October 25, 2010

PCCC Writing Initiative Presenting at TYCA Conference

The Writing Initiative team and WI faculty fellows will have a major presence at the Two Year College Association (TYCA) Northeast regional conference next month. Five members of the PCCC community will be giving presentations.

"Capitol Improvements: The Two-Year College as an Agency of Change" will be held November 4-6, 2010 in Washington, DC. TYCA's regional conferences foster the intellectual and pedagogical growth of English teachers and administrators in the two-year colleges throughout the region.

On Friday, a session on "Writing Connection: Bridging the Gap between High School and College" will be done by Alexandra Della Fera, Elizabeth Nesius, and Ken Ronkowitz.  This presentation is on our Connections program to work with area high school teachers across disciplines to create varied opportunities in writing-to-learn rather than the traditional learning-to-write approach that might apply only to the English classroom.

One of three presentations on Saturday from PCCC is "Collaborative Assessment: Working Together toward Institutional Change" by Elizabeth Nesius and Kelly Bender. Their looks at methods of collaboration for course-and program-level assessment and data-sharing to help both faculty and program administrators. Instructors can improve the WAC elements of their courses without sacrificing content, while still furthering the program mission of helping students to write well and think critically in any discipline. Writing program administrators, on the other hand, can improve both the writing program implementation and the training of its faculty to teach WAC courses. Students will benefit by experiencing WAC courses that are clearly defined, engaging, and optimized for their learning.

Ken Ronkowitz will present a workshop on "Adopting Open Textbooks." Open textbooks are openly-licensed textbooks offered free online by authors. The open license sets them apart from traditional textbooks by allowing users to read online, download, and print. They are also editable so instructors can customize content, cross-platform compatible and work with adaptive technology. This session looks at the how to identify, evaluate, and adopt Open Textbooks, and training opportunities for those wanting to adopt open resources, do peer reviews or open their own writing. Ken is an Advocate/Trainer for NJ as part of the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER).

Also on Saturday, Christine Redman-Waldeyer will present on "Public Writing: Linking Journalism, the College Newspaper, and Composition." Teaching journalism is always challenging but more so in a community college setting where students may not be prepared to write academically. It is one opportunity to prepare our students how to research and because students’ work is often “public” because it is tied to the college newspaper it helps students understand accountability, teaches them the need to consider what is libelous, to consider expert opinion, and the need to observe without bias.

TYCA (Two-Year College Association) is an organization under the umbrella of the NCTE (National Council of the Teachers of English) specifically designed for two-year college English teachers. Within National TYCA, there are seven regional TYCA organizations. Each works to foster the intellectual and pedagogical growth of English teachers and administrators in the two-year colleges throughout the northeast region. Our specific goals include conducting our annual conference in the fall and publishing a newsletter, which features members' articles, fiction, and poetry.

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