Professional development events during the 2014-2015 Academic Year

It is never to early to be thinking about how you will grow and learn this academic year. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in the start of classes that we forget to make plans to attend on campus events or submit proposals and attend conferences in the region. Here is a handy list of excellent professional development events for you to mark on your calendar. Money is often available to help defray costs of travel and registration. These events are also on the Teaching and Learning schedule.

PD on and Off campus 2014-2015

Using Real Time LMI in Decision Making Across the College – a workshop for administrators, research & career staff

Using Real Time LMI in Decision Making Across the College – a workshop for administrators, research & career staff
Register online today!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014. 8:30 AM – 3:45 PM


Mt. Wachusett Community College, Gardner Campus

444 Green Street, Gardner MA



WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Community College Administrators; Institutional Research; Academic Planning; Project Managers; Advising staff; Career Counseling and Development and anyone interested in learning more about this powerful data.


WHY: Facilitated by Jobs for the Future staff, this all day, in-depth training will focus on the value of real time labor market information (RT LMI), through tools like Help Wanted Online, and explore ways to leverage this data to impact college services.  JFF has helped to launch and integrate this tool at community colleges.  Their in-depth, hands-on training session will help make the most of this powerful data. This workshop will have personalized, hands-on working sessions. Bring your laptop and username/password for your college’s HWOL account. Join us for this valuable training. Space is limited and registration is required.  Reserve your space online today!



8.30am – 9.15am  Breakfast & Registration

9.15am – 9.30am Welcome

9.30am – 9:45am LMI – How can it be used for better decision-making?  Mary Wright, Program Director, Jobs for the Future

9:45am – 10:45am LMI – What are the tools and how to best apply them. Jeremy Kelley, Senior Project Manager, Jobs for the Future

11.00am -12.00pm Practical Applications & Lessons Learned from the Front-Lines of Real-Time LMI

•         Michael Bettersworth, Associate Vice Chancellor

•         Isabel Weeden, Risk Analyst

•         Texas State Technical College System

•         Edgar Padilla, Director of Career Services, Texas State Technical College Waco

12.00pm -12.30pm Lunch

12.30pm -1.00pm Why is LMI Important? – Putting theory into practice – from the Bay State.  Beth Ashman, Workforce Research Specialist, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education


1.30pm – 2.30pm  Choosing a focus – Attendees will choose one of the following and use HWOL to address the topic.

•         Program Selection

•         Curriculum Alignment

•         Employer Engagement

•         Student Counseling

2.30pm – 3.30pm Creating a strategy – Colleges will meet together to outline a plan to address their needs

3.30pm – 3.45pm Next steps

3:45pm Adjourn – JFF staff will be available after the session to answer any additional questions

5th Annual New England Conference for Student Success at UMass

Teaching for Student Success

The demand for technological competencies is expanding in higher education. From blended and fully on-line classes, to flipped classes, MOOCs and SPOCs, instructors have a variety of options to consider. As the impact of technology increases, however, it also invites us to reconsider past and current practices.
How do we know what really works to enhance student learning while maximizing accessibility and affordability in higher education? Which technologies are demonstrated to be effective? Are recently identified “high impact practices” consistent with technology-based course designs? How should our student affairs and student services programs respond to the evolving needs of today’s students? Since student learning is our goal, what kinds of assessments reveal where and how that learning takes place, both in the classroom and out of the classroom?

Technology also comes in many forms—from cutting-edge learning analytics platforms to face-to-face discussion. The multi-modal nature of technology invites us to investigate the underlying reasons for the instructional decisions that we make in and beyond the classroom. Are there particular strategies and approaches that work nearly universally? Should anyone only “stand and deliver?” What are some of the supplemental programs and services that enable students to get the most benefit from what goes on in a course, and, in particular in the classroom? Is advising also a teaching process that could be informed by effective instruction techniques? Should we be trying to ensure that best practices are used in all courses and in all instructional formats? Inherent in the answers to these, and similar questions, is the likelihood that some approaches are more valuable for some students than for others.

To encourage exploration of the diverse answers to these questions, this conference will provide opportunities for participants to learn about and share various strategies in teaching and learning that appear to have the most positive impact on student learning.  Participants – tenured professors, contingent faculty, and student affairs staff alike – will discuss how we can encourage and support each other to learn about different strategies, to focus on student learning, to experiment with different course designs and to adopt and retain best practices.

8:00 – 9:00 am Registration and Continental Breakfast, UMass Amherst Campus Center Concourse
9:00 – 9:45 am Welcome
10:00 – 11:15 am Invited Addresses and Concurrent Sessions, Campus Center Lower Level and 9th Floor
11:30 – 12:45 pm Keynote Address, Campus Center Auditorium
Dr. Mary Deane Sorcinelli
12:45 – 1:30 pm Lunch, Campus Center Auditorium
Dessert will be available on the Campus Center Concourse
1:45 – 3:00 pm Invited Addresses and Concurrent Sessions, Campus Center Lower Level and 9th Floor
3:15 – 3:45 pm Conference Wrap-up, Campus Center Auditorium
3:45 – 4:30 pm Wine and Cheese Social, Campus Center Concourse, Lower Level
Come follow up with presenters, and catch up with colleagues

*Schedule is preliminary and subject to change. 

Keynote Speaker

Mary Deane Sorcinelli is a well-known researcher in the areas of academic careers, faculty professional development, and higher education teaching and learning. She has written more than 100 articles, book chapters, and books in a wide range of sources. At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she founded the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development (CTFD). The Center supports the professional development of UMass faculty across all career stages and disciplines with a wide range of programs and resources focused on teaching, mentoring, scholarly writing, career advancement, and work/life balance.  Under her direction, the CTFD has promoted instructional and faculty development innovations that have been recognized with a range of national awards and externally funded grants.

In 2013, Sorcinelli was named the inaugural Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Mount Holyoke’s Weissman Center for Leadership. She was honored with the University of Massachusetts’ 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from Massachusetts/ACE Network of Women Leaders in Higher Education.  In 2006, she was awarded the Bob Pierleoni Spirit of POD (Professional and Organizational Development) Award for outstanding lifetime achievement and leadership in the enhancement of teaching and learning.  She also served as president and executive board member of the POD Network (2000–2004) and as senior scholar to the American Association for Higher Education.

Sorcinelli has provided faculty development teaching and consultations in international settings that include Canada, China, Egypt, England, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan.

She holds a B.A. in English from Westfield State University, an M.A. in English from Mount Holyoke College and an ED.D in Educational Policy from UMass Amherst.

Call for Proposals: 2014 New England Conference for Student Success “Teaching for Student Success”

2014 New England Conference for Student Success
“Teaching for Student Success”

Call for Proposals

The University of Massachusetts Amherst will host the fifth annual New England Conference for Student Success on Friday, September 19, 2014. The program committee invites instructors, student affairs staff, practitioners and scholars to submit proposals for conference sessions. All submissions should emphasize promising practices or programs aimed at fostering student success.

This year’s theme, “Teaching for Student Success,” focuses on best practices in teaching and learning. All presentations should be aimed at demonstrating a practice that facilitates learning, regardless of the amount or kind of technology it uses. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that highlight a developing practice or a “tried and true” approach to teaching and learning that they are utilizing in their work. Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate cooperative efforts between course instruction and supplemental services. Below are examples of the kinds of topics that are of particular interest to the conference.

Visit the conference website for more information about proposal submission.

Got a teaching tip to share? We want ‘em!

With all the talented teachers and staff at GCC, we know there is wealth of information and best practices to share. From policies to assignments, building rapport and creating classroom communities…we want to hear about what works and how you make your class and interactions with students stronger. Please share your expertise!
Every tip, trick or idea you share will be an entry into the T & L site raffle for the month of March. We will be giving away practical and much sought after prizes like vouchers for the café and gift cards for the bookstore every week. Don’t miss out!

Use the form provided at the T & L site or at this link Keep your entry to 150 words or less. We’ll post the entries on the site according to category along with your name and department—you’ll be famous before you know it!

There are other ways besides our contest to share your expertise. Consider presenting at a conference. Last month’s T & L post dealt with how to write a conference proposal and tips for getting it accepted (you can access this post from the left hand menu or using the search tool at the site). Attending a conference and bringing back new ideas and fresh perspectives to share with your colleagues and our students is valuable to the GCC community. Plus, there is professional development money available to help cover costs–just contact Judi Greene-Corvee for more information.

Writing a Conference Proposal…and getting it accepted!

Faculty and staff sometimes do not realize that what they do in their classrooms, advising sessions and programming is unique and worth sharing on a larger stage. Think about how you have developed your craft—it is likely that many of the skills and strategies you employ have been workshop topics at conferences. Presenting and conducting a workshop is an opportunity for you to share your ideas and help others learn new techniques and perspectives on education.

All conferences have a general theme but often accept workshop and presentation topics that are tangentially related. This opens the door for you to present on a variety of topics, but keep in mind that linking your topic to the theme in a concrete way may increase the likelihood of proposal acceptance. Look at previous conferences to see if the topic has been covered in recent years—reviewers often want to see new and innovative ideas.

If you are new to conferences, start here with a basic introduction to writing your proposal.Submitting a conference proposal from Julie Shaw.

Once you have a topic in mind, the conference proposal writing is the next step.

Some things to keep in mind with when writing your proposal

There are many formats for conference sessions—workshops, formal presentations, teaching tips, posters. The length and type of information required in your proposal can vary, too. Each conference proposal process is unique, so read the guidelines carefully. Make sure you are providing the information requested and have included all the relevant details that will make your proposal a success.

Consider teaming up with a colleague for your proposal and potential presentation. Sharing the workload and doubling the ideas can be a smart approach especially if you are new to conferences.  Even if you go it alone, have a second reader for clarity, understanding and proof reading.

Three upcoming conferences to consider:

Check with Judi Greene-Corvee to see if professional development money is available to help cover conference costs which can include registration, materials and travel.

Professional development newsletters

Read the latest newsletters here:

GCC Professional Development

Mass Women in Public Higher Education