervention and support.

During its last session, the Florida Legislature changed the requirements for developmental education at all post-secondary institutions, resulting in thousands of students no longer being required to take college-prep or non-college-credit developmental courses.  Exempt students include active duty military personnel and students who were enrolled in a Florida public high school in the 9th grade in 2003 or after and graduated. While these students may be encouraged to take an assessment test such as PERT or TABE, they are not required to do so or to take remedial courses.
A Developmental Education Implementation Plan was approved by the college’s District Board of Trustees at its January meeting, produced by a committee of faculty and staff after months of research and collaboration. The plan takes a three-pronged approach that includes advising and new course options for students that will help prepare them for college-level English and math studies.

Each institution’s plan must be submitted to the FCS chancellor by March 1, with implementation no later than fall semester 2014.

We’ve asked the plan’s authors to provide a brief synopsis of its three main components:
Comprehensive Advising Plan
by LeeAnn Davis, director of Academic Advising

To meet the requirements of FS 1008.02, academic advising at Daytona State will move from a prescriptive to a developmental method of guiding students, meaning advisors will spend more time and emphasis talking to students about their educational and career goals and how to reach them.
Our advising strategy incorporates multiple checkpoints and interventions with students throughout their college careers, beginning with orientation. Registration holds will be placed on students during various waypoints to ensure they meet with their advisor, including students who have been exempted from taking developmental courses via the statute but who do not successfully complete their initial college-level English or math courses. 

During their first meeting with an advisor, course placement will be recommended to exempt students based on high school measures such as assessment test scores, GPAs in English and math, end-of-course math scores and each student’s previous work experience. Rubrics have been developed by the English and Math departments to ensure that advising is appropriate and consistent.
Advisors will encourage Associate of Arts students to consider their intended bachelor’s degree major and university transfer early in their college studies so they can be provided information about appropriate pre-requisite courses they will need. Registration holds will be placed on undecided students after they complete 15 credit hours, when they will be required to again meet with their advisor and encouraged to research possible careers based on their interests, strengths and weaknesses, and take advantage of the tools available in Career Services. Advisors also will recommend that these undecided students enroll in one of the college’s two career class options or SLS2301 (Career Development), which has a built-in career exploration option.

Daytona State also has in place an early alert system called “TRACS” that allows faculty to notify advisors of students who are having difficulty in a course. Once notified, the advisor will contact the student to explain his or her options.

Revisions to Developmental Education in English
by Dr. Evan Rivers and Elizabeth Barnes, chair and assistant chair of the School of Humanities and Communication
The English Department has taken a comprehensive approach to meeting student needs within the framework mandated by the state. This involves the creation of new courses, providing non-college credit development options as well as some college-credit options, and new policies that will enhance support for students and improve their likelihood of success.

Among the options are accelerated or modularized, 7 ½-week developmental courses in reading (REA0017) and writing (ENC0025). Students who are significantly weak in these areas may take these courses prior to enrolling in Freshman Composition (ENC1101).
ENC1101 faculty will evaluate each student’s skills the first week of class and may advise them to co-enroll in new non-college credit reading (REA0055L) and writing (ENC0055L) labs. The labs will be comprised of small group discussion contextualized to the work the students are doing in their ENC1101 class.  The labs are facilitated by trained faculty and Academic Support Center staff. . Grading will be pass or fail depending on the grade students achieve in ENC1101 as well as attendance in the lab.

Another option for students is a new course that is a product of Daytona State’s Quality Enhancement Plan. SLS1101 (College Resources) is a one-college-credit-hour course that focuses on teaching students to use and value the academic resources available at the college, such as the Academic Support Center, Library and College Writing Center. Students enroll in a full-term of ENC1101 and co-enroll in a 7 ½-week term of SLS1101.

Other new college-credit courses include Traditional English Grammar and Composition (LIN1670) and Critical Reading (REA1105).  LIN1670 is a three-hour course that focuses on grammar, usage and mechanics; basic sentence structure; and effective writing strategies. REA1105 is a three-hour course that emphasizes effective reading strategies and skills development contextualized for the reading matter students need for other courses they take during their college studies.
These course are designed primarily for students who take a developmental education accelerated course during an A term and may need additional preparation during a B term to be ready for ENC1101. Students also may take the course during a full term concurrently with ENC1101.

Also included in our comprehensive English readiness strategy are Adult Education courses designed to address the lowest proficiency levels and a free, non-credit refresher or “boot camp” option called “Word Up,” which is offered prior to the start of each semester by the Academic Support Center. Those who complete Word Up may have a better start in ENC1101 since they do so with clearer expectations.
Revisions to Developmental Education in Mathematics
by Marc Campbell, chair of Mathematics

In anticipation of the statutory changes handed down by the Florida Legislature, the Math Department’s comprehensive plan for developmental education includes strategies that have been implemented for some time, as well as new approaches to ensuring that our students are prepared for success in college-level coursework. Among these strategies are a modularized curriculum that focuses on student deficiencies, compressed or accelerated course options and co-requisite courses that allow development and college-credit courses to be taken at the same time.
Among our compressed options are Pre-Algebra (MAT0018), Elementary Algebra (MAT0028), and Integrated Arithmetic and Algebra (MAT0022). These are non-college-credit, immersive 7 ½-week courses that also carry a lab component. Success in mathematics is dependent on the time spent practicing math skills, and we believe the structure of these courses can prepare motivated students to enter college-credit mathematics courses after just one semester.

MAT0056L is a modularized lab option that allows students to start anywhere in a course sequence based on their learning needs and progress. The goal of this self-paced course is to raise the student’s skills to the point where he or she can advance to college-level math courses.
Similarly, MAT0055L is a co-requisite lab students may take in conjunction with a college-credit math course in which they may need additional academic support and preparation.

Like our English Department colleagues, the Math Department also includes in its readiness strategies Adult Education courses designed to address the lowest proficiency levels and a free, non-credit refresher or “boot camp” option called “Math Up,” which is offered prior to the start of each semester. Our research on this award-winning program has shown that students who participate in Math Up are more successful in their college-credit math studies than those who do not take advantage of the program.

Academies help faculty leverage classroom technologies

Prof. Ray Cornelius, left, and Hector Valle
map out their strategy for generating digital
course content.
A growing list of Daytona State College faculty are taking a do-it-yourself approach to integrating technology into the teaching and learning process.

Just ask Ray Cornelius, chair of Daytona State’s School of Modern Languages, who has been participating in a series of academies offered by the college’s Faculty Innovation Center that let instructors create their own digital course content.

Using widely available technology in his hybrid courses (half online, half in-class), Cornelius serves up online lectures and knowledge check downs to students so they can be prepared before they come to class. The strategy frees more time in class for students to work in groups, practicing their language skills together, while Cornelius circulates and addresses questions as they arise in what is commonly known as a flipped-classroom model.
“We are delivering the course content to the students prior to them ever setting foot in the classroom, allowing them to come to class ready for interaction,” Cornelius said. “For the students who use the technology correctly and do the work, the results are amazing.”
Not so unusual when one considers the concepts behind hybrid instruction. What is inventive is how, after receiving the training, Cornelius and his fellow faculty are developing the digital course content on their own, without the assistance of technical experts.

“Our content development academy came out of a need to meet the growing demand for instructional media in a cost-effective way,” said Hector Valle, an e-learning specialist who teaches the faculty academies through Daytona State’s College of Online Studies. “We want this effort to be faculty driven, to empower faculty to produce their own content using technology they are comfortable using.”
The primary tool is one of the many open-source screen-casting applications available on the market that allows faculty to record lectures from the comfort of their home or office. Other topics covered in the academies include digital storytelling, interactive media creation, mobile device support, web conferencing and how to use the prototype Classroom of the Future to its fullest potential.

Valle said new academies will be offered based on demand and emerging technologies.

“We are constantly looking at current trends so we can keep faculty up to date on what is out there and how it can be used in the classroom,” he said. “Right now, it’s kind of like the Wild West in that there are no defined industry standards. But that’s coming, and we want to be ready so our students can have the best learning environment available.”

Falcon baseball ready for competitive season

Daytona State College Falcon baseball kicked off its 13th season Feb. 1 under Coach Tim Touma, seeking to earn another national academic award and make a return trip to the state tournament.

During February’s non-conference games, the Falcons are 5 and 5 in competition leading up to conference play starting March 5,when the team takes on Lake Sumpter State College at home starting at 3 p.m. Touma will be counting on his freshman players, particularly shortstop Lucas Johnston and second baseman Matt Saliba, who have matured as players since arriving at Daytona State.
“Normally, young freshmen will make a lot of mistakes up the middle, but I’m really happy about how well Lucas and Matt have done during fall practice, and I’m looking forward to having them together for as long as we can have them,” Touma said.

Also one to watch is Edgewater native Nathan Bond, a sophomore who will join the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats when he graduates this spring. Bond was an All-Conference outfielder his freshman year and is expected to bring an offensive punch to the plate this season. Starting right fielder Jimmy Faul also returns as the leading homerun hitter of all Mid-Florida Conference returning batters.
On the mound, starter Brad Emery returns along with Clayton Payne anchoring the bullpen.

Touma said he is impressed with the dedication and energy of this year’s squad. “This is a very fun group of guys to be around because of their willingness to be coached and to improve,” he said. “I’m also very proud of the way they have performed academically.”
The team, which fields 16 freshmen on a 25-man roster, posted a 3.6 cumulative GPA this past fall, marking 25 consecutive semesters it has earned a 3.0 or higher team GPA.  The Falcons are seven-time winners of the NJCAA National Academic Team of the Year award.

And that, Touma noted, is his biggest goal as a coach and mentor. “Everything we do here, whether on the field or in the classroom, is about making sure our student athletes have a great chance to succeed when they graduate.”
For more information, visit Falcon Baseball on the web.

Notables. . .

DSC photography alumna wins military exchange’s grand prize in competition

A video created as a class project by Lola Gomez, a graduate of Daytona State’s School of Photography, has been awarded the $10,000 grand prize in the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s Homeward Bound photo and video contest. Gomez gave the video, titled “My Heart Back Home,” to her sister, Laura Jimenez, as a gift, who in turn entered it into the contest as one of 672 submissions.
Dr. Amy Locklear is Daytona State’s new VP of Academic Affairs

Following a national search, Dr. Amy Locklear has been named Vice President of Academic Affairs at Daytona State College. A veteran professor and administrator, Locklear brings a strong record of leadership in successful accreditation practices; curriculum design and instructional assessment; service learning, honors, dual credit and early college programs; and faculty hiring, credentialing and mentoring.
Daytona State to honor local teacher of the year during Women’s History Month luncheon

The Daytona State College Center for Women and Men and its advisory board will honor a veteran local teacher at their annual fundraising luncheon in commemoration of National Women’s History Month on Thursday, March 27, from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Music student earns top honors in statewide competition
Juaquin Trumpet wants to one day be regarded among the best violinists in the world, and some might say he’s moving in the right direction. Trumpet, a sophomore in Daytona State College’s instrumental music program, earned top honors in the string division of the 2014 Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) Winter Music Symposium held Jan. 23 to 25 at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Student surprised in class by soldier-daughter
It was just an ordinary, intense lab class followed by a special speaker, or so thought anatomy student Bill Holman as he dissected a sheep’s heart with dozens of fellow students on Feb. 4. Little did he suspect that the ‘cardiologist’ guest speaker would be someone dear to his own heart.
Students get motivated during AVID Day at Daytona State

More than 300 area middle school students got to experience college for a day Dec. 6, when Daytona State hosted them during its annual AVID Day.