StrengthsQuest Departmental Training


Wow, what an honor it was to partner with District Office Talent Development/Talent Central Departments (Lorri Hill, Tracy Morin, and Marisa Patlan) in the Gallup StrengthsQuest based departmental training. This training was recently provided on our campus in support of our very own Advising Department, led by Sarah Jones.


The StrengthsQuest based program is designed to help understand talents, reach goals, overcome obstacles, educate others about how to use strengths, and teach teams to discover unique talents for team engagement and productivity.


During the training session, all participants learned their top five talents, validated their natural talents by understanding their strengths, engaged in a strengths-based approach towards goal setting, personal development and leadership, and gained personal insights through self-exploration and discovery. By the end of the training session, the entire cohort had developed a strong trust amongst and reinforced relationships throughout the team.


In the coming months you will hear more about this unique program and ways in which MVC would like to integrate it on campus. Keep an eye out for a proposal dedicated to this during MVC’s participatory budget process.


If you have any questions at all, please contact me, Rebecca McDowell, in the Office of Professional Development. I’d be glad to provide more information and resources.


Additional Resources:

To learn more about StrengthsQuest and Gallup Education please visit the following links:



2017 November Workshops

2017 November Workshops

The Office of Professional Development has helped coordinate and promote various workshops throughout the month. Below, you can view, download, and print the entire schedule of upcoming workshops.

DCCCD Monthly Software Training Schedule

  1. Log into myPortal and click on Software Training and Support (right side).
  2. Select Software Training Schedule (left side) and choose from face-to-face and online training options. Training Courses

  1. Log into myPortal
  2. Click on Lynda Training (right hand side of screen)
  3. Select course of interest and begin viewing tutorial videos
  4. Upon completion, print out certificate of completion to keep in your records

eConnect Registration Information

  1. Log on to eConnect as an employee and choose “Register for Staff Enrichment” from Employee menu.
  2. Select the current term, choose Mountain View College as the location, and click Submit (or choose another location to see all available training across the district and online).
  3. Select course(s) by checking the selection box(es) to the left and click “Submit.”
  4. Questions? Call the Software Training Support Hotline at 972‐669‐6452 (between the hours of 8AM – 5PM, Monday – Friday).

Hosting Your Own Workshop?

Interested in hosting your own workshop to share your knowledge, expertise, or passion for teaching and learning? Simply contact the Office of Professional Development (email and we’ll help coordinate logistics and raise awareness for your event. Our goal is to connect faculty, staff, and administrators across the institution in discipline specific, teaching pedagogy, and leadership opportunities. As a reminder, all requests must be submitted by the 15th of the month prior to the workshop scheduled.

Five-Year Strategic Plan

This series is part of an effort to showcase teaching and learning efforts at MVC.

Posted on behalf of Iva Bergeron, Dean of PRIE and SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison.


Can you tell us about what is happening in your area?

The Office of Planning Research Institutional Effectiveness is very busy!  Initiatives we are currently working on include:  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Fifth Year Report; Substantive Change Documentation for ISD schools in which we offer dual credit classes; Assisting with the QEP Impact Report; College Dashboard; Implementation of IMPROVE, our software for housing our assessment plans; Program Review; Annual Assessments; Ongoing Data Requests; and Implementation of the MVC 2017-2023 Strategic Plan: Shaping Our Future. Whew!  There’s more, but I’ll stop there.

How did Mountain View College (MVC) get involved in the strategic plan?

All organizations need a compass that directs their future steps.  MVC is no different.  The college has designed a five-year strategic plan that will be used to help guide our efforts as we serve both our current and future students.  Our strategic plan is intentional and flexible, allowing us to develop objectives and goals that meet our specific needs and align with the goals and objectives of our Board of Trustees.


How does this positively impact our students, employees, or community?

The positive impact on the students, employees and community are varied.  The MVC strategic plan stems from our mission and vision statements.  The MVC mission statement tagline is ‘Mountain View College empowers people and transforms communities’.  The strategic plan serves as a guide to ensure that we do this in an organized manner that can be documented, measured, and improved upon.  The students, employees and community can expect that MVC will utilize the strategic plan to create new programs, expand existing programs, analyze data, engage the community, develop employees, and improve our processes.  All of this will be done in an effort to educate, improve, and advance the communities we serve.

What should we expect and what timeline exists regarding this effort?

Because our efforts are both agile and numerous, a formal timeline has not been developed.  However, the Planning Budget and Assessment Committee will continue to fine-tune current processes, institutionalize assessments, and insure that planning and assessment inform our budget.  The plan is a five-year plan.  At the end of the five years, it is my hope that assessments, program review, process improvement, and making data informed decisions is second nature to MVC.  At the end of the plan, the students, employees and community will see improved services, enhanced quality, increased opportunity, and progressive student success.


What departments or individuals on campus helped bring this initiative to life?

The current strategic plan, is a product of employees and students.  The college hired a consultant to come and work with us as we looked at designing a plan that could guide our efforts for the next five years.  The process kicked off in the summer of 2016.  We then had planning meetings during Return Week of 2016, with employees and students.  Additional meetings were held with the executive team, instructional departments, and students as we started to work on finalizing our plan and verifying congruence with our Facilities Master Plan.  The Planning Budget and Assessment Committee worked with the consultant to survey employees, gather feedback and finalize the expected outcomes.  It has been a comprehensive process, in which faculty, staff, and students have all played a role.

If interested, where would you point folks towards to learn more?

Individuals that wish to learn more about the plan can visit with anyone in the Planning Research and Institutional Effectiveness Office or contact a member of the PBA Committee.  Also, the Marketing Department will be marketing the plan throughout the college in the near future, as well as placing information on MyPortal.


Outdoor Nation, Campfire Cookout 2017

This series is part of an effort to showcase the many great employees who contribute to teaching and learning efforts at MVC.

Posted on behalf of Lori De La Cruz.


What teaching and learning opportunity recently occurred at Mountain View College (MVC)?

For the second year, MVC is participating in the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge, where the goal is to get people doing outdoor activities in a four-week competition. Participants in last year’s competition were asking about it as soon as the fall semester started. After just two weeks, we have more people participating that last year’s total, so it’s catching on!


What about this topic are you most excited about?

I’m enjoying seeing photos of MVC folks enjoying time outdoors! There are so many photos of families and groups of friends hiking, biking, enjoying the State Fair – the Campus Challenge is not only getting people outside, it’s bringing them together!


Why is this topic so important to everyone at MVC?

I believe that the more time we spend outdoors, the more appreciation we have for our environment. If you abstain from putting in your earbuds, you’ll hear nature all around you – birds singing, the wind rustling leaves, small animals scurrying for cover when you’re hiking by. Now you’re more apt to notice and care about the litter that is everywhere; plastic bottles, fast food wrappers, snack bags, plastic shopping bags are abundant on our roadways, fields and stream. Hopefully this will affect your behavior in the future and motivate you to organize or participate in a litter cleanup!


What did participants learn or take away from this experience?

Hopefully, participants will enjoy their time outdoors and will continue to explore and enjoy each other’s company throughout the year.


What is some of the feedback you received regarding this event?

Most of the comments at the Campus Cookout event were amazed at how the solar ovens and solar grill worked. Cooking solar cake and grilling mini pigs-in-a-blanket were great tools to illustrate the benefits of being outdoors.


If people would like to learn more about this topic, where would you point them towards?

The Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge is officially over (for this year), but there are still plenty of reasons to continue enjoying the great outdoors. Winners are being announced now and full details are available at


Be A Game Changer Campaign

We’d like to take the time to learn more about departments, campus initiatives, and why campaigns such as these matter so much to the Mountain View College (MVC) family. Please take a moment to learn about more them.

Posted on behalf of Kristine Massey.


Can you tell us a little bit about the current campaign and its overall goals?

The 2017 Employee Giving Campaign has been particularly exciting and we’re seeing individuals from across the college give back to MVC. This year, our top priorities are to support and strengthen the “culture of giving” at MVC and to ensure that all employees have up-to-date information regarding the Campaign and its impact.

What does being a part of this campaign mean to MVC?

Giving back to MVC is about a multitude of things: increasing student access, providing funds for scholarships, augmenting current programs, and improving student outcomes and students’ educational environment at MVC in innovative ways. Funds from the Campaign make these things possible, and we look forward to featuring the impact that employee giving has in the coming months – so stay tuned!

How can any employee at MVC help contribute to this effort or find out more about the 2017 Employee Giving Campaign?

For more information or to donate, employees can visit MVC’s Employee Giving webpage through the DCCCD Foundation’s website. If an employee has any additional questions or would like assistance with the donation process, they can contact Iva Bergeron or Kristine Massey.


What is the proposed timeline or important dates everyone should be aware of?  

We’ve already kicked off our 2017 Campaign with an Ice Cream Social in the Treetop Terrace. The turnout was amazing and we’re happy we could show our employees our appreciation for their donations with some ice cream. We’ve also held a Coffee with the President event and a Baked Potato Bar (the 2017 Employee Giving Campaign’s closing event). Our Campaign ends on Tuesday, October 31st, but it’s never too late to donate to a worthy cause!



What is the reason you personally contribute?

I’ve worked in education for over 16 years, which has given me the opportunity to develop relationships with what amounts to thousands of students. I know what it’s like to teach, advise student groups, stay late to meet a deadline or attend an activity, or to spend evenings and weekends crafting lesson plans, updating syllabi, or grading papers. However, I am also aware that students are in need of much more than knowledge, time, or even mentorship alone. My contribution can fill in gaps that my other forms of service cannot. I believe in students, I believe in my colleagues, and I believe in MVC – so why wouldn’t I give back to the students, colleagues and campus that has already given so much to me in such a short amount of time?

Participatory Budget

This series is part of an effort to showcase the many great employees who contribute to teaching and learning efforts at MVC.

Posted on behalf of Marsha Peters.


Can you tell us a little bit about what is happening in your area?

We are preparing for our annual Participatory Budgeting Funding process. Participatory Budgeting is a different way to manage our funding.  It is a democratic process in which our MVC Community can directly decide how to spend part of our budget – it puts our community in the financial driver’s seat. We fund totally based on the decision of the voting body.

What can Mountain View College (MVC) expect regarding this project?

The Participatory Budget allows departments or divisions the opportunity to explore innovative ideas that aligns with DCCCD and MVC strategic goals and directions. This is an excellent opportunity to submit a proposal and receive additional funding to showcase these ideas to our students. This is one important way to increase student retention.

What is the planned timeline for this project?

Information Session September 2017
Proposal Submission October 2017
Participatory Budgeting Project Fair November 2017
Voting November 2017
Winners Announced January 2018 (Convocation)
Project Completion January – August 2018

What is a secret tip to keeping calm during such a process?

Take nothing personal, maintain a sense of humor, and stay focused on the student.

What does finishing this project mean to the MVC?

It means the divisions have met their goals to service the students and their needs. The project aligns with DCCCD’s Strategic Priorities and/or MVC’s Strategic Directions.

What departments or individuals on campus helped bring this initiative to life?

This initiative is a MVC family affair. Every department plays a huge part in the success of this project!

Astrophysics Club Field Trip

This series is part of an effort to showcase the many great employees who contribute to teaching and learning efforts at MVC.

Posted on behalf of Shahnaz Sokhansanj.


What teaching and learning opportunity recently occurred at Mountain View College (MVC)?

The Astrophysics Club took three van loads of students on a field trip to the Three Rivers Foundation (3RF) Observatory in Crowell, Texas. This was a continuation of a club tradition that began more than 15 years ago. The astrophysics club has been active for many years at Mountain View College and has been trying to engage students outside of the classroom by inviting experts in the field of physics and astronomy to campus. We encourage students to research various topics related to physics and astronomy, and to later present their research to the class. We also travel to places such as the Very Large Array telescopes in New Mexico; NASA Mission Control in Houston; Cape Canaveral in Florida; the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas; the meteor crater in Odessa, Texas; and the Three Rivers Foundation in northwest Texas. We have done each of these trips a few times. We also have monthly star parties on campus for students, MVC employees, and their families, and for the community as well.


What about this topic are you most excited about?

Physics and astronomy open the door to the beauty and order of the universe. They also can make science come alive, so that anyone can enjoy it. Science is often misunderstood by the public and is rarely as appreciated as, for example, music or the performing arts. So astronomy is a form of science that people can “relate” to and connect with, and that is what is most exciting to me as a teacher. Physics and astronomy touch upon the great mysteries of the universe. Does the universe have a beginning and an end? Why do human beings exist? We all want to know where we come from and where we are destined to go.  We want to learn about the smallest particle (or string in case of string theory)  in this world as much as we want to know what may lie at the edge of the universe. In sum, physics and astronomy help us understand who we are—morally, mentally and physically.


Why is this topic so important to everyone at MVC?

Astronomy is inherently appealing to almost everyone, both within the MVC community and outside of it, from young children to older adults. Its appeal to a wide range of people is shown by its millenia-old history in cultures from around the world. Aside from that, there are legions of dedicated amateur astronomers of all ages, from many professions, ethnic groups and genders. Astronomy brings everyone together and creates a common bond among all these people, and also creates a bond from each of these people to science itself.


What did participants learn or take away from this experience?

Because the conditions for sky observation during this trip were less than ideal, the students had to be patient and resourceful. These are traits that are absolutely necessary for any scientist and for many engineers as well. We were able to do many indoor activities, and also were able to watch the sky whenever there was a break in the weather. We were able to see the Milky Way stretched across the sky full of stars in the middle of the night, while coyotes were making noise a short distance away, probably fighting over scant prey. We visited and learned about a variety of telescopes on the 3RF campus. The trip allowed students to learn how to cope with other people in close quarters while having fun and learning at the same time. They also were able to experience a very rural area far from the urban environs of Dallas, which expanded their educational and social horizons.


What is some of the feedback you received regarding this event?

The students were very appreciative of this opportunity. They mentioned that the trip was unforgettable to them, not only from an educational standpoint. While this field trip allowed them to have fun with a group of their peers and classmates, it was also a spiritually enriching experience, as it allowed them to see all the beauty of the sky above us.


If people would like to learn more about this topic, where would you point them towards?

There are many web sites available on the field of astronomy. For example:


There are very good documentary or films on science-themed channels such as Nova and National Geographic and many others. The resources above are only a few among many. While there are many astronomy-oriented web sites, please be sure to avoid the astrology sites, because that is not what we would consider astronomy.