Community College Biology Master Educators

CC-BIOME arose from conversations about the challenges faced by community college faculty in seeking out community, professional development, and leadership opportunities. These conversations took place between Stacey Kiser and Dan Ward, experienced CC faculty, as well as leaders in BioQUEST and the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), and the directors of BioQUEST and NABT, Kristin Jenkins and Jacki Reeves - Pepin, respectively.

Kiser and Ward’s experience was that CC faculty are typically underrepresented in higher education policy discussions and their expertise and knowledge are frequently dismissed in discussions with policymakers and 4-year faculty. They were interested in developing a grassroots community of CC faculty to increase access and participation in professional development, and accelerate the development of more CC leaders in biology education reform.

In 2014, informal conversations about community college biology faculty development among the core team and Dr. Gordon Uno, the PI of the Introductory Biology Project (IBP) were formalized into CC-BIOME. A year later the program launched a pilot cohort with nine participants, supported by BioQUEST, NABT and IBP. The pilot was successful in utilizing mentoring to engage individual faculty from a variety of institutions in improving their teaching practices.