Early Childhood Development Faculty Explore Ways to Increase Student Success and Retention

Early Childhood Development faculty meeting around table, discussing ways to increase student success and retention.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College Early Childhood Development faculty participated in a two-day retreat this month to explore ways of increasing student success and retention through better coordination of information covered in classes and enhancing the overall student experience.

According to Happy Gingras, PCC Senior Director of Teaching and Learning, Early Childhood Development Department Chair Melissa Rees joined instructors Melissa Brinkley, Miranda Dunn and Stacy Edmondson in discussing program outcomes and improved course alignment. They were joined by Dr. Mary Olvera from the N.C. Community College System, who provided guidance and tools to help the faculty members better serve their student population.

Gingras says the group began its retreat by examining program learning outcomes and making sure they included required key assessments. From there, she said they determined the level of mastery each course contributed to the outcomes, before diving into individual classes to examine content, student requirements, and cohesion among core courses.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to work with a state leader in our program as well as strengthen our collaboration as a team,” Rees said. “With Happy’s facilitation and Dr. Olvera’s leadership, we were able to develop more meaningful program outcomes and devise a way to ensure that all of our course student learning outcomes more closely align with course and program descriptions, providing the students with optimal learning experiences.”

Gingras says the retreat was Perkins Grant-sponsored and is available to other associate in applied sciences programs, if funding is sufficient. Employees may contact Gingras at (252) 493-7422 or hdgingras706@my.pittcc.edu for more details.