“Ensuring our instructional offerings' quality safeguards our institutional integrity and enhances student success and retention.”Dr. Tim Snyder, Associate Vice Chancellor, Teaching & Learning Innovation, Houston Community College System
Investing in quality isn’t just important for serving learners — it’s also a great way to give your institution a competitive edge. When leaders from the Houston Community College System (HCCS) decided they wanted to position the network as the “online provider of choice” in their region, professional development through Quality Matters was a key part of their strategy. From January through May of this year, nearly 100% of HCCS full-time faculty and approximately 70% of its adjunct faculty participated in QM workshops as part of this initiative.
HCCS worked with QM staff to choose professional development that met its institutional goals, initially focusing on online course design, but soon expanding to subjects like online and hybrid instruction and student engagement. “The QM team was great to work with,” said Dr. Tim Snyder, Associate Vice Chancellor, Teaching & Learning Innovation for the system. “They helped us identify the most appropriate offerings for our faculty at all experience levels.” The result was a customized program of workshops designed to meet the needs of the HCCS faculty, including Applying the Quality Matters Rubric, Designing Your Online Course, Improving Your Online Course, and more.
In making this investment, HCCS saw an opportunity to build on the skills its staff had acquired as a result of pandemic-era distance learning. Tim believes that by nurturing these skills, course delivery improves and learners are better supported in achieving course outcomes. “Developing faculty is a cornerstone of student success and retention,” he said. “By fostering faculty development, we will better engage our students and move our institution forward.”
Tim views this intensive focus on professional development as having multiple beneficial impacts on the work HCCS is doing. “Ensuring our instructional offerings' quality safeguards our institutional integrity and enhances student success and retention,” he said. In addition to presenting academic benefits for learners, he hopes that these improvements in online and blended teaching practices at HCCS will help the colleges stand out as strong choices for prospective students in the area.
Is your institution ready to use professional development to deepen its connection to learners and support enrollment efforts like Houston Community College System has? Contact us to talk about setting up professional development tailored to your needs.