Innovation in Teaching Excellence

February 20, 2020
Faculty members involved in the Innovation Grant from the MAine Community College System for the "Teaching Excellence Program".

Some of the CMCC faculty members who are working on the “Teaching Excellence Program” are pictured here at a recent meeting. Left to right are Rachel King, Chris Thoma, Kathy McManus, and Diana Drown. Missing are Amanda Guy and Matt Grinder.

In an effort to foster excellence in teaching to improve student retention, CMCC has been awarded an Innovation Grant from the Maine Community College System (MCCS) to start the “Teaching Excellence Program.” The goal of the MCCS Innovation Fund is “to stimulate development of new, creative models for education delivery.”

Six full-time and adjunct faculty members have been selected to participate and have each been awarded a $2,500 mini-grant and some additional funding for project costs. They have made a year-long commitment to conduct individual research; attend workshops and other on-campus events; and participate in a “Facilitated Learning Community” focused on the book What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain. They will also attend the Higher Education Assessment Conference at New England College in May.

The faculty members have developed projects – focused on improving student learning and success by fostering excellence in teaching – that they are implementing in the classroom during the current spring semester. The faculty participants and their projects are:

• Diana Drown, Life Sciences Instructor — CliftonStrengths in the Classroom
• Matt Grinder, Adjunct Humanities Instructor—Microaggreassions in the College Classroom
• Amanda Guy, Adjunct Humanities Instructor– Differentiated Instruction
• Rachel King, Adjunct Humanities Instructor– Student Centered Learning
• Kathy McManus, Nursing Program Chair—Supplemental Instruction
• Chris Thoma, Adjunct Math Instructor —Project Based Learning

After the spring semester ends, each of the six instructors will gather results during the summer in order to assess and evaluate the findings. The six projects and results will be presented to the entire CMCC faculty and staff in August.