Mesa Community College English faculty Stacy Wilson and Alex Arreguin receive the MCC Developmental Education Endowment Award to contextualize teaching and learning in English courses (specifically ENG101 and ENG102). This is accomplished by engaging students in active learning through hands-on experiences and the use of real-world examples pertinent to each student to teach abstract ideas or concepts.
“Contextualized teaching and learning asks instructors to help students build bridges between prior knowledge, course concepts and sites of future application,” said Wilson.
“We are customizing our courses with activities and examples students can relate with, explicitly linking rhetoric and composition to scenarios and sites they currently occupy or soon will. This contextualization enables students to weave academic content with real-world application and, ultimately, facilitates deep learning. We are excited to share this framework with faculty and utilize it in our courses as it has been shown to activate student engagement which in turn influences performance, effort and persistence.”
The team shares more than $4,440 ($2,220.72 each) to develop a framework for contextualizing First Year Composition courses with the goal of deepening student engagement and learning. The framework will emphasize the incorporation of prior learning; alignment of content with knowledge, skills, and habits of mind; and the application of future writing contexts.
The award committee selected the project, in part, for its support of Guided Pathways, stating, “As we move forward with Guided Pathways, this project uses high-impact practices for contextualizing learning experiences in first-year courses. We believe that this will lead to improved transfer of knowledge and skills into other classes and settings.”
Guided Pathways clearly outlines courses that must be completed to achieve an educational goal; it is an evidence-based, comprehensive educational model designed to provide intellectually coherent learning experiences. Pathway Maps align with industry needs and college requirements to achieve degree or certificate attainment or university transfer credits in the shortest time, incurring the least expense.
The MCC Developmental Education Endowment Award is managed by the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and was established with funding from the U.S. Department of Education Title III Foundations for Student Success grant and philanthropic support provided to the MCC Office of Development.