As Jefferson College began our self-study for NACEP accreditation, two areas of focus for improvement were the manner in which we were training new concurrent enrollment instructors (Standard F2) and providing ongoing professional development (Standard F3). We realized that we needed to improve the existing approaches by engaging our faculty liaisons to increase the consistency of these areas.
For new instructor orientation, our Math department built training around a department handbook for all adjunct and full-time faculty. Since embarking on the NACEP process, additional handbooks have been developed by the English and History departments and others are under discussion. In addition to the discipline-specific training, Jefferson College implemented a new process for syllabi review to ensure liaisons document their feedback from syllabi evaluations and instructor follow-through on recommended changes. Beyond the discipline-specific training, concurrent enrollment instructors attend a JC 101: Foundations for Adjunct Instruction Outcomes workshop which covers a wide spectrum of knowledge for teaching a Jefferson College course.
Balancing the time constraints of the high school concurrent enrollment instructors with the need for annual discipline-specific professional development led us to redesign the timing of our spring professional development. Our August Adjunct Professional Development Seminar that concurrent enrollment instructors attend occurs during the day. For the spring meeting we chose a time convenient for high school instructors to attend; the late afternoon/evening of our full-time faculty spring professional development day. Choosing this time also made attendance more convenient for our faculty liaisons, who were already devoting the day to professional development.
Topics chosen by our liaisons for last year's workshop included:
- English – Grade Norming
- Science – Using Technology in the Biology Classroom
- History – Nazi Propaganda
- Math – Polynomial Application Resources and Logarithmic Application Resources
Food and refreshments were provided since the workshop continued until dinner time, and the concurrent enrollment instructors were coming straight from school. Our faculty liaisons posted all the content on Blackboard sites for the instructors to access. Members who did not attend were required to participate in an online discussion in Blackboard. Each faculty liaison was responsible for tracking participation in Blackboard to ensure all instructors participated in person or online.
What advice do you have for others considering applying for accreditation?
Communicate and collaborate with all stakeholders, especially high school partners, early and throughout the entire process. Because the self-study process may identify areas of weakness that will need to be addressed, all participants need to understand the NACEP standards and adhere to the timeline to achieve them.