Academy News - March 9, 2022
How are you providing equitable opportunities for students in your courses?

Where can you build upon your practices? Try using the Applying Equity Matrix (AEMy) to take some time to review and reflect.

AEMy is an interactive tool that allows instructors to review inclusive and equitable classroom practices in six categories: accessibility, belonging, engagement, flexibility, humanization, and transparency. The tool allows you to explore teaching practices by one of the categories listed above, by complexity (simple, moderate, involved), or by course component (assessment and evaluation, course content, interaction).

A recent workshop discussed the importance of the categories, how to navigate the interactive tool, and how to help identify small changes you can make to your courses to amplify equity and inclusion.

Learn More (on-demand workshop recording and additional resources)
Elke Weinbrenner
Celebrating Elke Weinbrenner

Harper will be celebrating our late colleague Elke Weinbrenner on April 27 from 2-3:30 p.m. in Building D (beginning outside Starbucks and moving to the Cultural Center, D281). Save the date and add the event to your calendar. Please forward all of your favorite pictures with or of Elke to Tara Gray ( by April 4.
oer week
Open Education Week

This week is Open Education Week! Open Education is all about making education available and accessible to everyone in the world. Using Harper's OER grants to adopt, adapt, build, or revise Open Educational Resources for your courses is a great way to get started, but there are many other ways to be involved in Open Education:

faculty retreat
Faculty Retreat

This year's Faculty Retreat will be held on Friday, April 8, beginning at 12 p.m. The retreat will take place at Chicago Improv in Schaumburg and include lunch and an engaging session by the Second City. There will also be an option to attend virtually by watching a livestream. Watch for more information and registration details in an upcoming issue of the Academy News.
Let me introduce you to...the Library!

Shared by Jennifer Lau-Bond, Coordinator of Library Instruction

Have you ever asked your students how many of them have visited the Harper Library space, checked out a book, used a Library database, asked a librarian for research help, etc.? While a lot of students regularly visit the Library on-campus or online, for some students, the Library is unfamiliar, confusing, or even anxiety-producing. One way to address this situation is to provide students with an introduction to the Library. That doesn’t necessarily mean “assign a research paper.” In fact, you can introduce students to important campus resources like the Library even if you don’t have any research assignments! There are lots of brief, low-stakes ways to help your students get acquainted with the Library.

academy chris dobson
Academy & Blackboard Support: How to Get Help

The Academy team is here to support all full-time and adjunct faculty at Harper. We continue to be available remotely as well as on campus for 1:1 drop-in support in Building F, Room F317.

Not sure what to ask or where to start? We’re here for you! Just fill out the Academy Request Form, and an Academy team member will follow-up with you.
In this fast-paced workshop, you will discover three easy-to-use tools that are available at Harper to add some new engagement opportunities into your courses. Join us and get started with using Webex’s Slido, Google Jamboard, and Google Chat. Learn more and register using the link above.

Virtual Internships are available for all Harper students! These learning experiences will expose students to projects from real-world companies, highlight essential workplace demands, and provide new opportunities for learning. Students can also build their resumes, boost credentials, and kickstart career growth. Students can access virtual internships on the JPRC Internship webpage. If you would like to incorporate virtual internships into your coursework, please contact Julie Sabella, Experiential Learning Program Manager, at for more information.

Ally Advocates are recognized for their ability to leverage the Blackboard Ally tool to improve the accessibility, quality, and usability of course content for all students. Ally Advocates will be awarded a badge and 1.0 CEUs for completing a chosen pathway in the Ally Checklist. This badge can then be shared through various platforms to show verification of completing training and criteria for course accessibility.

Harper's second Professional Development Day is March 17. There will be no scheduled classes, and the college will be closed to students. This day will offer a variety of educational and informative sessions to support your personal growth and help us better fulfill the college's mission. Use the link above to learn more.

​​​​​​​​​There are shared workspaces around campus available for adjunct faculty. Several of these spaces are open throughout the day and evening while others have set hours. Use the link above to view a list of workspaces and locations. If you have a question about a workspace, hours, or accessing a space, please contact your division office.

Check out the "Blackboard Known Issues/Updates" webpage to see the latest updates and fixes for Blackboard. You can toggle between the Known Issues/Updates pages in the top right corner of the page.
Student Learning
14th Annual Assessment Conference

Shared by the Learning Assessment Committee

The 14th Annual Assessment Conference and Share Fair will be held on Friday, September 23. The Call for Presentations is now open! We are looking for engaging and informative presentations that highlight your progress, insights, innovations, and best practices in assessment. Use your session to inspire your colleagues and to share your passion for teaching, learning, and helping our students succeed.

Faculty Experience
Congratulations to Professor Stephanie Whalen, AACC Awards of Excellence Finalist

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has announced the finalists for its 2022 Awards of Excellence, including our very own Dr. Stephanie Whalen. She is nominated in the category of Faculty Innovation for her work as chair of the Academy and Professor of English and Interdisciplinary Studies. Winners will be announced on May 1. Congratulations, Stephanie!
Interculturally Competent Classroom Practices

Shared by the Teaching and Learning Strategic Goal Team

Interculturally competent pedagogies refer to a variety of methods and practices of teaching that promote among learners the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes to communicate and work across cultural, social, and personal differences.

The goal of the Teaching and Learning Strategic Goal team is to engage at least 75% of faculty in a professional development opportunity on interculturally competent pedagogies.
  • To review on and off-campus opportunities, check out our webpage.
  • Have you recently participated in professional development outside of Harper that relates to intercultural competency? If so, use this form to record your participation.
  • Do you have ideas for our team? If so, share them here.
Online Learning
emotion science
"Increasing Student Engagement, Persistence, and Success Online Using Emotion Science"

Interested in learning about how emotion science relates to teaching? This Magna Online Seminar, "Increasing Student Engagement, Persistence, and Success Online Using Emotion Science" delves into the topic in a 1-hour video. Background information and resources on the topic, as well as ideas for implementation, are presented by Flower Darby (who you may remember from this past fall's Adjunct Faculty Teaching & Learning Conference and the Assessment Conference!). The Academy has registered for site-wide access, so you can watch this anytime until March 25.

Upcoming Professional Development Credit Opportunities
March 10-May 5 (GECs: 3) registration now closed

March 11, 10 a.m. (CEUs: 0.15)

April 18 - May 1 (GECs: 1) register by: April 4
What's Happening @ Harper?
Academy for Teaching Excellence | 847.925.6174 | Building F, Room F317
Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The mission of the Academy for Teaching Excellence is to create a vibrant teaching and learning culture for full-time and adjunct faculty that cultivates professional development in support of student success.
Accessibility: Individuals with disabilities who would like to request an accommodation or who have questions about physical access may contact the event host or Access and Disability Services at, 847.925.6266, at least two weeks in advance of the event date.
Harper College enriches its diverse communities by providing quality, affordable, and accessible education. Harper College, in collaboration with its partners, inspires the transformation of individual lives, the workforce, and society.