Wilkes Community College leadership has announced they will launch a comprehensive faculty professional development program called the WCC Teaching and Learning Fellowship program for all full-time faculty in the fall of 2021. Adjunct faculty will also be invited to participate in the program.

WCC President Jeff Cox said, “I am excited about the work ahead of us implementing this renewed focus on the very most essential part of our college operations—Teaching and Learning! As we continue to work to improve the economic mobility of all of our students, one essential component is improving our retention rates, which is done one student at a time and one instructor at a time.”

The Teaching and Learning Fellowship program will create a culture of excellence in teaching and learning by providing all faculty the same foundational framework and working terminology related to strong teaching practices regardless of the delivery method, whether it be face-to-face, online, synchronous, or hybrid. This program will provide a supportive environment for faculty via peer-to-peer engagement and will offer a safe space for faculty to debrief and reflect upon implementation strategies applied within the classroom.

WCC VP of Instruction, Dr. Yolanda Wilson stated, “The program builds upon the great work established through our CORE (Collaborative Online Reflection Experience) professional development program and will utilize interdisciplinary faculty teams called Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to focus on high impact teaching and learning practices.”

Wilkes Community College has identified three course modules developed by the North Carolina Student Success Center (NC SSC) that will serve as the core curriculum for the first year of the program. WCC faculty will complete the assigned courses and use the PLCs to discuss, review, analyze, reflect, and apply lessons learned to current classroom practices.

“The WCC Teaching and Learning Fellowship program will provide ongoing, sustained support for faculty and provide opportunities for collaboration, as faculty participate in the PLCs as reflective practitioners,” stated Dr. Natasha Harris, director of faculty and staff development.