New Horizons Conference Bigger and Better than Ever!
April 16, 2014: April 9-11 saw the sun shining, spring flowers blooming, and approximately 900 VCCS faculty, staff and administrators arriving at the historic Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia. New Horizons 2014 may break attendance records, with just under 900 registrants, 180 hours of professional development programming, 18 hours of hands-on computer lab training, 12 Excellence in Education Award presentations, 32 Exhibitors, and 10 Live-streaming sessions. The Opening Session brought attendees to their feet, as Dr. Adolph Brown wowed the audience with his message, “We’ve Gotta Reach Em’ to Teach Em!” With music, motivation, and a profound message, the keynote address inspired, ignited, and excited the audience, demonstrating how the connective capacity of good educators leads to student success and retention.
There were lots of buzz-worthy items this year: The 2013 OER grant recipients who were recognized by the Chancellor for breaking new ground and paving the way for 2014; the live-steaming sessions for those who could not attend; the use of QR codes for assessing sessions; the ability to create your own personalized schedule from the New Horizon’s webpage; the fact that for the first time we needed 3 hotels and a shuttle running between them to accommodate all of the attendees; and of course, the candied bacon!
Of particular note this year was the buzz about the quality of the sessions. Professional development seems to be on everyone’s minds, and New Horizons provides the perfect venue for continuing faculty professional development. There was also a large turnout this year to support The Excellence in Education Awards Program finalists. Each year at New Horizons, The Excellence in Education Awards Program finalists are showcased and celebrated. Finalists are given the opportunity to share ideas and innovations that contribute to student success and the directives of Achieve 2015. Judges assess each project before and during the conference, and award recipients are announced at the culminating event, The Excellence in Education Awards Program Banquet. The 2014 award recipients are:
Best Practices in Teaching Face-to-Face, Online and Student Success
The “Z Degree”: Removing Textbook Costs as a Barrier to Student Success through an OER-based Curriculum
Diane Ryan, Tidewater Community College
Team Members: Linda Williams, Lisa Carter, Sean Lacroix, Pamela Dale, Debra Porter, Okema Bowers, Lynnette Hauser, Natalia Kuznetsova, Maura Lansing, Elizabeth Lohman, Lynn Rainard, and Darlene Stoll
Administrators: Kimberly Bovee, Daniel DeMarte
In Their Steps
Stephen Walker, Southside Virginia Community College
Improving Student Success ─ Institutional
Learning to Communicate
Teresa Galyean, Wytheville Community College
Team Members: Kent Glindemann, Tracy McAfee, Elaine Smith, Lorrie Coe-Meade, and Patsy Muncy
CDL001: Orientation to Learning Online
Ghazala Hashmi, Reynolds Community College
Team Members: Meg Foster, Marian Macbeth, Denise Woetzel, and David Cloer
Innovative Use of Technology ─ Face-to-Face & Online Classroom
Sandy Stephenson, Southwest Virginia Community College
Team Members: Cherie Aukland, David Webb, Wen Andrews
Leveraging Blackboard to Introduce New Faculty to Essential Technologies
Kimberly Evans, Reynolds Community College
Team Member: Kenyada McLeod