Feb 2015 Updates from Oregon
· Developmental Education Redesign: in 2013-14, representatives from community colleges met monthly to learn about national initiatives to decrease the number of students needing developmental writing and math in college, and to accelerate the time spent in those classes for those who did require college prep coursework in college. This year, individual community campuses have been tasked to develop their own plans, choosing those initiatives that work best for the individual campus (the 17 community colleges in Oregon have independent boards, and are locally operated). At COCC, we have begun assessing student success in and teacher training for our combined developmental reading/writing courses. We are also exploring an external program review of advising of developmental students. There is a smaller group that is currently meeting to review writing and math placement tests used at colleges across the state in order to find some common ground.
· Eastern Promise Replication Grant: 5 regional collaborations (high schools, community colleges and universities) were awarded grants last summer to “replicate” the work done in Eastern Oregon to offer more college composition courses in the high schools, taught by high school instructors. At COCC, our Cascade Commitment grant funded work has allowed us to create a summer workshop and monthly Professional Learning Communities to “train” high school English faculty members in composition theory, pedagogy, course design, and assessment.
· The Accelerated Learning Bill (SB 222) is making its way in Salem: that is the bill requiring high schools/colleges to offer high school students a variety of ways to earn college credit in high school (which always includes composition courses).
Sources of statewide higher education news:
1. [Oregon] Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) Monthly Update
2. Oregon Community College Association monthly digest
3. Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development briefings
4. Social media links (Twitter, Facebook)
5. Higher Ed publications (Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle, Community College Weekly)