Volume 5, Issue 3 - August 17, 2020

We commence an unprecedented new academic year with the anticipation of new intellectual adventures, new colleagues to discover, new students to meet and advise, and all the satisfactions and demands of academic life. As the College continues to offer a signature Mariner experience to our students amid the coronavirus pandemic, may our steadfast progress this year move us closer to the vision of the Indian Nobel Laureate poet, Rabindranath Tagore, a Coastal Georgia ...

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depths of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;

Where the mind is led forward ... into ever-widening thought and action...

We fully understand and appreciate how Coastal Georgia's campus return plan, and any decisions to modify this plan, will impact our community. At the same time, the fluidity of this pandemic necessitates flexibility in our planning; therefore, please be assured that senior leadership decisions are not being made lightly. Potential changes in conditions could result in adjustments to the plans of everyone on campus, and that these changes will impact us. Please remember to reference www.ccga.edu/campusreturn to understand both campus health and safety requirements and access resources available for helping to manage the impact of COVID-19. By remaining flexible and coming together as a community to support one another, we can collectively find innovative/creative solutions for starting a positive academic year.

Important Fall Semester Dates
ActivityFull SessionFirst SessionSecond Session
First Day of ClassAugust 17August 17October 12
Drop/AddAugust 17 - 21August 17 - 21October 12 - 13
Attendance Verification - Initial Rosters - Due 5:00 pmAugust 21August 21October 16
Attendance Verification - Final Rosters - Due 12:00 pmAugust 26August 26October 21
Midterm Grades - Due 5pmOctober 2----
Midterm (last day for students to drop and receive a "W")October 9September 14November 11
All Coursework CompletedNovember 28--November 28
Review Week - No Assignments/ExamsNovember 30 - December 4--November 30 - December 4
Final ExamsDecember 7 - 11October 7 - 9December 7 - 11
Final Grades - Due 12:00 pmDecember 13October 11December 13

Note: No classes on September 7 (Labor Day) / Thanksgiving (November 25-27)

Faculty & Student Scholarship
Last spring, Coastal Georgia students who completed the second semester of SEA PHAGES II, a bioinformatics course, just had the genome of the bacteriophage they were annotating added to NCBI GenBank's website. Bacteriophage are viruses that infect bacteria -- link to the fully annotated genome with students listed as authors. This is the genome of a phage that was discovered by Coastal student Benjamin Fountain in the first semester of SEA PHAGES taught by Dr. Gerard White, Associate Professor of Biology. Dr. Holly Nance, Assistant Professor of Biology, taught the second semester of the course where students had to annotate the genome, which means identifying all genes, identifying the start position for each gene, and determining gene function. They both worked on this annotation over the spring semester and submitted it to SEA PHAGES.org for their review of our work. Once they approved, it was submitted to NCBI GenBank.

Dr. Anelise Farris, Assistant Professor of English, had her article "'What on earth was he—man or animal?’: Posthuman Permeability in H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau" published in the most recent issue of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2.

Dr. Claire Hughes, Associate Professor of Teacher Education, offered a virtual training workshop to schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District on Trauma-Based Practices in Schools along with an international expert on Play, Critina Gullov, from Denmark. Dr. Hughes was also the subject matter expert who helped develop the Trauma-Based Practices in Schools scenario for SIMPACT, an immersive simulation learning environment.

Dr. Carla Bluhm, Associate Professor of Psychology, and recent alumna Morgan Strickland presented a paper for Division 34 (Society for Environmental, Population and Conservation Psychology) at the first-ever virtual American Psychological Association Convention. The panel (The Benefits of Nature Exposure) was selected by incoming Div. 34 President Daniel Beckendorf as one of the few featured and promoted Div. 34 panels and was also selected for a live interactive session that they gave on August 6. Dr. Bluhm was also an invited panelist for a live online conference for the VIA TRM annual meeting. The panel discussed engaging undergraduate students in study abroad and ideas for inclusive study abroad opportunities for marginalized students.

QEP Topic Selection
The concept of quality enhancement is at the heart of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ philosophy of accreditation. Each institution belonging to this regional accrediting body seeking reaffirmation of accreditation is required to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

In February 2020, a QEP Topic Selection Committee was charged to facilitate and encourage discussion regarding possible QEP topic ideas toward identifying a precise, focused topic that contributes to institutional improvement and enhances student learning and/or student success.

The selection process involved a broad constituency – faculty, staff, students, and administrators – engaged in focus groups, listening sessions, and surveys. Ideas were solicited for proposed topics, narrowing the topic to an overall QEP objective and a framework of student learning outcomes. Additionally, a review of existing practices, empirical data from campus assessments, and best practices served as a foundation for helping identify the QEP topic.

After a five-month comprehensive planning process that included several topic choices that emerged from institutional assessment, COMPASS: Integrated Career & Academic Planning was formally recommended and approved as the new QEP for the 2022 reaffirmation of accreditation process. The topic supports the College's mission to create a learning environment that supports and engages students to develop a plan of action for the successful completion of their academic and career goals. This QEP intends to improve student retention and graduation rates while creating an environment that supports student growth and development through integrated academic advising and career development, helping students succeed academically and aligning their goals with a career path.

Now that the initial QEP planning and topic selection stages have been completed, the next step is to develop the actual plan during the 2020-21 academic year. The College plans to identify appropriate faculty and staff members, representing the Brunswick campus and Camden Center, to serve on the QEP Development Committee. These individuals will have interest and expertise in particular aspects of the QEP, ranging from planning, marketing and assessment to management and allocation of institutional resources. The goal is to have the first draft of the QEP completed by June 2021.

To learn more about the development of the QEP, please visit the 2022 QEP web page.

Affordable Materials Grants Round 18
Affordable Learning Georgia announced a new round of grants for the new academic year. This round of grants includes changes aimed at increased OER adoption, collaboration, accessibility, resource quality, and project sustainability. If you are interested in applying for an affordable materials grant, please follow the below instructions:

A meeting will be held for anyone interested in applying for a grant on August 24, 2020 at 2:00 pm. This meeting will be recorded. To join the meeting: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting Dial-in option: +1 478-219-4222 Dial-in conference ID: 401 549 771#.
Upcoming Events
  • August 17 - Fall classes begin
  • August 17-21 - Add/Drop
  • August 21 - Attendance Verification (due by 5:00 pm)

Call for Contributions
If you would like to contribute an article, news item, or event notice for our newsletter, please contact Dr. Jim Lynch at jlynch@ccga.edu - Next issue: September 14.

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