Conference for Adult Literacy Instructors and Staff Successful

WINTERVILLE—A professional development conference organized by Pitt Community College’s Transitional Studies Department has drawn rave reviews from the approximately 150 College and Career Readiness (CCR) instructors who participated.

According to PCC Transitional Studies Director Laurie Weston, the conference featured a general meeting and breakout sessions that covered a wide range of topics, from web conferencing to retention strategies to tips for working with dyslexic students.

Weston said the Aug. 9 conference was originally supposed to give PCC’s adult literacy teachers and staff a chance to interact, learn about recent developments, and share best and promising practices. It ended up being a valuable learning opportunity for adult literacy personnel at Pitt and nearly two dozen nearby community colleges.

“During a regional advisory board meeting on community college adult literacy, some of the members expressed concern about a lack of professional development opportunities for CCR teachers and staff,” Weston said. “We decided at PCC that we’d organize a ‘drive-in mini-conference’ for our CCR personnel, and the idea took off. We had colleges from across eastern North Carolina asking if they could join us, and it turned out to be a huge success.”

Weston says the feedback she’s received from participants has been extremely positive.

Keisha Jennette, who heads James Sprunt Community College’s Pre-College/Basic Skills Programs Department, sent Weston an email, telling her how “amazing” the conference was.

“My staff and instructors came back talking about how good it was to be with other instructors and staff members and how much they learned,” she wrote. “You, your staff and the region did an excellent job. You should be extremely proud.”

Verlando Frazier, an instructor from Coastal Carolina Community College, agreed. “My head is still reeling from the immense level of relevant and useful information” presented during the conference, he said.

Weston says she hopes the CCR conference will become an annual event.