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College News

CLC faculty excel at effective teaching for student success

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Jun 29, 2020

A large cohort of nearly 60 College of Lake County (CLC) faculty recently earned a nationally recognized teaching credential through the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). These course-takers have demonstrated their commitment to teaching excellence and to ensuring our students receive the best education possible by completing ACUE’s rigorous course in Effective Teaching Practices, which required them to implement evidence-based teaching practices in their classes. These teaching practices are proven to help students learn more, stay engaged and graduate in higher numbers.  

Faculty had such an unexpectedly overwhelming response when the ACUE opportunity was made available last year, the college started with more than double the number planned and has invited another cohort to enroll this fall.

“It is clear the faculty at CLC have a passion for their students,” said ACUE director of academic programs Carmen Macharaschwili. “I could tell by the energy of the faculty who had committed to the course that they were there to learn how to help their students be successful and they were eager to learn how to do so effectively.”

This year-long curriculum for post-secondary educators focuses on how pedagogy, or teaching methods, impacts student success. After earning their Certificate in Effective College Instruction, these faculty members across departments and disciplines will continue to transform student experiences in the classroom.

Instructor Warren Thomas with CLC student Da‘jah Smith: “Warren Thomas tutored me in every subject for my GED, and a lot of times, I didn’t see what Warren saw in me. I wouldn’t be here without him.”Pictured: Instructor Warren Thomas with CLC student Da‘jah Smith: “Warren Thomas tutored me in every subject for my GED, and a lot of times, I didn’t see what Warren saw in me. I wouldn’t be here without him.”

“This class helped me remove quite a bit of barriers from the students I teach,” said Warren Thomas, an adjunct professor and student success coordinator for adult education. “I learned how to use new techniques and hone a few I was already using to better connect with students, increasing dedication to their own education.”

Another adjunct faculty member in the business and social sciences division, Gina Swain said, “Being able to learn a teaching strategy, new tool to use with students or twist on an existing methodology and then try them out immediately in the classroom that same week was the most beneficial part of the program. My classroom experience changed with renewed enthusiasm from me as an instructor and stronger engagement from my students.”

Faculty member Natalia Casper said, “I have been a full-time instructor in the math department at CLC for 22 years and still found the class very enlightening. It is my job to continue practicing the skills I learned in this ACUE class so that student success will naturally improve.”

This program is supported by CLC’s Teaching, Learning, and Educational Technology Center and contributes to the college's goal to empower faculty to intentionally design learning experiences for students that engage and prepare them for their next opportunity.

“The college knows effective teaching practices make a difference for student success,” said Page Wolf, CLC Faculty Development Chair. “Our faculty are experts in their disciplines but often may not have been educated about why you teach a certain way and the impact it has.”

Macharaschwili added, “I am thrilled to be working with the college again this year, as CLC exemplifies the ACUE mission of student success through effective teaching practice.”

About College of Lake County:

The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.