GRCC Faculty Participate in Learning Day

Jeremy Osborn
 Director, Center for Teaching Excellence

January 8, 2013, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- On January 10 the faculty at Grand Rapids Community College will switch roles for a day and become students themselves during Faculty Learning Day. This annual event, hosted by the Center for Teaching Excellence at GRCC, provides all full-time faculty an opportunity to share ideas with one another, as well as learn from national and local guests. For 2013, Faculty Learning Day will follow the theme, “The Art and Science of Teaching and Learning” and will be held at the Van Andel Institute.

The program for the day explores best practices in creating instruction that is accessible to all students—a topic of critical importance given the diversity of the student population at GRCC. “In any classroom you will find a microcosm of west Michigan—single parents, grandparents, single students who have just graduated from high school, students who have a language other than English as their first language, students with disabilities, and students who have already had success in college and are simply returning to gain a new skill. Creating instruction for all of these students requires as much art as science,” says Dr. Ric Underhile, Associate Dean for Instructional Support.

The event kicks off with a keynote address by Irene Bowen, President of ADA One, a consulting firm dedicated to advocacy and education for persons with disabilities. In addition, faculty will attend sessions on topics such as Universal Design, responding to different learning styles, and working with students with various disabilities. “Our primary goal at GRCC is to educate our community and to do so in a way that fosters success and helps people achieve their goals. These sessions will help all of us think more intentionally about how we can use collaboration, technology, and creativity to foster that success for a wider group of students,” says Dr. Jeremy Osborn, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at GRCC.

Guest speakers include Lennie Scott-Webber, Director Education Environments at Steelcase, Nanette Clatterbuck, Associate Provost of Graduate and Professional Studies at Aquinas College, and Jeff Sykes, Assistive Technology Coordinator at Grand Valley State University. GRCC presenters include Diane Sparks, Ann Alexander, Anne Sherman, Ron Ralya, Sarah Rose, Cheryl Kautz, Meegan Willi, and Jeremy Osborn. The program begins at 9:00 AM and concludes at 2:30 PM.

Past years’ Faculty Learning Day events have addressed critical thinking, creativity, and assessment of student learning. The College has a long commitment to providing its faculty and staff—as well as the community—programming that explores what it means to be a teacher, learner, and citizen in today’s world.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.

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