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Working Through Challenges and Solutions Encountered in a Social Work Distance Education Program

By: Denise A. Longoria, Ph. D., LCSW, and Maria de Lourdes Martinez–Aviles, Ph. D, MSW — The University of Texas – Pan American


Now in its fifth year since inception, this social work distance education program has grown despite unforeseen challenges and limitations.  This paper examines the solutions that have been implemented to overcome these challenges.  Factors include recruitment, technology, student-faculty relationships, professional socialization, and field education. 

Las experiencias de la facultad y personal no docente de un programa de estudios a distancia en Puerto Rico

By: Dr. Marcos Torres — Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Ponce


Este artículo contiene la segunda parte de una investigación cualitativa de tipo histórico-educativa (Lucca y Berríos, 2003) del Programa de Estudios a Distancia (PE@D) del Recinto de Ponce de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico. Esta unidad del sistema UIPR ofrece cursos a distancia desde el 1995 y programas completos a nivel subgraduados desde el 2002.  En esta investigación se narran los procesos administrativos y docentes, en la voz de los profesores y del personal no docente que participaron en el desarrollo del Programa de Estudios a Distancia del Recinto de Ponce de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Infusing technology to boost completion: A practical approach

By: Naydeen González-De Jesús, Ph.D., Vice President Student Affairs; Denise Liguori, Dean of Student Services at Phillip J. Ciarco Learning Center — Bergen

Community College, Hackensack Center


Dissatisfied with consistently low graduation rates, a community college in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States formed a cross section of student affairs professionals and created ‘Project Graduation’ to address the problem. Analysis of graduation related practices and procedures resulted in the identification of factors that contributed to the problem. Utilizing technology, student data was extracted at various completion parameters. Inefficient, manually, paper driven and labor intensive procedures, caused eligible graduates to get lost in the system and leave the college without conferred degrees.

Through a business process review and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, an action plan was implemented to identify, communicate with, and graduate eligible students. Data mining initiatives produced immediate results, noticeably increasing the number of graduates. Via extensive use of technology, a systematic outreach process was created to support and propel students through critical milestones. Technology assisted the implementation of an Opt-out process, replacing the former Opt-in process that required student initiation, resulting in lost graduates. This process shift enables increased vital student contact, thus providing timely interventions that facilitate successful on-time degree completion. In examining factors such as characteristics of the millennial student and the current economy which requires an increase in an educated and skilled workforce, recommendations are provided for greater, more effective use of technology to streamline student affairs operations. 

Developing and Teaching an Honors Calculus Course in a Community College

By: Dr. Tanvir Prince, and Dr. Ruslan Flek  — Hostos Community College, City University of New York (CUNY)


In this article, we describe, from personal experience, the different aspects of developing and teaching an honors calculus course in our community college. More specifically, we address the following issues:

  • What distinguishes an honors calculus course from a standard one?
  • Which high impact practices are applied in the course?
  • What are some of the obstacles to a successful implementation of an honors calculus course at a community college such as ours, and how they may be overcome?
  • What are the benefits of making such a course available to our students?
  • Why are honors course offerings, in general, important at a community college?

In this work, we will describe our individual educational journeys as instructors of this specific course and relate our experiences to other mathematics courses we teach as well as to honors course offerings in other disciplines at our college. Upon reflection, we hope to provide some helpful suggestions, both practical and pedagogical, to those faculty members who intend to design and offer an honors course at our college as well as other community colleges across the nation.

Evaluación de un Programa de Capacitación Profesional de una Institución de Educación Superior de Puerto Rico

By:  Dra. Lisbel M. Correa Suárez — Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico –Ponce Campus


El propósito del estudio fue evaluar el programa de capacitación profesional para la instrucción en línea de una institución de educación superior ubicada en el área sur de Puerto Rico. Para alcanzar el objetivo de la investigación, se utilizó como base el modelo de evaluación de programas de Kirkpatrick, específicamente, el nivel de reacción y comportamiento. Ambos niveles sentaron la base para la formulación de tres preguntas de investigación. Para responder las preguntas bajo estudio, se diseñó un cuestionario que permitió recopilar las opiniones de la facultad en cuanto a la formación recibida sobre el diseño instruccional y docencia en Blackboard Learning System VISTA. La población que se consideró en el estudio fueron 106 instructores certificados de la universidad bajo investigación.

Copyright and Patent Education: Promoting Student Success by Developing Lifelong Skills

By: Dr. Farzaneh Razzaghi, Ms. Janette García, and  Ms. Kelly Leu — University of Texas, Pan American


Intellectual property issues are increasingly important in today’s technology oriented society.  These issues have significant relevance to the academic community, but are not usually taught to students on a broad or systematic basis.  As a result, students are often unfamiliar intellectual property topics such as copyright and patents resulting in a knowledge gap.  This paper describes our experiences with developing and implementing an online workshop that teaches copyright and patent basics to students, a project that can be considered a best practice for a number of reasons. Given the success experienced by two institutions which both successfully implemented this program, we believe that it can be adopted by other institutions. 

Bridging the Gap: Blended Courses in the Business Discipline

By: Prof. Christine Mooney, and Prof. Leslie Francis, Esq. — Queensborough Community College, CUNY

The purpose of this paper is to provide the reader with successful teaching models in hybrid courses utilized by faculty members at a community college.  Utilizing the current literature, the paper outlines some of the challenges and successes that two faculty members have encountered while teaching partially online (blended) courses in the Business Department at Queensborough Community College.  It highlights the current literature and provides constructive examples of how these findings can be addressed.