Tuesday, June 29, 2021
The Valencia College Learning Council met on Thursday, May 6 and Thursday, June 3, 2021. The primary goal for both meetings was to support the Institutional Planning team working on the Learning Plan by isolating strategies that will most powerfully advance learning, equity and our 2030 Strategic Impact Plan goals.
2030 Impact Plan and Equity Work
After a reflective exercise on non-equitable experiences in which all council members read Margaret J. Wheatley article “Willing to Be Disturbed,” and broke into small groups to discuss and journal about times they’ve experienced or observed when someone else at Valencia who was not treated equitably, members were encouraged to add those experiences to a survey that was sent to the group following the meeting.
The reflective exercise represented a more personal approach to capacity building for leading equity work, and the feedback shared ties into Valencia College’s 2030 Strategic Impact Plan, which will build upon the College’s foundation as a learning-centered college and use equity and opportunity as a lens through which the College will examine its success in all areas.
Learning Plan Team Update
The meeting continued with an update from the Leaning Plan team, which stressed that it’s the team’s responsibility to to identify the learning-based strategies associated with teaching and learning and learning support that will have the greatest impact on our students. For each of the main strategies under consideration, Learning Council members were asked to assist by describing ways the strategy advances or could advance equity.
Learning Council Strategies
During the June meeting, the council completed a planning exercise in which members were asked to review a list of strategies shared by members of the Valencia community during the ideation phase of the Institutional Planning process to identify the three that they feel are crucial to move forward. The three upvoted strategies included:
- Credit for prior learning;
- Career development in curriculum (such as including internships, connections with workforce and employers, job placement support and adding a career credential within the Associate in Arts pathway); and
- Mid-term feedback for faculty.
The council then broke into small groups to have an informal conversation on these top three strategies, including how members believe they could influence equitable Impact Plan goals during the next three years.
Tutoring Platform Recommendation
The Learning Support Work Team recommended and asked for feedback on using Brainfuse as the College’s online tutoring vendor for 24/7 tutoring and for essay submission after the College’s Smarthinking contract ends on Saturday, July 1, 2021. Next, the recommendation will be presented to the Instructional Affairs Committee and Faculty Council for feedback. The goal is to have Brainfuse available prior to the Fall 2021 term.
The next Learning Council will meet again on Thursday, July 1, 2021, from 2 – 5 p.m. via Zoom.