Campus & Community

PBSC faculty exchange ideas to improve student success through Summer Institute

Summer Institute participants included 48 faculty members, adjuncts and full-time, as well as Title V and NSF-SATC grant teams.

The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) hosted its in-person component of the 2024 Summer Institute on Palm Beach State College’s Lake Worth campus May 8-10 at the Public Safety Training Center.

Faculty are now working on their individual deliverable projects and the program resumes with a closing virtual session on Friday, June 7 where faculty participants are expected to showcase their work and exchange ideas for best practices.

The largest cohort to-date of 48 faculty participants convened to explore active learning strategies, incorporating Artificial Intelligence tools into the curriculum, and employing high-impact culturally responsive practices to support the success of Hispanic and low-income college students.

The Summer Institute is an annual faculty development program, now in its fourth year, sponsored by PBSC’s Panther Strong Title V grant and the National Science Foundation STEM Articulation and Transfer Collaborative (SATC) grant. This program facilitates a dynamic opportunity for PBSC faculty—adjuncts and full-time from a variety of disciplines—to come together for a deep dive into curriculum and assessment re-design with a focus on improving student retention, engagement, and success.

A multi-disciplinary team of select PBSC expert faculty coaches guided workshops and assignment redesign activities. Faculty received frequent feedback from each facilitator, discussed innovative pedagogical practices, and gained insights from their peers along the way.

Professor Marc Davis shares out from his group discussion on a student assignment redesign activity.

“The Summer Institute provides an invaluable opportunity for faculty across disciplines to collaborate and enhance their courses. By redesigning curriculum and assessments intentionally focusing on culturally responsive pedagogy, active learning, and technology integration, we empower educators to develop engaging learning experiences that support student success, especially for our first-generation and low-income student populations,” said Dr. Emmanuel Alvarado, who serves as the faculty leader of the program.

After completing the Institute, participants are expected to apply and implement what they learned during the Fall 2024 and/or Spring 2025 terms.

The Summer Institute has served as a convergence point of efforts between the Panther Strong Title V and NSF-SATC grants, both focused on supporting the academic, professional, and personal success of PBSC’s Hispanic and low-income student population. Investing in faculty development is key for better supporting the unique challenges and obstacles these demographics face across all disciplines with a special focus on gateway courses. This grant partnership is built on the shared philosophy of utilizing resources effectively and efficiently to make a greater impact on the PBSC community through collaboration, coordination, and community.

“There are not many grant collaborations of this kind across higher education, many grant projects become siloed within their own unique objectives and deliverables at their home institutions. The SATC team is thankful for the opportunity to collectively focus resources and efforts alongside the Panther Strong Title V grant team to support a joint aim in the growth of our faculty to better support our developing at promise population at PBSC. We hope to serve as a testament to the power of collaboration among grant projects as together we can reach greater heights than we could ever hope to achieve by standing alone,” said Brandon White, program grant coordinator for the STEM Articulation and Transfer Collaborative.

Both grants provided financial support to the Summer Institute in the form of faculty success coaches, faculty participant stipends, and catered lunches for all participants.

Summer Institute 2023 participant Dr. Shivangi Prasad returned to share her assignment transformation project and discussed the positive impact it has had on students in the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters.

“I am so proud that the Summer Institute is being hosted for the 4th year in a row and that through collaboration with the NSF STEM Articulation grant we have expanded its reach to involve more faculty than ever,” said Lisa M. Walther, Title V grant program director. “Being among such a dedicated group of faculty members who take the work of improving teaching and learning at PBSC to heart is really rewarding. Through all Summer Institutes held at PBSC, we have involved over 145 faculty from across all PBSC campuses with good representation from various subjects. This type of faculty engagement translates into our goal of empowering student success by enhancing our teaching practices and approaches at scale, aligning with our grant objectives.”

The team organizing and leading the 2024 Summer Institute included Dr. Emmanuel Alvarado, Dr. Kalisha Waldon, Dr. Eliana Mukherjee, Professor Megan Tomei-Jameson, Dr. Lauren Chambers, Dr. Nelson Daniel, Professor Rachel McDermott, Hope Matuella, Aliah Rehana, Lisa Walther, Brandon White and Jada Brooks. Special guest speakers included former Summer Institute participants Dr. Shivangi Prasad and Dr. Abdullah Erdogan.

Learn more about PBSC’s Panther Strong Title V grant (Title V), the NSF STEM Articulation Grant (SATC) and The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE).

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