Statewide Conference at BHCC Focuses on: Sustainability, the Digital Campus, and Student Engagement.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
More than 500 participants came to Bunker Hill Community College on April 9th for the 13th Annual Massachusetts Community College Conference on Teaching, Learning and Student Development. The Conference, whose theme was “Student Success,” offered participants sessions in three different areas: 1) Sustainability, 2) the Digital Campus, and 3) the Culture of Student Engagement.
BHCC President Mary Fifield welcomed attendees to the Conference, noting the College’s strong commitment to sustainability, as demonstrated by the venue of the conference: BHCC’s new Health and Wellness Center, which was dedicated on March 23rd. The Center is expected to earn a LEED Gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council, which sets the nationally accepted benchmarks for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
Elizabeth Kolbert, author of the acclaimed bestseller on global warming, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, gave the keynote address at the conference. In her talk, Kolbert stressed that educators have a special responsibility to teach young people about the importance of sustainability. She cautioned, however, that the environmental problems facing us cannot be solved unless we acknowledge their true scope.
The theme of “student success” was built into the Conference in a variety of ways. In one seminar, a professor of nursing, for example, constructed an algorithm involving ten questions faculty could use for assessing weaknesses in a student’s approach to learning.
Four sessions at the conference were based upon BHCC’s “Learning Communities,” an initiative that is an outgrowth of the College’s federal “Strengthening Institutions” grant and its participation in the national Achieving the Dream effort. One interdisciplinary session, for example, brought together professors of English, Science and History to discuss teaching a class on sustainable living.
About Bunker Hill Community College
Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 18,000 students annually. BHCC has two campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, and a number of other locations throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 600 international students who come from 94 countries and speak more than 75 languages.