Day 109 Free or Fee?

payment options

As students prepare to register for summer and fall semesters at College of DuPage, we have conversations about tuition, textbooks, materials and fees.  The cost of education has risen dramatically and students need to be aware of what they are paying for.  Surprisingly, even online courses have fees attached.

On our College of DuPage website there is a detailed explanation of costs:

Apply and pay fees.

Once you’re logged in, you will be able to begin your online application. If you are a returning student who has taken even one for-credit class, you do not need to reapply. New students and those who have previously only taken non-credit courses must complete this form in its entirety. Those looking to take courses in the Health Sciences will need to complete an additional Health Sciences Admission Packet. Please contact Admissions and Outreach if you have any questions about this process or need assistance.

When you apply, you will also need to pay a $20 non-refundable admissions recording fee. Those who are filling out a Health Sciences application in addition to the standard application will be accessed an additional $50 fee. Your application is not considered complete until payment has been made.

Tuition (Spring Term 2016)

Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice.

For residents of District 502*:
$135 per credit hour ($102.15 tuition, plus $32.85 fee)

For senior citizens who are residents of District 502:

$67.50 per credit hour
Senior Citizens (age 65 or over) who are residents of District 502 will be charged $67.50 per credit hour plus any lab fees.

For out-of-district Illinois residents:

$322 per credit hour
Out-of-district Illinois residents who present authorization from their community college district for an approved program will be charged $135 per credit hour. In the event that a class or program is not fully funded, you are responsible for payment of the balance due.

For non-residents of the state of Illinois:

$392 per credit hour

For residents of District 502 AUDIT:

$151 per credit hour

For out-of-district Illinois residents AUDIT:

$392 per credit hour

Internet-based courses:

$135 per credit hour
An internet course fee of $57.50 is charged per course.



Day 108 Winding Down

thank you staff

There’s one week left in the semester and our last committee meetings are coming to an end.  It’s time to discuss our accomplishments as a team and forecast next year’s action items. I serve on multiple committees including Professional Writing, Developmental Writing, Writing and Reading Assistance Area and Chair the Teaching with Technology Committee.

This is a copy of our first agenda from September in our Teaching with Technology Committee.  We hold meetings every two weeks throughout the semester.  We have met all of the goals we established together this year, hosted workshops and produced a myriad of additional action items along the way.  Our faculty committees work hard. They bring in guest speakers, annotated articles, conference presentation suggestions, curriculum revisions, flow charts, recommended policy changes and more. I’m honored to be part of the team.

Identify goals for committee
  • Technology priorities for subdivision

special projects/funding

Assess pedagogical/technology training needs for faculty
  • Conference opportunities
  • TLC workshops
Hybrid course development process
  • Design process
Review Fall 2015 online course offerings; make suggestions for Fall 2016 online courses
  • Review and recommendations

Day 107 Job Opportunities


Yesterday I received an e-mail from a part-time faculty member asking about the full-time hiring process.  I have participated in several hiring committees over the years and we establish a rigorous criteria for candidate selection at College of DuPage.  We review education, work experience, community contributions and more.  A minimum of a masters degree is required to teach at the community college level.  In addition, a transcript audit is performed to reference the number of hours in a certain concentration of study.  After screening the first round of applicants, we have several meetings before scheduling face-to-face or Skype interviews.  The interviews usually involve teaching a live class while committee members and administrators observe and submitting a portfolio of how the candidate evaluates students’ assignments.

Our Human Resources Department explains the application process on our College of DuPage website:

How to Apply
  1. Search for a job. (To see all jobs simple select “Search”)
  2. Click the ‘Apply to Job’ button.
  3. ‘Login’ or ‘Create an Account’.
  4. Fill out your application.
  5. Submit your application.

The student population at the college is diverse in ethnicity, gender, language, age and background. College of DuPage is an AA/EO employer and strongly encourages applications from candidates who would enhance the diversity of its faculty and staff.

Why COD?

College of DuPage provides an excellent workplace for its employees:

  • Team-based organization in a collaborative environment.
  • Widely diverse workforce of more than 3,000 employees.
  • Flexible, creative work environment with vast employee growth and development.
  • Competitive salaries with generous benefit options.
  • Cutting-edge, high-tech environment.

The last bullet point, “cutting-edge, high-tech environment” is relevant as technological prowess is expected and required in applying for faculty positions today.  Our hiring committee reviews experience incorporating technology into the classroom, websites, e-portfolios or other technology related credentials a future faculty member could contribute to our division and subdivision.

Day 106 Somewhere in the Clouds


We are a Mac family and have more i-devices than I can count:  iMac, iPad, iPod, iPhone — it makes I tired — err, me tired.  And then there is the list of never ending updates to monitor — Lion, Snow Leopard, Mountain Lion, OS, OS X, OS Ex El Capitan.  But what continues to both confuse and comfort me is iCloud. According to the website:

iCloud connects you and your Apple devices in amazing ways. iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Drive keep all your photos, videos, and documents stored securely and updated everywhere. Family Sharing lets you easily share music, movies, photos, and more with everyone in your family. Find My iPhone even helps you find your device if you lose it. With iCloud, you always have what’s most important to you on whatever device you have in hand. And it’s all done automatically. Just like that.

I understand that iCloud is available to back up all “i-products” and this is a good thing, right?  Because if my device isn’t synching, crashes or encounters some other horrible technically related tragedy,  it is a way to keep my data safe.  Despite the United States government’s fight with Microsoft over permission to search computer files in the iCloud to keep Americans “safer,” most recently Microsoft sued the Justice Department, saying taking information from the iCloud is unconstitutional.

For me, the main use of iCloud is the simple task of getting contacts, calendars and bookmarks to sync across devices. Most of the time it works, but sometimes, my cloud becomes grey and the cloudy skies encroach upon my devices — contacts disappear or duplicate, causing problems. For example, I have phone numbers change in one contact being copied, but the email address I change in the same contact refuses to make the jump. But at least my pictures and movies are still on the cloud — for now.


Day 105 Let me introduce myself . . . again.


College of DuPage has been through a lot of changes lately. Our school has been in the headlines for better and for worse, but a constant is our delivery of quality teaching and learning. I adore working with our students, faculty and staff.  I can’t imagine spending my days anywhere else.  College of DuPage is home. We will welcome a new President this year and most likely additional administrative changes will follow. Since I started my career at COD, I have worked with curricular changes from quarters to semesters, exam policy amendments, contract disputes, building renovations and much more as COD continues to evolve.  Although most faculty who have tenure tend to stay here and teach, many administrative staff appear to be placed into a revolving door. For example, I have worked with 5 COD Presidents, 3 Deans and 7 Associate Deans. This year will bring new opportunities to introduce myself once again.

Below are questions posed in our full-time outstanding faculty award nomination document. I responded to the questions and completed the form this year based on my students’ nominations. I’m looking forward to introducing myself to the new administrative staff by sharing my professional history and accomplishments:

1.How you have demonstrated excellence in teaching, both in and out of the classroom setting?

Embracing excellence since 1994 at College of DuPage by:

  • Incorporating best practices in teaching college reading preparation and composition
  • Sharing cutting edge classroom materials to align with course learning objectives
  • Facilitating multimodal teaching activities with fellow faculty and staff
  • Connecting cross curricular avenues via Learning Communities projects
  • Practicing an ongoing commitment to student success
  • Demonstrating a stellar attendance record to facilitate a productive work environment

2. What have you initiated or helped to develop in the area of innovative programs used at COD?

Collaborating with a myriad of program development and design including:

  • Student Success Network Grant Program
  • ICCB Tech Prep Grant Program
  • Innovation Incubator Program
  • Study Skills Seminar Weekend Program
  • CTE Student Academic Preparation Program
  • Learning Communities
  • Field and Experiential Study Abroad and Global Education Program
  • Centers for Independent Learning Distance Learning Flagship Program

3. How have you served on technical or special committees in District 502, and how did this effort affect the college program in the community, state or nation?

Making a commitment to participate in multiple committees in our district has made a positive impact.  My contributions have assisted in strategic planning and coordinating educational priorities. I have served as an agent of change and growth locally, nationally and internationally.

  • Locally, I have been a part of the General Education Enduring Purpose Team studying and implementing outcome assessment instruments and techniques institution wide. Our team identified multiple measures in spotlighting program effectiveness and management. I am a pioneer in developing the first online English 1101 Composition course and have since amassed material for online instruction, creating English 0482 and English 1102 online as well as facilitating TLC workshops in online curriculum and design. I am the Chair of Teaching with Technology Committee and have served on the Online College Committee, Online English Faculty Committee and Asynchronous Learning Networks Special Interest Group.
  • In the state I have visited the Illinois Youth Center as part of the “Prison and College: Writing Life Experiences” College of DuPage honors composition course vignette performances.  I have also attended the Harvest Pow Wow at Naper Settlement with a College of DuPage anthropology course to celebrate Native American culture, which inspired me to register to volunteer nationally at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota for a week this Spring 2016.  I will be working with the Oglala Lakota Nation to improve accessibility, deliver bunk beds and construct outhouses.
  • Internationally I volunteered in Barrio Cuba, an industrial sector of Costa Rica with IVHQ. I helped bridge the digital divide by designing the first computer classroom of its kind in the local community center. The transmission of online information is essential in providing equal access to knowledge. Inviting students into a learning environment where their voices can be cultivated through speech and cyberspace is an important effort that affects our college community at home.

4. Describe how you have provided leadership in helping to solve challenges at two-year postsecondary institutions.

Heightening awareness of access and accommodations for our students to succeed academically, professionally and personally is one of my top priorities. It is my mission to introduce all students to an exceptional level of college preparedness.  I have been successful in accomplishing this goal with several postsecondary institutions by sharing resources:

  • South Suburban College Faculty Development Day Workshop Facilitator
  • Oakton Community College Reading Session Guest Speaker
  • Joliet Junior College Preparedness Site Visit Coordinator
  • Triton College Links to Learning Seminar
  • College Classroom Expectations District 502 High School Students Guest Speaker
  • NCTE Conference Presenter: “Improving the Success Rate of College Developmental Reading Students Using Computer-Based Instruction (CBI)”
  • Academic Impressions Conference “Retaining Students in Online Education

5. How long have you been active in developing, organizing, or supporting state and/or national two-year postsecondary education associations?

I have been an active member for over twenty years of my professional teaching career:

  • College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA)
  • Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations (CLADEA)
  • International Reading Association (IRA)
  • National Association for Developmental Education (NADE)
  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC)
  • Chicago Area Developmental Reading Educators Association
  • American Association of Women in Community Colleges
  • Society for Technical Communication (STC)
  • American Education Research Association (AERA)

6. What awards or honors have you received in recognition of leadership at COD or in the community?

  • 2015 IVHQ International Volunteer of the Year Award Nominee
  • College of DuPage Liberal Arts Division Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award 2014-2015
  • College of DuPage Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award Nominee 2000, 2002-2003, 2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2008-2009, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2015-2016
  • International Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Design
  • Girl Scout Leader Troop 711 and 757, Outstanding Leader of the Year Award

7. Describe those activities you perform to keep pace with current theories and practices in your discipline.

I thrive on engaging in scholarly activity.  I published an article in Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) called “Using a Blog throughout a Research Writing Course.” I submitted a proposal to the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) Conference with the theme “Pinnacles of Learning:  The Power of Innovation.” I presented a one hour session, “Computers, Camtasia and Making Connections:  First Semester Teaching Reading Online” at a CRLA Conference.  I participate in webinars reviewing course related materials including the use of technology in the classroom. I edit and review textbooks for a variety of publishers. I have attended the College of DuPage “Celebration for Teaching” faculty retreat.  I participated in the Liberal Arts Winter Conference Poster Session.  I pursue professional development opportunities such as completing an online graduate school course at National Louis University and an intensive disability law course at Northern Illinois University.  I have also contributed ideas regarding effective reading techniques to the Quantum Leadership Academy Project at College of DuPage. I annotate academic journals in my field and often make copies for my colleagues.

Day 104 Strengths and Weaknesses


In our Discussion Board today, my English 0492 students shared their strengths and weaknesses in writing. At this point in the semester they are comfortable and confident with one another because we have established a writing community for several weeks.  They post to the Discussion Board every week regarding a myriad of composition related topics.  This week I found their responses particularly reflective and poignant.

Student 1:  A few of my strengths would be, that I can easily come up with ideas to write about. Also, that I can communicate with people. I can also relate to them. I try to utilize these skills a lot when writing a paper. My weaknesses however, are that I can get distracted easily. Sometimes, as I’m just about finished with writing my draft. I loose focus. I tend to steer in another direction and fall into my imagination. I am trying to fix this by taking short breaks if I need to. Or, even asking for help from a classmate or friend. I also, tend to push to hard when writing. There were a few times where I tried to hard to write about something, and my paper turned out bad. I’m also working on fixing this, by brainstorming and picking a topic I am most interested about.

Student 2:  I think two of my strengths are word flow and choice. Two things I would like to work on is run-ons and other areas of sentence structure.

Student 3:  I feel my strengths are the thesis and conclusion, I’m strong in those areas. I struggle with the body of the paper. I find myself running my ideas together. I find it difficult to stay on the topic at times. I know what I want to in my head but sometimes I convay it on paper. I’m in high hopes this class will help. I need my writing skill to be better. The year the Learning Commons is my friend and they are helping me reach my goal.

Student 4:  I will say my strengths are choosing a topic to write about and writing the conclusion. Two of my weaknesses are trying to come up with the finish product. I write too much and have problems trying to narrow my paper down. I guess that would be editing and finalizing.  I also have problems with punctuations and grammar usage.

Day 103 My Teaching Philosophy

teaching philosophy

Today I was asked about my teaching philosophy during an afternoon committee meeting — a complex question and one that I am confident about answering as thoroughly as possible.  It was an intellectually stimulating dialogue that caused me to reflect on my teaching philosophy and of course I feel compelled to blog about it.

My philosophy of education is steeped in investigating students’ experiences. My framework stems from Lev Vygotsky’s concept of inner speech – students are able to embody their own words as well as others. Eventually speech becomes not only a means of communication with other people, but also a means for students’ inner thinking processes.

Students’ voices can be heard everywhere.  We listen to a cacophony of discourse reverberating in the hallways, conferencing in faculty offices, shouting in parking lots, sharing on social media.  I tune in to hear student voices because they often reveal challenges.  For example, I assign journal response writing; students are asked to describe their feelings about reading a variety of text.

A memorable journal entry was written by my English 0482 student Carol.  She had moved from Haiti and raised two teenage daughters. She dropped in and out of school most of her life and hated to read because she had difficulty understanding.  Carol wrote, “There are bunches of words that don’t make sense. I can’t remember it. And I read slower than my daughters.”  In the midst of sharing her literacy history, she said, “I want to know how to become a better reader. I want to go on.”  And with these words, Carol’s voice captured a snapshot of how students interpret or make meaning of their academic experiences.  When we listen to their voices we can make a difference by extending their stories to multiple stakeholders in order to facilitate positive change.