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April 4, 2013
HCC's Anderton attends New Faculty Experience Conference at Delta College in Michigan
WELDON, N.C. – Halifax Community College (HCC) Science Instructor Annabelle Anderton recently participated in the third cycle of the New Faculty Experience for Two-Year College Physics Teachers held at Delta College in Saginaw, Mich.

The conference is an 18-month experience for new physics instructors. While attending, participants were exposed to various active learning techniques as well as recent technological advances used in physics instruction.

Two-year college physics professors, Dr. Todd R. Leif from Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan., and Scott F. Schultz with Delta College in University Center, Mich., hosted the conference. Grant funding was distributed through the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) in College Park, Md., under the direction of the AAPT’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Beth Cunningham and was awarded by the National Science Foundation.

"Our grant titled, 'New Faculty Experience for Two-Year College Physics Instructors' is used to train new physics faculty like Annabelle Anderton from community colleges across the nation in areas of active engagement instructional techniques, the use of technology for science education and methods of classroom management," Leif explained.

Schultz noted in the grant application that, "The experience will equip participants with techniques that are engaging, hands-on, and recognized as promoting active learning, proven at two-year colleges and ultimately based on physics education research."

The new physics instructors learned about curricular projects based on the latest physics education research during their time at Delta College. One exciting technology covered at the conference included using computer based laboratory experiences integrated into laboratory curriculum. Additionally, the instructors experienced a classroom management model which promotes active learning and engagement activities into the daily lessons. Finally, the Introductory College Physics in the 21st Century curriculum project, which was developed by two-year college physics instructors for two-year instructors was shared.

Besides the conference, an online discussion group and follow-up mentoring are planned. Leif noted, "Research done as part of my dissertation project showed that one shot professional development projects are not successful in maintaining change, so we are adding a strong mentoring and follow-up experience for these new two-year college physics teachers." The follow-up activities and a strong set of assessment and evaluation tools are essential for qualifying for National Science Foundation funding of this type.

A commencement conference, the final stage of the project, is scheduled during the National Summer Meeting for the American Association of Physics Teachers to be held at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minn., in August 2014. Meetings of the American Association of Physics Teachers are the premier professional development opportunity for physics instructors. Participants will attend special sessions designed for the New Faculty Experience Commencement Conference. The leadership team will then introduce the participants to the two-year college physics teaching community at a breakfast and then participants will engage in sessions, a demonstration show and symposiums.
Gowoon Choi of Florence Darlington Technical College in South Carolina, left, and Alexander Wong of Prince George's Community College, center, work with Annabelle Anderton of Halifax Community College, right, at Delta College in Michigan during the New Faculty Experience Conference held at Delta College recently.
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Primary Media Contact: Melanie Temple, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, templem@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319

Secondary Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Interim Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., rhoadesd@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239