Inside Higher Ed: Introducing Teaching and Learning Hubs
At community colleges nationwide, creating a culture of teaching and learning excellence remains one of the greatest and most difficult challenges in achieving better student success outcomes. It requires evidence-based instructional practices, personalized instruction and an institutional culture that embraces professional learning and improvement.
The issue however, is that many community colleges – particularly smaller and more rural institutions – lack the resources, expertise and leadership focus to make this happen.
In a new article from Inside Higher Ed, authors Audrey J. Jaeger, Ph.D., executive director of the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research and W. Dallas Herring Professor of Community College Education at NC State, and Karen A. Stout, Ed.D., president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, address these challenges and share how North Carolina community colleges have leveraged faculty professional development to improve student outcomes through four distinct Teaching and Learning Hubs.
Since launching in 2021 in the East and West regions of the state, and later expanding to support educators in the Central and Piedmont regions, the Hubs have connected educators and created professional development opportunities for community college leaders across North Carolina. The Hubs complement the efforts of individual colleges’ teaching and learning centers, and through workshops and seminars, help faculty adopt, test and scale evidence-based strategies that have increased equitable student success outcomes across the nation.
The program, which is led by Monique N. Colclough, Ph.D., director of programs and initiatives at the Belk Center, and supported by hub co-directors in each region, has seen tremendous success in its inaugural year. According to a recent assessment from DVP PRAXIS LTD, the East and West Hubs supported more than half of North Carolina’s community colleges, including nearly 300 instructors, more than 2,400 courses and almost 21,000 students through high-quality, evidence-based professional learning opportunities in academic year 2021-22.
About the Belk Center
The Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research, at North Carolina State University, develops and sustains exceptional community college leaders who are committed to advancing equitable college access and student success, the social and economic mobility of their colleges’ students, and the economic competitiveness of their regions. The Center provides professional development and research related to current and emerging student success opportunities and challenges facing community college leaders and policymakers in North Carolina and the nation. The Belk Center commits to dismantling systemic barriers to racial equity in education through evidence-based strategies that focus on the outcomes of Black, Latin* and American Indian students.