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Federal Title III Grant Project Moves Forward

August 18, 2020 – Faculty and staff across campus have been working tirelessly over the summer to meet the Year One goals of the $2.25 million federal Title III grant that DCCC was proud to announce last October. This grant program, also called “Strengthening Institutions,” is meant to help colleges expand their capacity to serve low-income students while strengthening academic quality and addressing related needs.

Three key projects are in progress on campus. First, 17 faculty participants and three faculty peer coaches completed the first Summer Institute August 3-6. The Summer Institute consisted of four days of virtual professional development around growth mindset and resilience. Faculty participated in workshop sessions to begin revising aspects of their fall course assignments and syllabi language to better support students and create a welcoming and transparent learning environment. Faculty shared great ideas with one another in presentations on the final day of the Institute.  With support from the Center for Teaching and Learning, as well as their peer coaches, this group will continue to collaborate through the fall as a Faculty Learning Community. 

The second project focuses on increasing active learning at DCCC through classroom renovations and course redesigns. Five faculty in the humanities and social sciences have been selected to participate in virtual professional development on active learning strategies for online and in-person courses. This professional development will support faculty teaching in new active learning classrooms with furniture designed to promote collaboration and student-centered learning. These classrooms, one on the Davidson Campus and one on the Davie Campus, will be finished by early September. In addition to new classroom furniture, a faculty test kitchen is being developed as a place for faculty to test out new technology that can enhance active learning and collaboration. DCCC is piloting T1V’s ThinkHub technology and, once the system is installed in September, faculty will have the opportunity to schedule time to play around with this new system and give feedback as we think carefully about how to redesign future learning spaces.

Finally, the third project is implementing Starfish Predictive Analytics and developing a completion coaching model spearheaded by Student Affairs and IT. The rollout for the new elements in Starfish will happen in late August and training for faculty and staff will be held throughout the month of September. In addition to supporting student retention through predictive analytics, the college has hired completion coaches to begin piloting an intensive advising model for students most at risk for not completing their courses of study. These completion coaches will work closely with departments on campus to help students access resources that help them meet their academic and personal goals.

For more information on how to get involved in this work, contact Cameron Shirley, the Title III Project Director, at cameron_shirley@davidsondavie.edu