Since 1995 the Writing Center has offered to faculty and staff at Dutchess Community College the Teaching Resource Project. The focal point of the Project is the Roundtable Discussions, a series of lunch meetings each semester that brings together faculty from all disciplines and staff from different service areas. Participants in this lively and entertaining program talk about a wide range of topics that are important to them. Discussions over the years have included technology and teaching, grading standards, assessment, collaborative and cooperative learning, civility in the classroom, advisement, developmental education, race and gender in the classroom, and SUNY core curriculum requirements.
The group determines its own agenda. Conversations are enhanced by the buffet lunches, some of which are catered by local ethnic restaurants. Past participants have said the following about the Roundtable Lunches:
· Interesting, fun, rejuvenating
· I have gotten great ideas for understanding my students, new things to do in the classroom, and improvements in evaluation.
· We so rarely have the chance to meet across disciplines to discuss anything.
· I often felt supported in what I do in my own classes.
· It is exhilarating to break out of my isolation as a teacher.
· I have learned more here about my colleagues in other disciplines than in any other forum.
A second emphasis of the Teaching Resource Project is the annual January professional development workshop, funded by the DCC Foundation. Faculty and staff gather for a full day to explore selected topics. Topics have included argumentation in the classroom, technology in the classroom, quantitative reasoning in the humanities and humanism in the sciences, critical thinking and multiculturalism in the community college, collaborative learning, writing to learn, and responding to students' writing. Participants have found the workshops to be stimulating opportunities to learn how their colleagues in different disciplines approach the classroom challenges that all instructors face.
Finally, the Writing Center offers special workshops on various topics, such as writing research papers and college/scholarship application essays. Faculty members may request workshops for their classes.