ESCC Earns “Excellence in Education” Honors From the 2017 VCCS New Horizons Conference
The New Horizons conference is the premier teaching and learning conference of the Virginia Community College System, annually attracting almost 1,000 Virginia college faculty, staff, and administrative leaders. The conference serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners of Virginia’s community colleges by enabling and supporting their professional development and interests in teaching, learning, and technology.
This year, all 23 community colleges in the VCCS competed for the Excellence in Education Award based on the theme of “best practices in student success”. Colleges gave presentations on their student success initiatives which had previously been highlighted when the Chancellor visited each college during his 2017 Listening Tour.
Eastern Shore Community College, the smallest college within the VCCS, chose to address the challenge of student access to credentialed faculty and declining enrollments by creating a schedule to meet student needs that would also help them to progress in their program of study.
Take 13 and Take 7 enabled ESCC to offer students the opportunity to earn 13 credit hours in one semester, during two 8 week sessions. The only requirement was that students would only need to attend class one day per week. For many Shore residents who need to work, commute long distances, and who are balancing family life as well, this scenario offered a manageable college life. Take 7 offered students who completed their financial aid application late the opportunity to start college during the middle of the fall semester rather than delaying to the spring.
Dr. Kimberly Britt, VP of Student Affairs developed these programs and shared that outcome data showed students in the Saturday classes completed at a significantly higher rate (65%), enrolled full-time with the college, and earned 13 credits. They outperformed other non-Take 13 students with respect to completion of coursework as well, and enrolled in more credits toward degree completion. While this is the first year working with the project, ESCC is extremely pleased with the success thus far.
Each college team was judged on its best practice by a team of VCCS peers and each institution was also required to give a 5 minute overview of their project to the attendees at a plenary session. Based upon the results of the judging, Eastern Shore Community College earned 2nd place overall ($3000.00) and the People’s Choice Award ($500.00). For the People’s Choice, all attendees could vote – just not for their own institution.
ESCC President Dr. Linda Thomas-Glover remarked “It is indeed an honor to be recognized by one’s peers and thus I am so very proud of ESCC’s faculty and staff and how we, “the little guy”, brought home the awards that we did. The competition was very tough and the initiatives that the other colleges highlighted were quite impressive. However, ESCC showed that great things can come in small packages and we were pleased with the level of support and recognition for our efforts to enhance student success for residents of the Shore”.
The VCCS presents Dr. Britt and Dr. Glover with 2nd place and People’s Choice checks for “Excellence in Education”.