Didn't They Learn That In Highschool
Help! We need some IDEAS
By Suzanne Liff, Nassau Community College
Unlock the potential you and your colleagues already have to make a difference for your students. It just takes IDEAS.
Though college bound, not all of our students are college ready—academically, socially, or emotionally. Nationwide, as many as 70 percent of entering students place into one or more remedial classes. Even those who don’t “require” remediation can benefit from support. Non-traditional students—English Language Learners and returning adults, for example—often can benefit from support in acquiring or practicing skills necessary to academic success.
Despite laudable support programs and services, many students do not reach the achievement level in academic skills needed to manage, let alone master, the content of our respective curricula. What can we do?
IDEAS—Integrated Disciplinary Education For Academic Scholarship—a grassroots faculty development initiative, was born out of these concerns. IDEAS asks instructors across all academic disciplines to incorporate basic academic skills into their courses.
IDEAS asks us to broaden our roles and responsibilities as educators, not only to impart content knowledge and experiences in our own areas of study, but to contribute to the development of skills competencies that are the tools for all learning—active reading, writing, critical thinking, communication, information literacy, study skills, and social and emotional competencies.
Right now, you may be asking, “Is it really a professor’s job to teach these skills? We’re already on overload, and there’s no money for faculty development.”
Meet Suzanne Liff
Suzanne Liff is an assistant professor in the Department of Reading and Basic Education at Nassau Community College (NCC). A former teacher and chairperson of special education, she holds an advanced degree in educational administration and supervision. Her research, journal publications, and professional workshops focus on best practices in effective instruction and the impact of social and emotional intelligences on student success in higher education. Currently, she is the coordinator of IDEAS at NCC and serves as chair of the faculty development committee of the academic senate. Co-author of a two-textbook developmental reading series scheduled for publication in early 2011, she is a 2003 recipient of the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2007.