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  Project Abstract

 

California Community Colleges, organized into 71 districts and serving more than 1.4 million students, represent the largest system of higher education in the world. Adjunct instructors educate more than 40% of the systemís students.  An additional 5,000 new adjunct faculty are likely to be added in the next five years.  This dependence on adjunct faculty members makes it essential that they are prepared to create a positive learning environment and use effective teaching strategies from the start of their first class.

Nine Community Colleges (or districts) have formed a collaborative partnership to improve the quality of first time faculty teaching and involve new adjunct faculty quickly and more fully in their campus communities by providing a detailed online course in teaching, state education code issues, and college policies. The course will be available the moment a new faculty member is hired and will provide assistance and support as first lessons are planned.  This effort will translate into improved first impressions, enhanced teaching, higher retention rates, and greater student success.

The course and follow-up face-to-face workshops will employ the interactive, learner-centered techniques faculty need to use. It will also demonstrate the effective use of technology, thereby helping to reduce the "digital divide" among faculty members who understand the value of technology and those who do not. Issues will be addressed in the order faculty typically confront them.

Designed for use by several districts, all California Community Colleges can easily adapt the model as they face the same problems and state education code. Outside California, the web-based components can be used as models, saving other districts time and avoiding the need to "reinvent the wheel."