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Newsletter- March 2013

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About MCC - Accreditation/AQIP -  - Newsletter- March 2013

“Every single cell in the human body replaces itself over a period of seven years. That means there's not even the smallest part of you now that was part of you seven years ago.”    
― Steven Hall, The Raw Shark Texts*

In This Issue:
Multimedia Program Gives Students Practical, Real World Experience | Model of Improvement
Update on Action Projects

 
Multimedia Program Gives Students Practical, Real World Experience

This is the second in a series of articles to recognize the continuous improvement efforts of MCC’s faculty and staff.

(Pictured: Jessica Edington, Multimedia Faculty Member, helping a student pick colors for a project)

Image: Jessica Edington helps a student pick pleasing colors for a projectJessica Edington, MCC’s Faculty of the Year for 2013, “... is an instructor who truly cares for her students—pushing them to become the best that they can be,” notes Jaylene Evans, MCC Business & Applied Technologies Division Chair. “She stays abreast of the changes and technology that affect her program and is always on the cutting edge.”

Indeed, for Jessica, teaching the various disciplines—such as print, video, and web--within the multimedia field involves not only having students nurture their creativity and technical skills, but also experiencing what the working environment will be like once they graduate. For many projects, especially in the second year, students are grouped into design teams and must learn to work together to the satisfaction of not only their instructor, but also of a “client,” a real business venue  that Jessica often finds in the Fort Morgan and Brush areas.  Clients in the past have included Ackley Building Center, Brookelynn Graphix, Studio 909, and the wider-known Piton Foundation which sponsors Tax Help Colorado. Students are not only responsible for gathering information and producing a final product, but also for maintaining a business relationship with the client through constant updates, feedback, and a final critique.

In the second year of the Multimedia program, students go into real-world practice even further by participating in an internship with a local business. During this fully-immersive experience, students work with the business staff outside of normal school hours in their environment, completing projects and learning how to work efficiently with other staff and be accountable for their productivity.  At the end, students must log a minimum of 75 hours and write up a final report in order to receive a grade.

It is also during this time that they prepare a portfolio to present to a committee made up of local community members who are in the field. They are expected to give a professional presentation in an effort to “sell” themselves and their abilities to potential employers, for which they receive feedback and constructive criticism.

These components may at first seem daunting to students, but it is to prepare them to be employable upon finishing the program. The multimedia and design job market is something Jessica knows well, having worked in it for more than eight years. Her experience includes work as a portrait retouch artist at a photography studio, and as a web and graphic designer for Onward Studios, as well as freelance work in the web and graphic design fields.

For her innovative classroom practices and contributions to early student success Jessica deserves to be known as a champion of continuous improvement.
 
Model of Improvement

We all know we are an AQIP institution, and we hear the words “quality improvement” tossed around a lot here (that’s what the “Q” and “I” in AQIP stand for, after all), but whose idea of improvement are we referring to?   AQIP is based on the principles of high performance organizations.  The AQIP path to reaccreditation is a thoughtful integration of these principles into an academic structure.  Read more about this by clicking on the following link:

http://www.hlcommission.org/AQIP/principles.html

 
Update on Action Projects

AQIP CI Project #27:  Improving Part-time Faculty Training and Support  -- The purpose of this project is to determine the training and support needs for part time instructors.  This project becomes especially relevant when you consider that MCC has approximately 200 part time instructors in its employ, compared to about 30 full time faculty.  When course load, credit hours per course and number of students enrolled in each course are factored in, we find that approximately 60% of the teaching load is handled by part time instructors and 40% by full time faculty, so the better we train and support our part time instructors, the better off MCC’s students will be. 

To this end the Vice President of Instruction (Betty McKie) and the Division Chairs (Todd Schneider, Jaylene Evans and Kathy Frisbie) have been developing a survey to send out to part-time faculty to assess their training and support needs.  The survey period will end on March 22 and the results reviewed shortly thereafter.  Results from the survey will be used to improve the part-time instructor orientation that is held every semester.   This project should be complete the first part of April.

 

AP-34 Aligning Data Resources – The goal of this action project (AP) is to take an inventory of data needs relative to existing operational processes, analyze strengths and weaknesses of needs and resources, and recommend actions to correct any misalignments.  An inventory of known data sources was compiled by Derek Grubb, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, and a survey was developed to identify other data sources as well as common data needs of various employees.  The survey was launched in conjunction with a service improvement survey during the start of the Spring Term.  Results of the survey will be analyzed during the Spring term and recommendations will be discussed during the President Staff retreat this summer.

 

AP- 35 Measuring Quality Culture at MCC – Continuous (Quality) Improvement is “an ongoing effort to incrementally improve products, services or processes”.  Surveys have shown that quality improvement is well instilled in the culture of MCC.  However, we also know that we aren’t always the best at recording our efforts.   The goal of this project is to institute a process of measuring MCC employee participation in Quality Improvement Activities.

During this year’s employee evaluation process, we will be implementing a new tool to help us in this effort.  We are going to ask each employee to rank their own participation in quality improvement efforts over the past year using a 3 point rubric.  This tool will notbe used as an element of the evaluation itself but the evaluation process naturally elicits employees’ memories about their activities and achievements over the previous year, so it is a good time to ask.

Keep an eye out for more information or feel free to contact Derek Grubb, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, or Greg Thomas, AQIP Liaison, for more information regarding this or other AQIP Action Projects.

Click here to view any of these projects in more detail:

/about-mcc/accreditation-aqip/action-projects/action-projects-active/



A...QuIP of the Month:

An expert is a man who tells you a simple thing in a confused way in such a fashion as to make you think the confusion is your own fault.  ~William Castle

 

*As inspiriting as this quotation is, Mr. Hall apparently didn’t check his facts: http://askanaturalist.com/do-we-replace-our-cells-every-7-or-10-years/