MCC Faculty Present at Two National Conferences on College Readiness

Manchester, Connecticut - (February 26, 2014)… MCC math and English faculty will have the honor of presenting their work on college readiness at two national conferences this spring. 

James Gentile and Ken Klucznik will be presenting at “DIVERSITY, LEARNING, AND STUDENT SUCCESS: Policy, Practice, Privilege,” the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Network for Academic Renewal Conference in Chicago on March 27-29.  Their presentation will focus on the response of English faculty to Public Act No. 12-40, the Connecticut legislation that  limits the delivery of remediation to underprepared students to either a semester of stand-alone remedial support or a semester of remedial support embedded in a college-level Composition course. Breaking down institutional boundaries, the Connecticut Coalition of English Teachers (CCET) – the professional organization of English faculty at seventeen public colleges in Connecticut, which is chaired by Drs. Gentile and Klucznik – took a state-wide approach to meeting this mandate. Their presentation will review the legislation and then take participants through the process that brought English faculty to consensus on an approach that shifts the autonomy of institutions to meet the needs of its demographically-diverse student populations, establishes rigorous common outcomes, and raises important questions about the colleges’ missions and who is served.

In response to the State of Connecticut’s Public Act No. 12-40, faculty at MCC have begun implementing several pilots in math and English to help students pass through remedial courses successfully and in a shorter period of time. The reasons for the law are three-fold: 1) two-thirds of students entering Connecticut community colleges are placed into remedial courses; 2) common methods of remedial education are not successful for most students; 3) minority and low-income students are disproportionately enrolled in remedial courses.  MCC’s math and English faculty have addressed these concerns in its college-level with embedded support and intensive college readiness courses. Professors Paul Edelen (Math) and Tanya Millner-Harlee (English), together with Sandra Palmer (Chief Academic Officer) will present a panel at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Annual Conference in Washington D.C. on April  5-8, on ways in which MCC is responding to the state law on remediation by discussing the two levels or tracks developed at the college. Objectives of the presentation include:  1) redefining how remedial/developmental education is delivered, and 2) encouraging high schools to align their curriculum, as described by the Common Core State Standards, to ensure that graduates are ready for college level work.

Sandra Palmer, Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer at MCC, states that “this is a wonderful opportunity for our faculty to present their research on the new state legislation pertaining to college readiness at the two national conferences.  Like all colleges in the nation, we care deeply for the success of our students.  By implementing these models, students are able to pass through remedial courses more quickly and move forward on their journey toward college completion.”

James Gentile, a resident of East Hartford, is professor of English at MCC, He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from Columbia University.

Ken Klucznik, a resident of Glastonbury, is a professor of English at MCC. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees from Indiana University and his bachelor’s degree from Bates College.

Paul Edelen, a resident of Bolton, is an associate professor of math at MCC. He received an M.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, a master of arts degree from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

Tanya Millner-Harlee, a resident of Hartford, is an associate professor of English at MCC. She received an Ed.D. from George Washington University, a master of arts degree from Northeastern University and her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

Sandra Palmer, a resident of East Setauket, NY, is Interim Dean of Academic Affairs at MCC. She holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree from Adelphi University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis.

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The college offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. The main, park-like campus, which is easily accessible from I-84, is also the home of Great Path Academy, a middle college high school, serving grades 9-12. The college’s second location, the Manchester Community College Arts and Education Center, opened in downtown Manchester in 2012. MCC takes pride in the quality of programs and the many ways we’ve helped students, families, businesses and community grow over the past five decades.  

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News Item Posted On: February 26, 2014
For Additional Information Contact: Bonnie Willgoos at 860-512-2928