Open Access Textbooks and Course Materials

by Lisa Sheldon
February 29, 2016

There is a national crisis in the cost of textbooks at US colleges and Universities. The average cost of textbooks is about $1200 for a full-time student per semester and is a significant barrier for many students. In some cases they skip the book, find other “alternative” resources or go into debt to get the […]

Promoting Cultural Competency for a Diverse World

Each day that students spend on the GCC campus prepares them to meet the challenges of our changing world. As faculty, we impart knowledge and content to students, but at the same time we strive to develop critical thinking skills and communication skills that will enable students to navigate our increasingly complex society. One important […]

Veterans in the Classroom

by Lisa Sheldon
November 10, 2015
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Our orientation toward veterans in the classroom has changes in recent years. Efforts to ease the transition from military service to academic settings have been more proactive by taking into consideration their unique needs and pathways to success. Even with all the resources available, many of us can feel unsure about how best to meet […]

Making your classroom LGBTQ-friendly

by Lisa Sheldon
May 4, 2015

Bruce Jenner’s recent interview with Diane Sawyer has brought the issue of LGBTQ people around the country and world into the spotlight in a new way. Perhaps it has prompted you to think about how to create an atmosphere of trust, respect, tolerance and comfort for all students in your classes and the wider GCC […]

Great Student Expectations: A Guide for Faculty

by Lisa Sheldon
March 9, 2015
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Students come to courses with certain baseline expectations of faculty. Chief among these according to Blue Ridge Community College are: Providing opportunities to learn Acting with professionalism Grading fairly and returning work promptly Being accessible to students Communicating in a timely and professional manner At the community college level, we must also be respectful of […]

Embrace Civility in the Classroom

by Lisa Sheldon
February 18, 2015

Teaching is a demanding task. Challenges arise at every turn, which makes it an engaging and dynamic occupation. In addition to worrying about content and learning in our classrooms, we also need to be concerned with classroom dynamics and the erosion of civility. When it comes to promoting classroom etiquette and respect, instructors need to […]

In Praise of Encouragement

by Lisa Sheldon
December 10, 2014

There is a fundamental difference between praise and encouragement. This is a distinction to keep in mind as we wrap up the semester and provide students with feedback on their learning. We want our students to reflect on their learning in ways that move them toward their next goal—we need to do that, too. We […]

Working with Student Veterans: Moving toward Success!

by Lisa Sheldon
November 7, 2014

It is not just military service that sets student veterans apart from their classmates. According to a 2013 American Council on Education report, they are often the first members of their family to attend college and are often about a decade older than other students. They tend to study harder and are driven to succeed, […]

Mental Health Issues in College Students

by Lisa Sheldon
October 17, 2014

As professors and educational professionals, we are expected to be experts in our discipline, but may lack the skills and knowledge to help students who struggle with mental and emotional health issues. This is not a new concern, but studies show that the number of college students with both diagnosed and undiagnosed mental illness is […]

Identifying Students who are Struggling and Taking Action

by Lisa Sheldon
February 3, 2014
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In the first few weeks of the semester, we are often preoccupied learning student names, creating course materials and getting back into the swing of a busy teaching schedule. This is also a time to be on the lookout for students who might struggle in your course. Some of the early signs are: Falling asleep […]