NCTC faculty participate in leadership conference

Jane England | Oct 7, 2019

On September 27-28, 2019, NCTC Faculty members Pat Ledbetter, Jane England, Brittany Hancock. Adam Ramsey, Inge Saenz, and Amber Washington attended the 39th Texas Community College Teachers Association (TCCTA) Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas. Each fall, faculty leaders from across the state are invited to attend the Leadership Conference which provides community college educators with the latest information regarding legislative issues, legal trends, pedagogy, classroom content and student success initiatives.

The 2019 pre-conference activities included the Legislative Committee meeting attended by Pat Ledbetter and the Professional Development Committee meeting attended by Adam Ramsey. Additionally, there was a special Adobe training session for Faculty Fellows. The TCCTA fellowship program is in its second year and is designed for faculty who are just beginning their careers and have been full time teachers for no more than five years. NCTC’s Faculty Fellows for 2019-2020 are Brittany Hancock, Inge Saenz, and Amber Washington, all of whom attended the conference for the first time.

Amber Washington was inspired by the introductory session and commented, “Call me a nerd, but I love learning new things. I went in with eyes wide open, and was surprised of all the support and members there were. I loved the Adobe class, not just because my team won, but because I really like learning new technology. I feel like this generation is a technology generation, so any way I can connect, and help them understand, I am in.”

The conference officially opened on Friday with a session on SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) Reaffirmation of Accreditation Processes by Linda Thomas-Glover, Vice President of SACSCOC, followed by a discussion of Dual Credit by Greg Morris, Vice President of Academic Affairs, El Centro College and concluded with a dinner time Legislative Update by TCCTA Lobbyist, Beaman Floyd.

On Saturday morning, NCTC Campus Representatives Jane England and Pat Ledbetter participated in a breakfast workshop highlighting campus representative resources and member discounts provided by AMBDA (The Association Member Benefits Advisors). 

The Saturday program began with an examination of Guided Pathways by Terry Di Paolo, Executive Director of Academic Affairs, Dallas County Community College District and Shaun Gilligan, Professor of Government, Cedar Valley College. The second session was an Industry Professional Panel in which Donna Beecroft, Chief Nursing Officer for Ascension Seton Medical Center, Mike Meroney, Founder of Meroney Public Affairs and Richard Moore, Director of TCCTA discussed strategies for integrating CORE courses with certificate programs. Brittany Hancock found the discussion “helpful” because it emphasized “how important CORE/Gen Ed courses are to becoming a well-rounded employee and adult.”

NCTC Government Professor and TCCTA Professional Development Committee member Adam Ramsey found that “the TCCTA Leaders Conference proved again to be an invaluable experience. The opportunity to network and share ideas with colleagues across the state can never be understated.  Yet the Leaders Conference especially excels in identifying and addressing the major challenges in the present and future community college landscape from a variety of perspectives in and out of academia.  It undoubtedly serves to improve my abilities as an instructor, our institutions’ capacities in the community, and ultimately the success of our students.”

The conference concluded with a luncheon presentation on “Legal Issues in Higher Education” by Attorney Michael Kim, founder of MKim Legal. Mr. Kim explained current judicial trends regarding academic freedom and professional liability.

During the Leadership Conference there were also opportunities for faculty leaders to meet informally at meals, between sessions and in the evenings.  NCTC faculty members were able to establish contacts with colleagues from other colleges with whom they exchanged information and discussed constructive approaches for problem solving. 

Faculty Fellow Inge Saenz reflected on her experience by noting, “When I think about the conference, the main feeling that comes to mind is pride. I was proud to be associated with our institution and grateful to have the opportunity to spend time with, learn from, and be introduced to the TCCTA world by some of our most knowledgeable and experienced members of our NCTC family. Additionally, I was proud to see our institution shine in the Faculty Fellows “Creative Jam” Challenge with both winning teams involving NCTC faculty members! Beyond our group, it was wonderful meeting colleagues from other colleges across Texas and hearing their personal and institutional current topics of interest and projects as well as their lessons learned and advice. I was happy to make what I believe will be lasting and inspiring connections, both within and outside of our institution and my field of study.”

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NCTC Faculty attended the 39th Texas Community College Teachers Association (TCCTA) Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas. Pictured left to right are: NCTC Faculty members Pat Ledbetter, Inge Saenz, Adam Ramsey, Brittany Hancock.