Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
contact add event advertise 

Development Program for High School and College Faculty


Rocklin, CA -- In response to the growing demand for graduates with critical thinking skills, the Sierra College STEM Collaborative established an innovative professional development program -- Applied Critical Thinking for Advanced Technological Education (ACTivATE)

In June, faculty from Northwestern Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching trained 12 Sierra College and high school faculty to develop curriculum that incorporates applied critical thinking. Through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, Enhancing Critical Thinking in STEM Disciplines: A Faculty Development Model, the Searle Center designed, piloted and studied a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) faculty development program focused on improving higher order learning outcomes of STEM students.

On many levels, Sierra College's approach is groundbreaking according to Denise Drane, Associate Director, Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, Northwestern University. "Applied critical thinking has rarely been addressed in faculty development programs at the high school level," said Drane. "And students are rarely asked to demonstrate a deeper understanding of critical thinking in an applied setting. In addition, the relationships that Sierra College and high school instructors have with employers are uncommon in education." 

Through the Sierra College workforce development programs, the need for critical thinking was uncovered, explained Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT). "The strong ties that Sierra College has with employers will lead to the incorporation of current, workplace applications into critical thinking lessons. Faculty will be able to use real examples from local businesses," said Pepper-Kittredge, who manages the Sierra College STEM Collaborative. 

For the next nine months, the ACTivATE project will support participants as they develop new approaches to overtly teach applied critical thinking in their classrooms.  Instructors will also develop and pilot test hands-on demonstrations to assess students' understanding and align with the new Common Core State Standards. 

"ACTivATE coaches will offer one-on-one support to faculty throughout the project," said Pepper-Kittredge. The Sierra College STEM Collaborative will hold two additional ACTivATE professional development sessions for participants in 2013-14. Findings and applied critical thinking lessons will be published at the conclusion of the project.

A pioneering aspect of the ACTivATE project is that it includes a mix of math, English and Career Technical Education (i.e. welding, media, pre-engineering and Mechatronics) instructors at the high school and college levels, sharing ideas to create lessons that stimulate deeper learning.

 "Those who teach technical education courses seem more in-tune with critical thinking because so much trouble shooting is already part of what they teach," said Drane. "During training, the instructors demonstrated an eagerness to share ideas, challenges and feedback across their disciplines and institutions."

Drane explained that teaching critical thinking skills has been focused primarily at the college level and incorporated almost exclusively into theoretical courses. "Critical thinking should be developed across all disciplines and stages of education to better prepare students for college and careers," said Drane.  

Sierra College STEM Collaborative

The Sierra STEM Collaborative is funded by California Community College Chancellor's Office, to create a pipeline of students interested in technical careers. Students can pursue Welding, Mechatronics, Engineering, Energy Technology and Drafting & Engineering Support at Sierra College For information about the ACTivATE professional development project, go to  or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Sierra College at (916) 660-7801.

Placer County News Headlines

Roseville Flash Crime Report (11.25.15)Roseville, CA- Crime flash report for Roseville, November 25, 2015.

Water Savings Fall Short AgainRoseville, CA. - Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their October water use by 26 percent, which is 10 percent less

Chapa-De Indian Health Website for PatientsAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce the launch of its newly updated website will also allow patients to learn about the comprehensive healthcare services

Blindness EtiquetteRoseville, CA - If you are meeting a person who is blind or visually impaired for the first time, do you offer your hand for him to shake?

Toyota RAV4 remains reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- There is obviously a lot to like regarding the RAV4, starting with a sticker price that ranges from $23,680 to $29,850.

Roseville, Rocklin May Get Jobs Boost from Sunset Area PlanRoseville, CA - Currently known as the Sunset Industrial area west of Highway 65 and surrounded by the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.

Loretta Claiborne: RevisitedRoseville, CA - Last week, I began telling you about Loretta Claiborne, an African American who was born poor, partially blind, and with an intellectual disability.

Placer County Water Agency Adopts 2016 BudgetAUBURN, Calif. - At its November 19 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors adopted the Agency's 2016 budget

Rocklin Crime Report Update: DUI Arrests JumpRocklin, CA - Rocklin police weekly crime report digest update summary for the period of November 9- 15, 2015.

Roseville and Rocklin Among Beneficiaries of Clean Energy ProjectsRoseville, CA - The Placer County Board of Supervisors received a program update on mPOWER which has funded more than $35 million in clean energy projects

Cali Bowl in Roseville November 27-29Roseville, CA- The 8th Annual California Bowl comes to Roseville on Nov. 27-29 at the Woodcreek High School football stadium

Roseville to Hold Green Gardening at Home SeriesRoseville, CA - Starting this January, the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. at Mahany Park

NEWS: In Case You Missed It