Academy News - May 12, 2021
community of practice
Communities of Practice Share-ousel 2021

The 2021 Communities of Practice Share-ousel took place virtually on Friday, April 30 with nine CoPs sharing posters with pre-recorded narration explaining their goals and progress for the year; recognition awards were also announced at the end of the event.

Watch the video presentation of the posters and view the posters in PowerPoint with links to any artifacts CoPs wanted to share.

escape room
Shivering Spines: An Escape Room Challenge for Harper Faculty

At the Faculty Retreat, several brave faculty took on Shivering Spines: A Haunted House Escape Room. The faculty who participated in the challenge at the retreat “escaped” in 10 minutes! Do you think you can beat them? Take a break from grading and try your hand at the Faculty Retreat Escape Room! If you need help, here is the answer key.

Want to see a faculty’s digital escape room in action? Check out Health Careers faculty Jeanne Leifheit’s 2021 Tech Expo presentation The Great Escape! Creating a Virtual Escape Room. Interested in building a digital escape room for your students? Complete an Academy Support Form request. 
summer pd
Summer On-Demand Series: Professional Development on Your Own Time

We’ve curated a list of workshops from this past academic year that you may have missed or didn’t have time to attend. For most of the workshops, you can watch the recording and submit an action plan by July 23 to receive CEUs, but please see each workshop description for specific details. Watch for weekly emails from the Academy this summer that will highlight each workshop along with the links to the recording and action plan.

summer harper campus
"Special Edition" Summer 2021 Syllabus Template

A Summer 2021 “special edition” of the Harper College syllabus template is now available on the Harper Syllabus webpage. The Student Support Resources section of the syllabus template has been updated to reflect the current student success, wellness, and safety resources available on campus and virtually for the summer semester. You can download the full syllabus template or just the Student Support Resources document. Also check out the Summer 2021 Resources page for information on the Summer 2021 Blackboard Course Template as well as other resources to help you in your summer course preparations.
Ever Wonder What Your Students (Should) Know?

Harper sends credit-enrolled students a monthly email, filled with timely information to help students succeed. These messages include information about paying for college, registration, resources, events, and more. Check out the May issue.

If you would like to subscribe to all-student emails, message Becki Suthers, Student Communication Manager.
library research appointment
Student Research Appointments

Submitted by Jennifer Lau-Bond, Library Services

Are your students working on papers and projects requiring research or citing? Encourage them to make an online Research Appointment with a librarian! Our online appointments are 25 minutes in length, and evening and weekend times are available. Think of appointments as personalized library instruction, tailored to meet the needs of each student. A one-on-one meeting with a librarian can help students save research time, build confidence in their information literacy skills, and ultimately improve the quality of their work. You and your students can find out more about our Research Appointments on the Library website, or watch our short video, “How to Make a Research Appointment with a Harper Librarian”.
Academy & Blackboard Support: How to Get Help

The Academy is here to help all full-time and adjunct faculty at Harper. Here are the ways to get instructional and Blackboard support through the Academy:

Check out this fun video we made to remind you of the three ways to give us a shout!
Please join us for the special virtual viewing of the 2021 Harper College Commencement Ceremony on May 22, online at

This is a reminder that the Spring 2021 semester ends on May 21. For those who have classes that end on this date, grades are due on May 25 at 12 p.m. View grade processing instructions and learn more using the link above.

Learn more about updates and things happening around Enrollment Services (including Admissions Outreach, Center for New Students, International Student Office, Testing Center, and Women's Program) using the link above.

On the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Ride demonstrations in which hundreds of Black activists boarded buses traveling through Southern states to protest segregation, the Harper College Theatre Arts Department is furthering the conversation with a production of “Too Heavy for Your Pocket,” Jiréh Breon Holder’s exploration of the struggles those activists faced in joining the movement. The timing of the production not only commemorates the actions of the Freedom Riders, but it also serves as a vehicle for discussion about the continuing fight for equality, according to Kevin Long, who is directing the play. Watch this video to learn more about the play and check out the dramaturgy notes. Purchase tickets for one of the five performances (June 2-6) using the link above.

This course explores the relationship between language, culture, and the socio-political context and their relevance to the community college students. This course focuses on culture and belonging, language and identity, illiteracy in the USA, “non-standard” Englishes, bilingualism/ multilingualism, and communication between cultures through the lens of respect and social justice framework. Learn more and register using the link above.

After a lifetime of studying meditative martial arts, one teacher would like to offer a few ways that mindset and staying centered can help ground ourselves in the middle of stressful times. There is one more session this semester. Learn more and register using the link above.

Register now for Teaching Online Successfully for Summer 2021. There are three course 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. Learn more and register using the link above.
Student Learning
Outcomes Assessment Report

The annual Outcomes Assessment Report has been posted to HIP. View the FY2020 report to learn more about the Outcomes Assessment Process at Harper, 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
13th Annual Assessment Conference

Save the date for the 13th Annual Assessment Conference and Share Fair: September 24. This year’s conference will be held virtually and will feature the inspiring and effective educator, author, and speaker, Flower Darby. Flower will share her perspectives on exploring equitable and engaging evidence-based best practices for online teaching and assessment. The Learning Assessment Committee will also be looking for a few applicants to be part of a panel discussion; details will be shared in the coming weeks.

Faculty Experience
Jeff Przybylo Selected for Highest Faculty Honor, 2021

Professor Jeff Przybylo has been selected as the 2021 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.

As noted by his colleagues: In the classroom, Jeff creates a climate that welcomes and engages students and builds their confidence to speak. His latest development of an Intercultural Communication course provides students opportunities to explore a global mindset and learn how to communicate across cultural differences. His pursuit of the discipline includes creating a hybrid speech class over 12 years ago, spearheading a fully online speech class years before the pandemic, and expanding the Communication Arts department to include mass communications and journalism curriculum.

christy carter
Toastmasters Public Speaking Contest Winner

As a communication arts instructor, Christy Carter isn't a stranger to presentations and speeches. However, she was interested in having an opportunity to hone her own presentation skills in a different forum so she could teach the art even better. Christy re-joined the public speaking organization, Toastmasters. Members of the organization have the opportunity to work toward educational goals, following a communication track and a leadership track. Recently Christy was invited to compete in the Toastmasters contest, the evaluation speech. All of the contests and Toastmasters meetings are held virtually. There are six levels: Club, Area, Division, District, Semifinal, and World Champion. She recently won at the Club, Area, and Division level. Next week Christy moves on to the District level. Her goal is to make the Semifinals and share this experience with her students and perhaps start a local Toastmasters club open to all at Harper College. Congratulations, Christy! 
Online Learning
Online Learning Options Post-Pandemic

According to a recent Digital Learning Pulse survey, students who participated online in both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters indicated a positive attitude toward online learning as well as a desire to continue learning online in the future. Faculty had a similar increase in feelings of positivity toward online learning. For additional data gathered from this survey, visit this Inside Higher Ed article:

Upcoming Professional Development Credit Opportunities
May 13, 10 a.m. (CEUs: 0.05)

June 7 - June 20 (GECs: 1) registration deadline: May 24

July 6 - July 19 (GECs: 1) registration deadline: June 22
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.
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