San Jacinto College developmental education professor Shannon Solis helps math student Lindsey Hurley with a class assignment. Photo by Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing department.
Developmental math professor earns prestigious specialist certification
Rob Vanya, November 1, 2012
HOUSTON – San Jacinto College developmental math professor Shannon Solis recently earned Developmental Education Specialist certification from the Kellogg Institute for the Training and Certification of Developmental Educators. Achieving certification from Kellogg is widely regarded as a significant milestone for college developmental educators.
Solis was one of only 45 community college instructors selected nationwide to attend the Kellogg Institute. To earn certification, she stayed on campus at Appalachian State University for four weeks, where she was immersed in intensive professional development training. Solis also had to create and implement a semester’s practicum involving new teaching techniques at her home campus. Her practicum, entitled “An Intervention Tutorial Program for Developmental Math Students,” incorporated showing students how to use MyMathLab and many other online resources to improve success rates.
Solis said she applied to attend the Kellogg Institute because she feels an effective educator should stay sharp and should always be improving. “I have always prided myself on staying abreast of the latest education skills in my field,” she commented. “Every summer I try to attend professional development programs to improve my classroom teaching experiences. It was awesome to meet others in my field and learn from them. I now have a new group of great professionals who I can call on and share education tips and techniques.”
Striving for continual improvement translates to success for Solis’ students. Developmental algebra student Lindsey Hurley credits Solis with helping him to quickly re-learn math concepts he had forgotten. “I am making mostly A’s and B’s in the developmental class now, and it’s largely because she is such a great teacher,” he remarked. “In fact, I am now starting to help my girlfriend (also a San Jacinto College student) with her algebra homework, and she is taking regular algebra, not developmental algebra.”
Hurley graduated from Crosby High School in 2008, and then went to work in the Middle East for KXS International, a company that provides supplies and services to U.S. military personnel. He earned enough money working overseas to return to America and begin college. He had been completely absorbed in his job and, by his own admission, forgot much of what he learned in high school. So, when he took entrance exams at San Jacinto College, the results indicated he was underprepared in math, which meant he would have to take a non-credit developmental math course as a prerequisite to taking for-credit math.
Hurley is aware of the stigma that some attach to developmental college courses, and he says it is unfortunate. “Personally, I am glad I am taking the developmental math course at San Jac, because it has refreshed my memory, I am much better prepared, and it’s best for my career in the long run,” he commented. “People should feel no shame about taking any developmental college courses. I was underprepared in one subject simply because of a gap in my education. I am no dummy. I made good grades in high school, and am making good grades in most subjects in college. I just needed refreshing in math.”
He says there’s nothing worse than trying to struggle through college because of being underprepared. “It’s better to spend an extra semester to make sure you are up to speed,” Hurley said. “What is 16 weeks of my life if, in the long run, I will be better prepared for my life’s work?”
Hurley plans to earn an associate degree in general studies from San Jacinto College, and then transfer to the University of Houston to earn a Doctor of Medicine degree, with a goal of becoming a family physician.
San Jacinto College offers developmental education courses (also called college preparatory) at all three campuses. Developmental classes assist students who are academically underprepared in core subjects, such as reading, writing, and math. According to a recent report by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, approximately 60 percent of community college students in the state take at least one developmental education course.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.