Right on Track
Building on their solid record of achievement, the faculty and staff at Miami Dade College explored new facets of higher education in the daylong event “Strengthening Our Roots: Enhancing Quality, Opportunity and Success.”
Among the topics discussed were strategies for continuing to help students improve their writing skills both in the classroom and in preparation for their future jobs. To promote this shared mission, MDC’s Student Achievement Initiative (SAI) directors announced the launch of the “Do The Write Thing” campaign. This focus on writing forms the cornerstone of MDC’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is a vital component of its reaffirmation of accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Putting Students First
Motivating the hundreds of people gathering at Kendall Campus for the day, MDC Professor Ece Karayalcin said, “As a faculty member who has been involved with the development of the QEP for the past several months, I know that when we say ‘Students first!’ we mean it, just as we always have at MDC.”
For staff working directly with advising students about their college and professional aspirations, the writing mission was equally impressive.
“MDC has such an established and rich history, yet we never rest on our laurels,” said Naché Atkins, senior academic and career advisor at MDC’s Wolfson Campus. “Now ‘Do The Write Thing’ will make our graduates stand out among their peers at other institutions and in their careers.”
Following the morning’s keynote speeches were dozens of workshop sessions led by MDC professors, student services staff and national experts. Topics focused on wide-ranging ways to achieve MDC’s goal of increasing student completion and ensuring writing excellence in all disciplines. The subjects covered included efficient methods for tracking students’ academic progress along with innovative ideas for creating a culture of inquiry, encouraging the development of communities of learning and using social media for academic purposes.
Real-World Application of Theories
The academic conference ended with meta-major meetings, in which faculty and staff from different departments united under larger core disciplines to share ideas and best practices for putting theories into action in the classroom.
“I left the insightful workshops re-energized and motivated to implement new strategies and assessment techniques in the classroom,” said Professor Carol Krech.
Echoing her sentiments, as did scores of other faculty throughout the day, Dr. Guillermo Pérez said, “Just when you think you’ve been in the field long enough to have tried out every classroom technique and have an ongoing grasp of your favorite learning approaches, there comes a workshop series like this to further your reach and turn you in a new direction.”