Faculty of FLC Program Focus on Students’ Success

April 1, 2013

One Building Connections for Success program that demonstrates the involvement progression throughout the California State University, Northridge campus is the Health and Human Development (HHD) Faculty Learning Community (FLC).

Wendy L. Yost, the current FLC Program Lead and Part Time Faculty Member for the Recreation and Tourism Management department, possesses a beaming smile when she describes the growth of the program from when she first learned of it in the Fall of 2011 to where the program is today.

 

“I am proud of the many ways that the HHD FLC has been able to evolve over time, in service to our students,” said Yost. “The faculty members choosing to give their time and energy to attend the program’s learning sessions are exposed to a wide variety of teaching methods, classroom management strategies and resources available to support student success at California State University, Northridge.”

Since Fall 2012, Professor Yost has been coordinating three workshops per semester for the faculty participating in the program.  Realizing how valuable time is to her fellow faculty, she has made a concerted effort to ensure that the topics being covered at each learning session are both useful and easily applicable.  This includes having the participants submit possible topics to explore and then voting on which topics would be of most interest.  This semester, topics include: Generating in-class discussions, improving students’ quality of writing, innovative assignments (beyond papers), methods to make class preparation more efficient, minimizing time spent grading while maintaining quality and pedagogy and teaching fully online and/or hybrid courses, along with dealing with distractions and/or behavioral problems.

In addition to the topics, guest speakers are invited to workshops to provide expertise on matters that can aid in creating positive learning environments and in facilitating appropriate referrals to campus resources.  Past speakers include: Marianne Link, Assistant Director of Health Promotion at the Klotz Student Health Center; Bridget Sampson, a Speech Communications Professor and Owner of Sampson Communications; Mark Stevens, Director of University Counseling Services and Kristen Pichler, University Student Union Human Resources Officer.

In the Building Connections for Success Spring 2012 Evaluations, FLC participants were asked “How has your involvement in FLC changed how you

teach or interact with students?”  Faculty responses indicated that participation served to increase their understanding around effective strategies for demonstrating empathy, provided new ways to approach classroom management issued, introduced new teaching methodologies, illuminated biases around privilege and provided insight on how to best meet the needs of first generation college students, Latino/a students and our campus’ AB540 population.

Professor Yost emphasizes that participants of the HHD FLC have contributed to the progression of the program in a variety of ways: Sharing best practices that they have developed over time with members of the FLC, putting ideas gathered from learning sessions into action in their classrooms and interactions with students and sharing what they have learned with other faculty within the college and on campus.

An important acknowledgment that Professor Yost emphasizes repeatedly is how the growth of the HHD FLC program this year would not have been possible without the strong foundation created by former HHD FLC Project Leads, Dr. Tami Abourezk and Dr. Frankie Augustin.  She mentions that the “growth experienced to date is truly a testament to their work and dedication to the program during its first two years and the dedication of the faculty involved”.