The 54-hour Skilled Teacher Certificate course offers instruction in a wide range of teaching topics that conform to the goals of COC’s Equity Plan, including an emphasis on increasing retention, program completion, transfer, and graduation rates of diverse students. This course enhances faculty pedagogy in active learning strategies, student engagement, high-impact and other 21st century teaching techniques. In particular, one module directly examines the changing demographics of California community colleges, and seeks to address the needs of these students through introducing faculty to effective pedagogy that aligns with the college's equity goals.

The Skilled Teacher Certificate: A course-length Workshop comprised of 54 hours of instruction/equivalent to a 3-unit class.
Wednesdays: 3:30-4:50 pm Hasley Hall 206 and online at Canvas.

College of the Canyons’ Skilled Teacher Certificate program is a professional development opportunity for faculty to become familiar with current research on teaching and learning, learn new approaches and techniques to enhance student success, and practice these approaches and techniques in a learning community of fellow teachers.

A series of professional development workshops and a teaching portfolio project completed over the course of an academic year leading to a certificate of completion. The STC is comprised of:

  • 16 ninety minute onground workshops, which equal 24 hours of instruction. In addition to these onground hours, participants complete 16 hours of online classroom learning activities. Finally, participants complete a 14 hour teaching portfolio--a capstone project-- for a total of 54 hours.
  • Full-time faculty may request either 3 units towards salary advancement or Flex 54 hours of to earn the 3 units towards salary advancement, the certificate must be completed within 1 year.
  • Adjunct instructors receive a pay increase (the exact number is subject to current AFT contracts).
  • All workshops include a significant portion of time devoted to participants applying or working with the information presented in the STC workshops in their own classroom settings.

The onground module workshops will be held on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-4:50 in Hasley Hall 206 and online at Canvas.

Course Approach
The STC relies heavily on experiential learning. By participating in a series of learning opportunities and activities participants are prompted to examine their thoughts, opinions, and values. Learning occurs when participants reformulate their ideas and build new mental structures on old foundations. Although the course includes many fact, concepts, and theories, faculty are judged less on their ability to remember that content and more on their ability to produce evidence of the new learning that has occurred.

The STC is a hybrid class. As such, a combination of online and in-class activities are used to promote learning. Through reading, discussion, and interaction on both platforms participants develop and refine their personal teaching philosophies.

Online activities – the online portion of the class will require that faculty complete weekly online activities and projects as well as participate in online discussions. The culminating “capstone project,” the Teaching Portfolio will also contain an online portfolio process that culminates in a hardcopy portfolio product.

Due to the nature of experiential learning, giving every assignment a grade is neither necessary nor productive.  The “content” of the product will vary from student to student as will the length and, in some cases, even the nature of the work. Assignments are judged “complete” when there is evidence that they have been completed in good faith, on time, and based on a reasonable amount of effort.  Incomplete activities may, at the instructor’s discretion, be returned to the student for resubmission.

Onground learning activities/assignments must be completed by the assigned deadline.
Any participant who misses more than three workshops and who does not complete the assigned make-up assignments by the deadline for doing so, will not be eligible for the STC.

Online learning activities/assignments must be completed by the assigned deadline.
Any participant who misses more than three deadlines, and who doesn't complete the assigned make-up assignments by the deadline for doing so, will not be eligible for the STC.  Online work will be evaluated to assure assignment directions are satisfactorily addressed. Any participant who receives three "unsatisfactory" grades will be ineligible for the STC.

Since the course is highly based on experiential learning, attendance is extremely important; you cannot learn if you are not present. The interdependence within the group also places a premium on attendance. If you do not attend, you will have detracted from the learning of the others in the group.

Consequently, perfect attendance is expected. Nevertheless, emergencies and illness do undermine our best intentions and three missed workshops will not affect your success in the class. Missed workshops, however, will result in compensatory work being required. After three misses you will be dropped from the STC even if you have completed the make-up work.

Assignments should be submitted on time.  Submitting assignments late undermines one’s ability to participate and to profit from experiential learning. And all work must eventually be submitted in order to receive credit for the course. If a time extension is needed, consult with the instructor as much in advance as is possible.

All homework and or products created by you during this semester should be archived in a digital folder. You will need to access such material as you complete the Portfolio. Due to the multi-faculty involvement in leading workshops, homework turned in to faculty presenters of workshops may not be returned to you. Make copies of such work for your own records.

IMPORTANT: If a participant misses an onground meeting, he or she must contact the presenter of the workshops missed and inquire about a make-up assignment. This contact should be made within a few hours of the missed workshop, if not prior to the workshop. If a participant misses an online deadline, her or she must contact the online coordinator (Mehgen Andrade) and ask for directions on how to proceed with a makeup activity.

Class Website
The STC will utilize a Canvas virtual classroom. This means that some of our “class time” will be spent online. Approximately one-half of the class will be completed through the completion of online assignments and discussion. Some of those assignments will stand alone and will not be discussed or reviewed in class. Others will overlap with work done during our face-to-face sessions.

The Canvas website will become available during the first onground workshop, which you will find at: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. If you are not familiar with Canvas you may wish to complete the tutorial at COC’s Distance Learning page. The tutorial will explain “how” to login to our class website and some of the key website features. The link to that page is: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

You will find login instructions at that site as well. It is recommended that you change your password after your initial log into the system. 

Experiential Learning, Group Dynamics, & Classroom Decorum
Your learning and your experience in the class will be affected by your conduct as a member of the group and by group dynamics. Conversely, your conduct will also affect whether other participants have a positive and productive learning experience. In particular, the group, and the individuals within it, will experience greater success and more learning if we all exhibit and embrace values and behaviors that facilitate positive group dynamics. These include, but are not restricted to, the following:
•    A commitment to the group, which begins with a commitment to attendance
•    Respect for time
•    Respect for each other
•    Confidentiality

Module and Workshop Topics
Skilled Teacher Certificate, 2017-2018 Schedule
Please note that all sessions are held on Wednesdays, from 3:30-4:50 PM, in Hasley Hall, room 206.  
Online Facilitation: Mehgen Andrade. Throughout the year, Mehgen Andrade will design and guide online learning activities in coordination with the onground workshop presenters. Module presenters will participate in online activities as well.
Module 1: Orientation/Community College Teaching for the Twenty-First Century
Presenters: Mary Petersen, Brent Riffel, and Ron Dreiling
9/14/17: This workshop
•    Reviews key components of the STC, including syllabus content as well as a demonstration of the Canvas classroom.
•    Introduces participants to the CETL coordinators and some if not all of the STC workshop presenters.
•    Initiates community building activities among participants.
•    Shares previous STC completers’ sample capstone project—the Portfolio.
•    Clarifies assignment to be completed prior to Workshop 2.
9/20/17: California Community Colleges serve more students than the UCs and CSUs combined. At the same time, they face significant challenges in reducing equity gaps and increasing the number of students who transfer or achieve associates degrees. This module explores the history of the American two year college. It also examines the role of the community college in educating California’s workforce, the challenges it faces, and the strategies it is undertaking to help students realize their potential and ensure California’s future success.
Module 2: Theory and Research on Learning 
Presenter: Deanna Davis
9/27/17 AND 10/4/17: This module focuses on using cognitive science and educational research to improve our teaching techniques, our classroom environments, and our students’ chances for present and future academic success.  This module emphasizes the importance of facilitating deeper learning in our students, and it presents practical ideas for ways to do so within our classrooms.
Module 3: Active and Collaborative Learning
Presenter: Adam Kempler
10/11/17 AND 10/18/17: These two workshops focus on the basic concepts and issues that comprise a solid foundation for the understanding of collaborative and active learning, including an analysis of research supporting it, elements of effective active and collaborative learning, and various types of active and collaborative learning techniques.  Participants will have an opportunity to engage in active and collaborative learning and consider the extent to which they engage their students in active and collaborative learning.
Module 4: High Impact Practices (HIPs): Connecting Students with Learning
Presenter: Alexa Dimakos
10/25/17: This workshop will provide an overview High-Impact Practices (HIP) and data that supports the benefits of these practices. Then, participants will engage in an activity and discussion regarding HIPs on COC’s campus. Furthermore, Andrew Jones-Cathcart, our guest speaker, will discuss ways in which the OEI (Online Education Initiative) project relates to student success and HIPs.
AND 11/1/17: This workshop will provide an overview of the High-Impact Practice (HIP) of “First-Year Seminars and Experiences,” data that supports the benefits of First-Year Seminars and Experiences, and some examples related to COC’s First-Year Promise program. Also, Patty Robinson,  will discuss the significance of the HIP "Community-Based Learning” and its positive impact on the students’ academic experience.
Module 5: Teaching with Technology
Presenter: Brian Weston
11/8/17 AND 11/15/17: The two workshops explore what technology means in the classroom and how we are able to implement technology that enhances learning, rather than hinder. Participants will be able to identify technologies that benefit learning, examine cause and effect relationship between advancing technology, identify disruptive technology changes in education, and locate OER material for the classroom.
Module 6: Best Practices of Assessment
Presenter: Deanna Davis
2/21/18 AND 2/28/18: Module 6, Best Practices of Assessment, provides knowledge about assessment methods that can make you a more skillful teacher.  This knowledge includes the different types of assessment and the importance of aligning assessment with outcomes and objectives.  Other topics include ways to assess higher-order thinking, methods for providing effective feedback, and the pros and cons of extra credit.
Module 7: Effective Classroom Management Skills and Classroom Materials
Presenter: Tricia George
3/7/18 AND 3/14/18: Module 7 provides a space to explore various ways to create an environment in the classroom which you think will best facilitate learning in your field.  Variables we will consider are the environment of the classroom (furniture arrangements, lighting, sounds, and general ambiance), different teaching personas to consider, and various teaching styles you can employ to best facilitate specific situations.  Other topics include recognizing and reacting to possible disruptions in the classroom environment and considering the new generation that is entering the college classroom.
Module 8: Best Practices: A Teaching Toolbox/Portfolio Overview
Presenters: Karyl Kacinski, Ron Dreiling, and Brent Riffel
3/21/18 AND 3/28/18: These workshops provide faculty with a further overview of active learning techniques, focusing on motivating student engagement. Also, the Capstone Project for the Skilled Teacher Certificate, the Teaching Portfolio, which comprises 14 hours of the total 54 hours of course instruction, is explained and assigned. Regarding the first workshop of this moduel, this discription:The objective of this module is to consider some best practices for teaching face to face.  The content is organized by chronology:  practices that aid us when starting the semester, practices that aid us during the semester, and practices that aid us at the close of a semester.  Participants will come away with several ideas that facilitate learning, encourage classroom community and help us assess our own pedagogical work.
Module 9: 100% online Capstone Project: Teaching Portfolio (14 hours)
Moderators: Brent Riffel and Ron Dreiling
3/29/18-5/11/18: This module takes place at Canvas where participants complete multiple learning activities, including discussion board assignments, that guide them toward fulfilling the Teaching Portfolio, which is the culminating activity for the STC and that allows for reflection over the past year's training and a focus upon which concepts and ideas have impacted individual participants the most and why. It functions not only as a "capstone" to the entire STC program, but a transition that results in an infusion of new teaching strategies that participants will apply in the upcoming semesters.
Skilled Teacher Certificate Portfolio Directions

Each STC hardcopy portfolio will contain the following “Pieces”:
Four Reflective Writings and the Teaching Philosophy.

These five documents comprise the mandatory components of the portfolio and are what you share with others STC participants via our Canvas discussion board. You will include hardcopy versions in your portfolio of the digital versions used online.
Questions/Directions for the Four Reflective Writings: [Remember, you will post your Reflective Writings at the class-wide Canvas discussions. More complete posting directions are provided at Canvas discussions.]
1.    Throughout the eight modules of the Skilled Teacher Certificate, various problems or questions concerning the most effective ways to improve student engagement and learning were introduced and discussed.  In a 500-word document, reflect on the ways that these modules increased your understanding of the challenges concerning student engagement and learning faced by community college instructors.
2.    Throughout the eight modules of the Skilled Teacher Certificate, you were introduced to various teaching approaches and techniques, some of which were probably new to you.  In a 500-word document, reflect on the approaches and techniques that were new to you and explain to what extent you have incorporated them into your current teaching practices.
3.    In a 500-word document, reflect on which of the eight modules had the greatest influence on your current teaching philosophy and methods, and why.
4.    A major purpose of the Skilled Teacher Certificate is to provide exposure to educational theory and research that might inspire new solutions to typical problems or challenges you face in the classroom.  In a 500-word document, reflect on the educational theory and research you heard about during the Skilled Teacher Certificate that was most relevant to your discipline and your classroom environment, and explain how it might affect your future teaching.