Perhaps you have heard people talk about Project ACCCESS members at the NCMATYC conference or the AMATYC conference, but what is it? Project ACCCESS (Advancing Community College Careers: Education, Scholarship, and Service) is a program funded by the AMATYC Foundation to mentor and empower new mathematics instructors. The project’s goal is to provide experiences that will help new faculty become more effective teachers and active members of the broader mathematical community. Project ACCCESS is open to any new faculty that are within their first three years of a full time renewable contract at a community college. That means if you were an adjunct for 10 years and just became a full time instructor you are eligible.
Each Project ACCCESS participant that is chosen is funded by AMATYC to attend two AMATYC conferences. AMATYC pays for hotel and registration. The participant’s home institution must fund the travel. The first year ACCCESS members are exposed to different speakers in an intensive one on one environment while getting to know fellow ACCCESS members. They are also exposed to projects that the previous year’s ACCCESS members carried out at their institutions. During the time at the conference first year ACCCESS members are expected to decide on a new project to carry out at their institution to bring back to the next year’s conference. These projects range from introducing journaling in mathematics classes to designing “boot camps” to prepare developmental math students for placement tests.
During the second year, ACCCESS members then present what they did during the year between conferences. This is a time to discuss the success or failure of the projects, but more importantly what was learned. Members also are expected to present at the poster session during the conference.
The best thing about ACCCESS is networking with peers from all across the country. I learned a lot from the sessions I attended and the project I did, but what I gained most was a cohort of friends that I can turn to any time for advice and support. ACCCESS gives instructors the courage to try new things in their teaching as well as step up to leadership roles.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, or you know of an instructor that this sounds perfect for, please consider applying for Project ACCCESS. Applications for Cohort 12 should be available on the AMATYC website (http://acccess.matyc.org/home.htm) in February and they’re usually due in May. Cohort 12 will have travel to New Orleans, LA on November 19-22, 2015 and Denver, CO on November 17-20, 2015.
Look for a panel of ACCCESS graduates at this year’s NCMATYC conference to answer any questions you may have about the program. We are always more than happy to share! (With that being said, any ACCCESS members out there who would like to join me in spreading the word about ACCCESS, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
See you at Pitt CC!
Piedmont Community College