MCCC Virtual Campus Earns National Recognition From ‘Elearning!’ Magazine‏

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College’s Virtual Campus earned a “Learning 100” award from Elearning! magazine. Showcasing the award are (from left) Thomas Liwinski, Virtual Campus resource specialist; Dr. James J. Linksz, interim president; Kelly Trahan, Virtual Campus director; and Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, vice president of academic affairs and provost. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College’s Virtual Campus earned a “Learning 100” award from Elearning! magazine. Showcasing the award are (from left) Thomas Liwinski, Virtual Campus resource specialist; Dr. James J. Linksz, interim president; Kelly Trahan, Virtual Campus director; and Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, vice president of academic affairs and provost. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Blue Bell, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Virtual Campus is receiving national attention after earning its first-ever “Learning! 100” award from Elearning! magazine in late 2015.

The award recognizes innovative learning programs in public and private sectors across the country. MCCC ranked 24th in the public sector category and was recognized, specifically, for the comprehensive process through which faculty design and refresh their online courses.

According to Kelly Trahan, director of MCCC’s Virtual Campus, that process is two-fold. New faculty learn how to teach online and build academic courses by participating in a collaborative course of their own—e-Learning 101 (EL 101), facilitated by an instructional designer. Meanwhile, existing online faculty engage in a “refresh” process any time curricular modifications are made.

“EL 101 exposes new faculty to best practices in e-Learning while they learn how to build an online course for the first time, explained Trahan. “The refresh process is one of checks and balances. Faculty evaluate their courses to ensure they are meeting their intended goals while providing the appropriate level of work for their students.”

To date, 95 percent of the 300-plus Virtual Campus courses currently offered have undergone the “refresh” process.

“Our faculty are dedicated to creating a high-quality learning experience for students, regardless of location,” shared Trahan. “We also have a very strong information technology (IT) team that supports faculty and students and is always looking for the best products and tech to improve students’ experiences.”

While the latest recognition focused on faculty processes, MCCC’s Virtual Campus offers a great deal of support to online students as well. Examples include online advising, access to live tutors, support discussion boards and online readiness resources.

“We have a short course that teaches students how to navigate BlackBoard, time management and course netiquette. It’s free once they register for an online course,” said Trahan.

In fall 2015, 3,654 students were enrolled in online and hybrid courses through MCCC’s Virtual Campus—an increase of close to six percent over the previous year. Currently, the Virtual Campus features more than 300 online and hybrid courses in over 30 degree and certificate programs. Courses are offered in flexible seven, 10 and 15-week sessions, as well as 21-day winter session.

To learn more about MCCC’s Virtual Campus, visit http://www.mc3.edu/virtual.

Get To Know Montgomery County Community College At Spring Open Houses

Blue Bell/Pottstown/Lansdale, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College will hold three open houses this spring to provide prospective students and the community with information about the College’s programs, campuses and activities. The open houses are free of charge and are open to the public. For more information or to pre-register, visit mc3.edu/openhouse or call 215-641-6551.

The College’s Central Campus, located at 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell, will hold its open house on Saturday, March 28 in conjunction with the Montgomery County Wellness Expo. The open house runs from 10 a.m.-noon in Parkhouse Hall, while the Wellness Expo runs from 9 a.m.-noon in the lower lervel of College Hall.

Presented by Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, Blue Bell Rotary and Montgomery County Community College, the annual Wellness Expo offers free screenings, educational information, presentations and giveaways throughout the day. Health Checks—including reduced cost 26-panel blood screening; Ultra C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and Homocysteine test; and Prostate-Specific Antigen test—will be offered from 8:30-11:30 a.m. on a first come, first served basis. To pre-register for Health Checks or for more information about the Wellness Expo, visit advance.einstein.edu or call 484-622-0200.

The College’s West Campus, located at 101 College Drive in Pottstown, will hold its open house on Thursday, April 16, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Gallery in North Hall.

The College’s Culinary Arts Institute, located at 1400 Forty Foot Road in Lansdale, will hold its open house on Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m.-noon in conjunction with the final round of its student Iron Chef Competition. Attendees will have the opportunity to see the College’s students in action; tour the kitchens and classrooms; and learn about MCCC’s Culinary Arts and Pastry and Baking Arts associate degree programs, as well as its Culinary Enthusiast and Junior Chef classes.

All three open houses will provide prospective students and their families with information about MCCC’s credit and non-credit programs. Admissions representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the admissions process, transfer opportunities, e-Learning, financial aid and intercollegiate athletics, among other topics. In addition, faculty representatives will be available to discuss the 100+ associate degree and certificate programs that are part of the College’s comprehensive curriculum.

To learn more about all that Montgomery County Community College has to offer, visit http://www.mc3.edu.