Standing on the Shoulders of the Past, Looking Forward
now College did not reach its current milestone of 125 years of excellence simply by sitting on its laurels and waiting for the grass to grow under its feet. Building on the traditions established in the past by innovative men and women who were bound and determined to see Snow College succeed no matter what challenges might present themselves, Snow is always looking forward to the future. According to Dr. Beckie Hermansen, Director of Institutional Planning and Research, Snow College now belongs to the League for Innovation in Community Colleges, an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. The League hosts conferences and institutes, develops Web resources, conducts research, produces publications, provides services, and leads projects and initiatives with its member colleges, corporate partners, and other agencies in their continuing efforts to make a positive difference for students and communities. According to its website (www.league.org), the League is specifically committed to improving community colleges through innovation, experimentation, and institutional transformation. Snow College faculty members have attended and presented at recent conferences hosted by the League in Pennsylvania and Texas, and they plan to continue their participation in the future.
The Snow College White Papers Attendance at these conferences has inspired the ongoing creation of “white papers,” or authoritative reports that initiate discussion to understand an issue or solve a problem and generate a proposal for changes that help to reach a specific goal. Faculty members now have a more formal method of presenting ideas for innovation and productive 201 3 | S N OW CO L L EG E M AG A ZI N E
change to their colleagues and the college as a whole, to continue to support Snow College’s growth and development. Once proposals are reviewed and accepted, funding is generally available to help “kick-start” a project. One such proposal was presented by Rachel Keller, a member of the English department faculty, who saw the need for better recycling and composting at the College. A proposal was made to establish a plastic recycling and composting center where Snow College employees and community members could bring their plastic to be recycled. The project has flourished thanks to the vision of Professor Keller and an enthusiastic outpouring of community support. Snow College music students were able to make use of available project funds in their efforts to create a physical score of sheet music for performance pieces that had no physical score. They were then able to travel to conferences to present their work.
An Innovation Academy Plans are underway for an Innovation Academy during the week following graduation in 2014. This four-day workshop will allow faculty members to work together, collaborating on ways to hone their already great teaching skills in the areas of pedagogy, technology, and assessment. In addition to polishing their syllabi, faculty can choose to work on webinar development, create their own “app,” or focus on some other technological innovation as part of their teaching. A piloting program for cross-disciplinary courses that surface from this collaboration is forthcoming in the near future as well.