Gallup Accelerated Strengths Coaching Program

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Wow, what an honor it was to participate in the Gallup Accelerated Strengths Coaching Program January 30-February 3, led by coaches Scott Miller and Paul Walters. The Gallup Accelerated Strengths Coaching Program was a five-day training program designed to help understand talents and utilize them to reach goals, overcome obstacles, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities, educate others about how to use their strengths, and teach teams to discover, develop, and utilize unique talents for greater team engagement and productivity.

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My Top Five Strengths

  1. Responsibility
  2. Strategic
  3. Woo (Winning Others Over)
  4. Communication
  5. Self-Assurance

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All participants learned how to lead strengths based sessions, methods to develop creative icebreakers, team-building activities, and practices to enrich strengths based coaching. By the fourth day the entire cohort had developed a strong trust amongst each other as well as build new relationships. We even started a group Facebook page to stay connected and share success stories.

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The entire strengths based coaching program ended with reading a winner’s card to the person we coached all week along with their program certification. This is just the first step to becoming a certified coach. I will be taking my certification exam soon as well as coaching 6 individuals before I can fully complete the program. In the coming months you will hear about this unique program and ways in which MVC will integrate this on our very own campus. Stay tuned!

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Additional Resources

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

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Faculty Spotlight: Shelley Ford

The Teaching & Learning Center at Mountain View College seeks to share teaching practices across the entire institution. The following article showcases a faculty member, provides insight into the environment they’ve created for MVC students, and demonstrates effective teaching practices. 

This month we showcase Shelley Ford, MSN, RN, Nursing Professor.

What is one element about MVC that makes it the “best college on earth?”

I love the community at MVC, and I love our diversity. I guess those are two elements. But I think they are both so important, and two of the reasons I’m so proud to work at Mountain View. The faculty and staff show great pride in their work and remain strong advocates for our students. Our differences, both as employees and students, make us stronger and help us strive toward excellence in all we do.

How would your students describe you or your teaching style?

I think my students would describe me as outgoing and friendly, but tough. I take the job of training future registered nurses very seriously, and I hold our MVC nursing students up to the highest standards. My teaching style is interactive, and I do everything I can to make the classroom an open environment. As a nursing professor, we teach in several different settings – theory lecture in the classroom, skills courses in the simulation lab, and clinical practice at the hospital. In all of the environments, I ask a lot of questions and encourage student participation.

What teaching strategies do you find most successful in your courses?

I believe open dialogues are important. When a student comes to me asking for help with their course work, I try to start the conversation with listening and understanding what they’re doing on their own and then offer advice to assist their progress. When I teach in the classroom, I walk around a lot to show the students that I am engaged in their learning and not just reading off a slide or directly from the book. In all of my teaching environments, I ask questions to allow students to use their critical thinking skills before just giving them the right answer. As future nurses, they need to know how to find the solution using the tools they’ve been taught. I believe it is my job to give them those tools, along with teaching the critical thinking skills they will use for the rest of their careers.

What do your students love most about your courses?

As a nursing professor, I am blessed to teach students in small groups (as mandated by the state board of nursing), so I get the privilege of getting to know our students very well over the 2 years they are in our program. I think my students like my level of engagement and the passion for nursing I display in my teaching. All of our nursing courses are very difficult, but I try to remain personal and approachable to help assist all students during one of the most stressful periods of their lives. I use a lot of examples from nursing practice and make the material presented in all of our teaching environments relatable. I make sure the students know I remember what it was like to be a nursing student myself, and therefore, I will do everything I can to help them be successful within the policies of our program.

What is one creative solution you’ve implemented to address a specific challenge in your courses?

Nursing requires a lot of hands-on learning. During my time here at MVC, I have worked directly with the dean and other faculty members to revise and update many of our courses. We have changed aspects of our curriculum to ensure students are up, moving around, and engaged with active learning in the skills & simulation lab, instead of sitting and listening to a lecture. We have worked hard to maximize their time during skills and on-campus clinical courses to give them as much active practice as possible, so they are fully equipped to take care of real patients in the hospital clinical settings.

What has been your most positive or rewarding teaching experience?

Nursing Pinning is my favorite day of the school year. I am the faculty member in charge of pinning each year, and I love working with the graduating students to plan their big day. Pinning is a worldwide nursing tradition that goes back centuries. I love getting to celebrate with our graduates and their families. Watching them walk across the stage to receive their MVC nursing pin brings me such joy and pride. All of their hard work has paid off, and we get to celebrate their extraordinary accomplishments.

What advice would you give to a new faculty member at MVC?

Give yourself some grace as you begin teaching at MVC. Whether you’re new to teaching or just new to our institution, there is always a learning curve. Don’t be afraid to ask for help (lots of help!), advice, and guidance as you acclimate to your new position. Get to know your coworkers – they are invaluable resources. Remain firm with students, but humble. Practice consistency in the classroom, which students appreciate and respect, but don’t forget to also practice compassion. Learn from your mistakes and implement guidelines to prevent the same mistakes from happening again next semester.

Who is one person at MVC who has been instrumental to your success (and why)?

Without a doubt, it is Cherlyn Shultz-Ruth, Dean of Allied Health/Nursing. When I started at MVC, she was still a full-time professor at El Centro and serving as an adjunct at MVC. She spent extra time with me during my first semester teaching me how to use Blackboard and other ways to enhance my teaching skills. After coming to MVC full-time, we served as faculty coordinators together, and I learned so much watching how she taught with clarity, intelligence, and passion. Once she was appointed Dean, she has thrived in the role, and I am proud to serve under her leadership. She is a huge student advocate, loves nursing, and is committed to graduating qualified, compassionate, MVC-strong nurses.

Teaching & Learning: Nepantla

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

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Posted on behalf of Professor Tina Medina.

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

Currently a solo exhibition by MVC faculty Tina Medina is on view at Mountain View College in the Cliff Gallery from the dates March 6 until April 7, 2017. A workshop based on the art techniques will occur on March 29, 10:10am until 11:00am in the Cliff Gallery. In connection with the Nepantla exhibition, Dallas artist Tina Medina will demonstrate portrait drawing related to visual heritage. Participants will experience mixed media drawing techniques and be guided on how to draw portraiture. Participants are encouraged to bring a copy of a photo of a face or work from those provided. The workshop is free and art materials will be provided. Space is Limited, the workshop is limited to 15 people, thus, the first 15 who show up to the workshop will be given a seat. However we welcome onlookers and questions from those individuals that do not get to directly participate in the workshop activities.

What about this topic are you most excited about?

The exhibit relates specifically to the student population and community demographic. Through various themes about family, ancestry and US history, the art is portrayed from the viewpoint of people from various ethnic backgrounds and immigrants. The themes relate also to the current events and political topics. Through this art exhibition I am hoping to open avenues of communication, dialogue and discussion for all students and members of the community. These artworks are meant to create critical thinking situations for students in classes of all disciplines.

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Why is this topic so important to everyone at MVC?

These topics are so important to everyone at MVC because these viewpoints are the viewpoints of our students, faculty and staff. Various individuals from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds come together at the community college in order to better their lives, whether that be through working or taking classes there. The diversity of our campus is the strength and beauty of our college.

What did participants learn or take away from this experience?

Participants who view the art exhibit and/or participate in the workshop will learn about various art methods including installation art, mixed media techniques, as well as themes in art regarding ancestry, politics, social protest, affirmation, race, gender and class. Those who view the art will hopefully take away questions about history and the viewpoints of others.

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

Some of the feedback so far has been that many who have seen the art comment on how the topics are powerful and meaningful. Faculty have requested to view the exhibit with their classes, the Culture of Writing Festival will feature the exhibit as part of a presentation during the festival. A local news channel has contacted MVC media about interviewing the artist.

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

Interested people who want to learn more about the art exhibit or the workshop can visit or contact the Cliff art gallery or contact the ARCO division office. Regarding learning more about the topics in the art exhibition people will find more information in libraries and literature and history books written from the viewpoints of people of varying racial ethnicities and cultures.

Recent Workshop: myPortal

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 Eddie Middlebrook, Senior Web Editor/Writer.

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

“How myPortal Will Help Improve Your Work Life” is a workshop scheduled as part of MVC’s 2017 Employee Development Day. This workshop is open to all faculty and employees who want to understand and make use of myPortal. In these workshops, we talk about why we have myPortal, what role it plays in your job and the future of myPortal.

What about this topic are you most excited about?

For employees to learn and understand myPortal. This collaboration tool is not only the district’s intranet, but also the primary way DCCCD communicates with employees.

The collaboration aspect of myPortal is where I see folks around the district obtain value. I am currently working with several departments at colleges where we help them market their responsibilities to their coworkers and better quantify their job duties.

I get excited to teach myPortal because I know how hard it can be or feel like to learn new(er) programs. I am always eager to let folks know how easy myPortal can be, and to let them know that they have someone to reach out to with any question they may have. These days, we are always talking about building and extending our network. Our world and job extends way beyond our cubicle, office or classroom. We need to be able to discuss and work with colleagues and students at a moment’s notice. myPortal is a great tool for this ever-changing society.

I have been creating myPortal content and training DCCCD faculty and employees on myPortal since April 2014. At this point, I’ve done hundreds of workshops and helped thousands of faculty and employees get a better understanding of myPortal.

While I work closely with IT, I still can relate to the average user when it comes to learning new software. It is this knowledge that allows me to communicate in an easy with folks as we discuss myPortal.

Why is this topic so important to everyone at MVC?

With myPortal, we are not constrained with being at our desk at work to handle an emergency work situation. We can now access our sensitive work-related documents anywhere in the world through myPortal. We are also moving beyond simply using emails as a way of communicating with our coworkers, supervisors or colleagues across the district. As we move farther into the 21st century, we see less reasons for using paper forms as online forms like the Leave Request Form move into myPortal.

Through myPortal team sites, I am able to track my tasks not only in the immediate present and future sense, but all my tasks past, present and future. This is beneficial when performance evaluation season hits and I need to share my work for the past year.

Through the workshop, I can show folks how to quantify almost anything within their role at MVC as long as we have processes in place to collect the data.

What did participants learn or take away from this experience?

Folks will learn how to communicate more effectively with coworkers, departments and/or committees they participate in. With a robust myPortal team site, any department and/or committee now has a central library of communication, documents, calendar events, etc. that will stay with the group no matter the turnover. Specifically, I have one department at another college that is looking at using their team site as a great place to store training materials for future employees. Through an effective use of a team site, I have seen the learning curve for new employees shrink dramatically as they are able to access all their department’s information from one source.

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

I routinely get folks telling me how much easier myPortal is to navigate then they originally thought. I also enjoy showing data-driven employees the possibilities myPortal provides for them as they are able to quantify things they never thought were possible (primarily due to lack of time). It is always great to see their eyes light up and I can almost see the brain working in overdrive. 🙂

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

Feel free to contact me (emiddlebrook@dcccd.edu) and I can answer questions directly or point them to more general myPortal info (manuals, Lynda.com courses, etc.).

2017 April Workshops

April 2017 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.

Lynda.com 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 mvcprofdev@dcccd.edu) 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.

Software Security Tip: Importance of Anti-Virus

Posted on behalf of Rodney Jackson, Information Technology Department.

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A Common Problem

Most users underestimate the fact that no computing environment is immune to network attacks. Additionally, most users do do not have a proactive anti-virus software installed on their computer systems. These two issues combined present a common problem and the potential for personal information to be hacked, such as having one’s personal finance information compromised. Although a fix or at least a deterrent is relatively easy to obtain, the real challenge is convincing a computer user that free anti-virus software is not necessarily the best defense in protecting one’s personal information.

Real-Life Scenario

Recently, I assisted a friend that fell victim to a drive-by download attack. Basically, she did not click on anything to initiate a download or installation of malware. She was simply searching for a website and was re-directed to a site which compromised and infected her computer.

Easy Steps to Address

Below are steps I would recommend to any computer user.

  1. Install a proactive anti-virus.
  2. Make sure your anti-virus is up to date before surfing the web.
  3. Use common sense and the good practices. Remember nothing is free.

Useful Links

If you’re interested in finding out more about this topic I suggest reviewing some of the following resources:

MVC Golf Tournament

Being a fully engaged employee at Mountain View College includes both on and off-campus participation. This is the perfect opportunity to join other MVC employees and participate in some friendly competition in the process (while receiving PD credit of course). We’ll see you on the green!

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About the Tournament

Whether you’re the next Jordan Spieth, or just dusting off your old clubs, come join us at our Scramble Golf Tournament. Assemble a team of four golfers or come solo for a day of friendly competition. Here’s how a scramble tournament works: The best of the four shots is selected; all players move their balls to that spot and play their second shot.  The better of the second shots is selected; all players move their balls to that spot and play their third shots; and so on until the ball is holed. The HIGHEST score you can get per hole is par.  Tee times will depend on number of teams.

Awards:

  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams.
  • Longest Drive – Front 9 and Back 9
  • Closest to the Pin – Front 9 and Back 9

Raffle Prizes:

Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20. Raffle drawings will take place during the buffet following the tournament. You do NOT have to be present to win.  If raffle winner(s) is not present, he/she will be contacted the week following the tournament with instructions regarding how to pick up prizes.

  • Amazon Echo Dot
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • Martha MSRM Smart Watch
  • 32-inch HDTV (two models)

Entry Fee:

$50 MVC students/$75 non-MVC students (teams of 4).  Cash is preferred method of payment on the day of the tournament. Single players will be placed on a team upon arrival.

Fee Includes:

  • Green Fee
  • Cart Fee
  • Range Balls
  • Scorecards
  • Scoreboard
  • Cart Signs
  • Contest Marker
  • Bag Drop Services
  • Hamburger Buffet

Purchase Mulligans for $1 each! – Cash only

Limit two (2) for each player, per nine holes. A mulligan, most simply put, is a “do-over.” Hit a bad tee-shot? Take a mulligan and replay that stroke.

Contact Information:

Contact: Rodney Jackson
Phone: 214-860-8881
Email: rodneyj@dcccd.edu