Category Archives: Student Engagement

Reading Apprenticeship Conference at RTC – March 11 and 12

Reading ApprenticeshipRenton Technical College will host the second annual regional Reading Apprenticeship conference, Metacognition and Mindfulness: Academic Literacies for the 21st Century  on March 11 and 12, 2016.  This is a great opportunity to learn how your fellow community college faculty and staff are using RA across their campuses!

Interested in presenting?  Interested presenters are invited to submit a proposal for the March 12 concurrent sessions.  For more information or to submit a proposal, go HERE.

In the meantime, mark your calendars for March 11-12, 2016!  Many Pierce faculty attended this conference last year and found it to be a great experience.

Why Attend?

Reading Apprenticeship at WestEd is a research-based framework that helps community college faculty members support students to become motivated, strategic, and critical readers, thinkers, and writers.

Colleges implementing Reading Apprenticeship find that it can produce a dramatic, positive transformation of students’ engagement and achievement not only in literacy, but also in learning across all academic disciplines.

Goals for Conference Attendees:

  • Deepen your learning about how to engage students and colleagues in collaborative inquiry about their varied reading processes, fostering discipline-specific “metacognitive conversation” in classrooms and professional learning communities.
  • Deepen their understanding of Reading Apprenticeship as an instructional framework and improve their skills for implementing the framework in classrooms and in professional development with colleagues.
  • Learn how faculty across the disciplines make the complex, invisible processes they use as readers visible to students, helping them develop reading expertise in specific disciplines
  • Learn to help other faculty make changes in their classroom practice, building on students’ strengths as readers and learners, and providing students greater access to text for learning in the content areas. This will result in increased student engagement and efficacy in reading.
  • Network with your peers using Reading Apprenticeship.
  • Practice some of the routines that move students into metacognitive conversations.
  • Learn how to incorporate Reading Apprenticeship routines into lessons with disciplinary texts.



2016 Washington State CanvasCon – Dates Picked and Call for Proposals

WA Comic ConDates have been announced for the 2016 CanvasCon Washington State event!  The conference will be held on Thursday, March 24 through Friday, March 25, 2016 at Tacoma Community College.  The theme for this year’s conference is focused on accessibility and universal design.

If you are interested in presenting a session on accessibility and/or universal design, proposals are now being accepted.  Proposals will be accepted until December 24, 2015 with selected presenters being notified by  mid January.  To submit a session proposal, complete the form here.

Here is a useful site that gives information about CanvasCon

Need some ideas on accessibility or universal design?  Check out these websites:

Accessibility – Start here, and here,

Universal Design for Learning – Start here, and

Or consider joining Pierce College’s Faculty Learning Community (FLC) on Universal Design for Learning.  Learn more about Pierce’s FLC and upcoming meeting dates in this blog post.

For more information on the 2016 CanvasCon, check out the conference website here.

College 110 Instructor Training – New Dates!

Would you like to join the College Success experience at Pierce College?  College 110 is one of Pierce College’s many ways of committing to our students’ success.  The course emphasizes college success strategies, self-assessment, goal setting, career exploration, effective study habits, campus resources, and efficient use of online tools for learning, educational planning, and enrollment.

To learn even more about College 110, click here to watch a video.

If you are interested in or considering teaching College 110 and have not yet participated in a training session, here is your opportunity to get started!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Puyallup CTR 250

*** Open to Full-Time Faculty Only ***



Saturday, February 6, 2016

9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Fort Steilacoom TBD

Faculty who attend this professional development opportunity will explore the curriculum for College 110, examine effective pedagogical approaches used in the course, and have an opportunity to network with current College 110 instructors. Successful completion of the training enters you into the pool of eligible College 110 instructors.*

*Being in the COLLG 110 instructor pool does not guarantee you will be assigned to teach a section; section assignments are made by the coordinators of the Reading and College Success Department in consultation with the Dean of Transitional Education.

Participation in this training is SIP-able; talk to your Dean for more details.

Click here to register online!  There is a cap of 30 participants.

If you have questions about this training, please contact Amber Baillon (

PAVE the Way 2015: Advancing Equity, Access, Readiness and Support

Register by September 25 and SAVE!pave the way


Join colleagues on October 5 and 6, 2015 at the Tacoma Convention and Trade Center for PAVE the Way 2015 conference.  This two-day event will feature interactive group sessions and more than 40 breakouts focused on skill development, best practices, policy discussions, cross-sector alignment, community partnerships and much more.  Breakout session discussions will include:

  • Cross-sector alignment and collective impact
  • Diversity
  • Access and student readiness
  • Outreach and support
  • Policy
  • Serving non-traditional and at-risk students
  • Parent and family engagement
  • Culturally responsive teaching and learning
  • Using data and technology

Registration is $95, which includes lunch for both days.  There is no discount for partial attendance.  Register by this Friday, September 25 to receive this reduced rate.  Registrations received on or after September 26, 2015 will be increase to $125.

View the conference website for the most up-to-date information.

Registration & Payment
Peter Schmidt , Edmonds Community College Center for Learning, 425-640-1463

Keynote Announced for WA Campus Compact 2015 Faculty Institute

WA campus compact

Michael BenitezMichael Benitez has been announced as the keynote speaker for the 2015 Faculty Institute and Annual Networking Meeting which will be held on November 5 – 6, 2015 at Central Washington University.  Mr. Benitez is a leading national social justice educator, and activist-scholar with extensive experience in education and diversity issues.  His keynote presentation, titled “A Social Justice Understanding to Academe’s role in serving the public good: Who learns, who benefits, and why it matters to sustainable community cultivation and student learning” will examine existing frameworks and methodologies for a deeper understanding to cultivate sustainable and equitable practice in higher education.

In addition to Mr. Benitez, the 2015 Faculty Institute will feature a panel of faculty and students.  This two-day training will allow participants to choose from three available tracks of Diversity and Social Justice, Sustainability, and Economic Development-Social Entrepreneurship.  Opportunities to network with other faculty and administrators from across the State and a focus on student volunteerism as engagement strategies will also be featured.

Registration for the 2015 Faculty Institute is open to all interested faculty, staff, and students.  The cost of registration is $125 (member institution) faculty/staff and $75 for student. Overnight accommodations will be available at Central Washington University for a nominal fee.

To register or gain additional information on this opportunity check out the website here.

Data, Engagement & UDL – Main Topics of Faculty In-Service on Feb 21

CEAL is reminding everyone that Adjunct Faculty Day,  planned for Saturday, Feb 21 at Fort Steilacoom campus,  is fast approaching with a full day of professional development planned for faculty at Pierce College.

Registration for this event is open to all Pierce faculty, however only part-time/adjunct faculty are eligible for a stipend.

Follow this link to register

Session Information

Morning activities begin at 9:00 am with presentations and discussions centered around student engagement and student data at Pierce College. Pierce College Director of IR, Erik Gimness, Research Associate, Carly Haddon,  and Director of Educational Outcomes and Effectiveness, Allison Sieving will be on hand in morning sessions to facilitate discussions and activities that will specifically be looking at Student Engagement data and Course Completion data. They will also be demonstrating use of our new Tableau dashboards, tools designed to help faculty filter student data and identify opportunities for growth/improvement. Other topics include discussions around constructs of engagement, the relationship of engagement as a concept to our work as practitioners, and opportunities for inquiry and research.

Candyce Rennegarbe

Candyce Rennegarbe will present on UDL framework & strategies for student engagement and success.

In the afternoon, CEAL is excited to have Candyce Rennegarbe who will lead discussion and activities on the topic of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Universal Design for Learning is a proven framework that can be utilized across all programs and courses – even across institutions.  UDL is good teaching and happens both in the upfront design of courses and in the engaging opportunities of active learning classes.

Candyce will introduce the brain based UDL framework and provide examples, resources, and take-away strategies on UDL that have been successfully applied at a post secondary level to:  increase teaching effectiveness, improve student outcomes, and meet the needs of diverse learners.  Her goal is to make this an interactive afternoon where good teaching ideas are shared.

More About Candyce and Universal Design

For the past six years Candyce coordinated a campus wide UDL Project at Tacoma Community College where she worked with over 100 faculty members from all disciplines, as well as the Board of Trustees and Student Services. She recently retired from her TCC teaching position as a full time faculty member in the Transitional Studies Program teaching reading and English and Adult Basic Education.  Throughout her 18 years at TCC, she facilitated trainings in Washington state and nationally on UDL, learning disabilities, testing, brain based learning, and establishing a system for at risk learners to become more successful.

Check out these links to related UDL videos highlighting work Candyce was involved  in at TCC.

Title:  Christie Fierro    UDL and Communication Class

This five-minute video illustrates Ms. Fierro applying UDL strategies with her TCC Communication’s Class

Title:  Universal Design for Learning – TCC

This five-minute video features students from TCC’s UDL Project in Year 2 talking about their success with UDL





Campus Safety and Active Shooter Preparedness

The recent unfortunate tragedy at Seattle Pacific University serves as a stark reminder of the importance of safety on our college campuses.  When these instances of extreme violence occur, too often, we do not have answers to explain away the uncertainties surrounding these type of tragedies.  We do know however, that a sense of safety is a key indicator for student engagement, which in turn is linked to a student’s academic success.  In light of this, vigilance and awareness is crucial to promote safety on our college campuses.  Though there is no strategy that can guarantee the complete avoidance of these most extreme forms of violence, we as a campus community can ensure that we are aware of a common approach to handle these events and promote safety.

The following video links were provided by Chris MacKersie, Pierce College’s Director of Safety and Security, on the best manner in which to respond to an active shooter situation:

  • Shots Fired: A 20 minute video that provides critical guidance to increase survival chances in an active shooter situation.  You are required to put in a username (campus) and a password (safety) to access the video.  You can access the video here.
  • Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Event:  A 5 minute video that provides the basic concepts and application of the run, hide, or fight strategy that is being used for active shooter training nationwide.  You can access the video here.

Additionally, FEMA has a free online course that provides comprehensive training on how to respond to an active shooter situation.  You can access the FEMA IS-907 Active Shooter – What Can You Do course here.

Pierce College also has a number of tools available in the event of an emergency.  They include the following:

The Pierce College Emergency Notification System (PCENS): This is the primary tools used in the event of an emergency to communicate with both students and employees. By default only your college employee and student email addresses have been automatically loaded into the system. If you would like to receive emergency notifications through additional means, please log in and update your profile with your current personal contact information such as your personal email, text, mobile phone, and home phone.

Online Incident Reporting Form: Information that should be reported is anything that is witnessed, observed, or participated in that is cause for significant concern.

Examples include:

  •  All suspicious behaviors or actions as well as any criminal acts.
  • Knowledge of information or incidents that could cause harm to persons or property.
  • Knowledge of information or acts that could threaten College internal intelligence, information, reputation, as well as  violations of student code of conduct.
  • Report those exhibiting signs of high risk behaviors such as anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Expressions by others of feelings of depression, reduction of self-worth, and/or uselessness including suicidal symptoms.

Please keep in mind that this system does not replace emergency notification systems such as campus safety and 911. If you believe there is an imminent threat to persons or property contact 911 and then Campus Safety.  If you have any questions, please contact Campus Safety at (253) 964-6751 (Fort Steilacoom campus) and (253) 840-8481 (Puyallup campus).

Be the Connect for Your Student Veterans

veteran student watching film

“Veterans Day 2013” by COD Newsroom licensed as CC-BY

Want to learn more about supporting veteran students in your classroom?

On Monday, March 17 Timm Lovitt, Director of Veterans Programs at Green River Community College, will facilitate a conversation and share the results of his best practices research which was funded by the Veterans Training Support Center. Find attached a copy of a workshop flyer that includes an agenda.

Here is an agenda to give you an idea of the topics for the day.

Educational Attainment for All Diversity Conference in Yakima, WA

Attend the first annual Educational Attainment for All Diversity Conference, organized by the Washington Student Achievement Council.

  • What:  Educational Attainment for All Diversity Conference
  • When:  Wednesday, April 16.  8-5 PM
  • Where:  Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, WA
  • How to Register: conference is FREE!  Act fast, seats are limited. 

Click here to view the draft agenda.  Here’s a description from the conference website:

The conference will provide P-12 and postsecondary educators, counselors, outreach and support personnel, and leaders opportunities to engage with each other in understanding the latest demographic data and trends, sharing effective practices, and developing an ongoing P-20 network dedicated to improving educational opportunities for historically underserved groups.

Equity is a major component of Achieving the Dream.  According to their website, participating schools “commit to eliminating achievement gaps among student groups, including students of color and low income students while improving outcomes for all students…especially those who have traditionally faced the most significant barriers to achievement.”

TONIGHT! Common Book Panel: African American Males & Student Success

Common Intellectual Experiences, such a Pierce College’s “Common Book Program” have been identified as a high-impact practice for engaged learning.  The Common Book Program addresses broad themes from this year’s book, The Other Wes Moore, through a variety of curricular and co-curricular experiences for students and other Pierce College community members.  Check out tonight’s event!

Common Book Panel: African American Males & Student Success 

Wednesday February 12th, 5:30-7:00 PM at Pierce College Puyallup AAH Theatre

The Pierce 2014 Common Book, The Other Wes Moore, asks its readers

wes moore

to examine the individual and systemic factors impacting the life paths of our nation’s young people.

This panel takes on this charge looking specifically at the disparities in education and incarceration experienced by African American males. Distinguished Professor of Communications, Chair of the African American Studies Program, and Co-Chair of the Race and Pedagogy Initiative at the University of Puget Sound, Dr. Dexter Gordon, will facilitate an historical overview of race and education followed by a panel discussion highlighting ideas for solution and action.

This event is free and open to all – please encourage students, faculty, and community members to attend.  This panel should appeal to a wide range of students and faculty regardless of discipline.  If you are interested in reading the common book and especially if you’re thinking in using it in a future course, please let me know: we still have a few copies to give to instructors.