PDCCC presents third annual event focused on student retention

Published 9:34 pm Saturday, April 7, 2018

Nearly 300 faculty, staff, students, officials from surrounding schools and community colleges and community partners attended Paul D. Camp Community College’s third annual Symposium on Student Success.

The theme was focused on “Teaching and Learning in a Diverse World: Build Knowledge. Create Connections.”

The event was presented by the PDCCC Students Transitioning through Education Programs Successfully in partnership with Tidewater Regional Center for Teaching Excellence, the Virginia Community College System’s Office of Professional Development, the PDCCC Office of the Vice President for Academic and Student Development and the PDCCC Office of Student Activities, in order to gain insight and resources regarding student retention.

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“This event provides an exceptional professional development opportunity for faculty and staff, as well as growth opportunity for students,” said Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady, vice president for academic and student development at PDCCC. “The focus of ‘Teaching and Learning in a Diverse World’ is timely and relevant as we seek to ensure that our students are successful in college and beyond. Diversity is one of the great strengths of community colleges and of communities as a whole, whether that community is a classroom, a workplace, a neighborhood or an organization that strives to make a difference.”

The symposium’s featured guest speaker was Dr. Mark Taylor, an educator and expert on the traits, developmental issues and learning outcomes of today’s younger generation. In split sessions, he presented to students, “Planning for Success in the Multigenerational Workplace,” and to faculty and staff, “Teaching All Learners: Principles and Techniques of Research Informed Instruction.”

Dr. Adolph Brown, founder, president and chief executive officer of The Leadership & Learning Institutes, who has earned multiple degrees from the College of William and Mary, led a session to faculty and staff titled, “Two Backpacks: Unpacking the Unseen,” and to students titled “Makeover, Break’s Over! Getting Real about Life.”

In addition, Shauna Davis, executive director of the VCCS Student Success Center and office of professional development shared her experiences in education during a lunchtime session that included students, faculty and staff. Davis has a master’s degree in career and technical education from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University.

“Retention is the focus of serious discussion among educational institutions today, but we can’t always rely on what we did in the past due to the fluid nature of the trends among our youth and upcoming community college students,” said Dean of Student Services and Professional Counselor Trina Jones. “This event is significantly important in order to collaborate and share best practices with our colleagues, and also to help our students be successful, not only in their educational endeavors, but in their career paths as well.”