Academy News - May 11, 2022
Communities of Practice Share-ousel 2022
The annual Communities of Practice Share-ousel took place virtually on April 29 with seven Communities of Practice sharing posters or slides to present their goals and progress for the year; each group had an opportunity to give and receive feedback and vote for recognition awards for one another.

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Coming in August: A New Way to Navigate Blackboard

This August, Blackboard will be updated to incorporate the new Ultra Base Navigation. This change is an update to the “My Blackboard” landing page. Your courses will not change.

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Summer On-Demand Series: Professional Development on Your Own Time
The Academy offered an On-Demand Series in Summer 2021 and by request we are offering a series again for Summer 2022. We’ve curated a list of programs from this past academic year that you may have missed or didn’t have time to attend. For most of the programs, you can watch the recording and submit an action plan by July 22 to receive CEUs, but please see each description for specific details.

She Always Showed Up to Make a Difference: A Tribute to Elke Weinbrenner
On April 27, a plaque to honor our late colleague Elke Weinbrenner was unveiled in Harper’s Cultural Center in Building D after a ceremony took place in the common area below. Artifacts and photographs representing just a few of the activities Elke was involved in were displayed in the Center for viewing after speeches from colleagues and students reminded us of her lasting efforts to make Harper a welcoming and inclusive space.

The Academy wanted to share an album of some of the many photos that reflect Elke’s commitment to our campus community and to ongoing engagement in reflection and growth. View the photo album.
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Summer Resources: Blackboard Course Template, Syllabus Template & Updates, and More

The Academy team has developed some resources to help you as you prepare for the Summer 2022 semester, including a Blackboard Course Template and Syllabus Template with Updates.
academy support
Academy & Blackboard Support: How to Get Help

During the summer semester, the Academy team will 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.
library instruction
Time for Summer Instruction

Yes, the Library CAN do instruction for your classes in summer! We offer on-campus, online, and hybrid instruction with Library faculty to help your students prepare for a research project, view resources in your discipline, learn about plagiarism and citing, and more. Advanced notice is particularly important for summer classes since Library hours are reduced, so don't wait to submit your request. Check out our Library and Information Literacy Instruction page for a link to our request form and to learn more about how we can support you and your students.
It was 25 years ago when the Presidents and Chancellors of Illinois public universities called for the development of an Inter-institutional Faculty Summer Institute on Learning Technologies. Since that time, many have championed the pedagogically sound incorporation of educational technologies into the higher education space. Along with incorporating evidence-based research and best practices into instruction, other areas have seen change to improve the higher education experience. Improvements are made based upon the work completed by those who came before us. This year’s program, Back to the Future: 25 Years of FSI, is meant to honor our past as we look towards how higher education has progressed over the quarter century and how it continues to adapt. Learn more and register using the link above.

Harper College will celebrate formal Commencement exercises at 11 a.m. on May 21 on the main campus. The ceremony includes fall 2021 graduates and candidates for spring and summer 2022 graduation. Learn more using the link above.

Next time you find yourself on the Library’s 3rd floor by the elevator outside the Academy doors (Building F, Room F317), be sure to stop and explore the Faculty Reads book display. The display showcases materials from the Library collection on a theme relating to education, teaching, learning, and more. Currently, you can grab a book for some summer reading to learn more about DEI in higher education, avoiding microaggressions, handling difficult topics in the classroom, the history of Social Justice in Education, and more. There’s even a list of ebooks you can read from off campus.

Prior to the start of pandemic lockdowns in 2020, organizations including Harper built out a suite of technology that makes remote work and collaboration possible. Think Webex and Microsoft Teams, for example. But utilization has shifted over the past two years. Tools that might have been nice-to-haves are now crucial to how we work. Not sure you are getting the most out of this technology? Check out some information and resources about the top tools (Webex, Microsoft Teams, Jabber and Office365), when to use them, and where to get help.
Student Learning
Outcomes Assessment Report

Shared by the Learning Assessment Committee

The annual Outcomes Assessment Report has been posted to HIP. View the FY2021 report to learn more about the Outcomes Assessment Process at Harper College, along with some of the improvements that departments, programs, and support areas have implemented as a result of assessment findings. Updates on all five of Harper’s General Education Learning Outcomes are also shared. For questions, please contact Deann Surdo at
Faculty Experience
Dr. Stephanie Whalen Receives AACC Honor

During the American Association of Community Colleges annual gala, Dr. Stephanie Whalen was recognized as a Faculty Innovation Award Finalist for AACC's 2022 Awards of Excellence. Professor Whalen teaches English and interdisciplinary studies and is also chair of Harper's Academy for Teaching Excellence.

Dr. Proctor had this to say of Stephanie's nomination: “She has contributed significantly to the growth and development of the college’s full- and part-time faculty, building innovative programming and professional development that have enhanced the college’s focus on equitable, inclusive teaching practices. I strongly believe Dr. Whalen’s leadership and scholarship are directly addressing Harper’s goals of closing equity gaps and removing barriers through focused solutions.”

Dr. Richard Johnson Selected for Highest Faculty Honor

Dr. Richard Johnson has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the Motorola Solutions Distinguished Faculty Award, the highest faculty honor at Harper. This recognition comes with a $3,100 cash award, funded through the Motorola Solutions Endowed Award for Teaching Excellence.

Dr. Travaris Harris, interim associate provost for academics, shared why Dr. Johnson is receiving this honor: "Rich stood out for his dedication to institutional initiatives including revamping of General Education Learning Outcomes, leadership in the World Cultures and Diversity Course Designation process, exemplary service to the Liberal Arts Division and, perhaps most notably, his exceptional work as Director of the Office of International Education at Harper for over a decade."

Online Learning
student studying
"A Memo to Students about Studying for Finals"

Perhaps your end-of-term assessments include final exams. If so, this memo to students about how to go about studying for them may ring true. Feel free to share it, or draft your own version utilizing some of these points, to share with your students before they begin their final exams preparation.

Teaching Online Successfully: Register Now for Summer Courses

Register now for a Teaching Online Successfully course taking place this summer. There are three options to choose from based on your needs: Create, Facilitate, or Enhance. Each course is two weeks, fully online, 1 GEC, and there is no cost.

Upcoming Professional Development Credit Opportunities
June 13 - June 26 (GECs: 1) register by: May 30

July 11 - July 24 (GECs: 1) register by: June 27

July 25 - August 7 (GECs: 1) register by: July 11
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.