The genesis of THATCamp Community College really came a few years before the first unconference happened. A few of us formed a committee to investigate the possibility of doing faculty centered lectures to engage students on a variety of topics. After getting administrative approval, we did two of these lectures before running into issues that led to the series going on the backburner. Here is the text of our original proposal:
We (William Wend, Gina Yanuzzi, Sherrie Block) would like to propose to offer the following presentations for the student body on our campuses here at Burlington County College. This series of programs support the creation of academic enrichment and learning opportunities to complement the regular academic programs, which helps in retaining currently enrolled students. If we can help students to learn and succeed, we will retain them.
These presentations will further temper communication, lifelong learning, and offer students skills for the marketplace. They will also enrich the local reputation of the college. William will be further promoting these presentations, and the college, when he speaks about them at the ThatCamp Conference in Philadelphia (1155cc;">thatcampphilly.org/) in late September.
These presentations will be done at no cost to the college. We can internally secure the rooms on campus using R25 and the seminars will be held with volunteered faculty involvement.
Here is a list of what we would like to present during the 2012-2013 school year:
1. Introduction to creating paper templates for MLA/APA/etc
A presentation on creating templates for papers (William already does this with his classes) for various citation formats. This allows students to focus on their writing and not on errors in structure. We have already confirmed Elizabeth Lavertu to do APA and will work on other formats.
2. Introduction to the BCC Google Account
Something we have noticed in the past few semesters is that a good number of students only use their GMail and not Docs, Calendar, etc. We would like to present the numerous other things that a student can do with their Google account through BCC.
William is also working on a similar presentation to faculty for the Center For Learning & Instruction.
3. Web Advisor
William has noticed that each semester a good handful of students will ask him questions about web advisor. Some need help registering, some want to look at midterm grades, and a few won’t even know what it is. We propose a presentation on what web advisor is and how it can aide student success. We are considering asking Jennifer Shendock to do this presentation.
4. Roundtable discussion about library research beyond the 101 experience
We have been discussing doing a roundtable for the students involving both the library and faculty about further usage of the library beyond the 101 experience.
5. Dissecting a syllabus
Especially for incoming freshman, a syllabus and all it entails may be new to students. We propose a presentation on how to “dissect” a syllabus. William and Sherrie have offered to do this and have considered Kathleen Sweeney as well.
6. Using Technology to Study Smarter
A presentation on task managers, phone applications and other technological aides to student success and retention.
7. Are You Ready For An Online Course?
Students approach us all year asking about online courses. The online learning experience is different enough from the classroom experience that there are some caveats students need to understand before undertaking an online course.
Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter. If you need more information or have questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
About six months after that, I was having a random conversation with an administrator. THATCamp came up and they asked if we could do one at RCBC. After checking to see if anyone was doing something similar to the idea we had envisioned, we began the process of putting together the first THATCamp Community College.
In March of 2014, despite a torrential rainstorm, the first THATCampCC was held at Rowan College at Burlington County. A year later the second unconference was held (on a freezing cold day. THATCamp’s weather Gods do not like us). What has set us apart from other THATCamps is a desire to keep discussion as free flowing as possible. The first year a decision was made to try and “out THATCamp THATCamp” and we have moved forward by keeping discussion open ended and attempts are made to incorporate as many session ideas as possible into small conversations.
For 2016 we have moved the unconference to June. We look forward to seeing everyone there.