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TMCC Receives Outstanding Community Partner Award

Posted: May 14, 2014

Picture of Ron Marston, Brian Wells, and Dan Bouweraerts

Graphic Communications Professors Ron Marston, Brian Wells and Dan Bouweraerts. Professor Wells holds the Outstanding Community Partner Award presented to TMCC by the Washoe County School District.

At the “Salute to Signatures & CTE,” a festive civic event on Thursday, May 1, Washoe County School District presented to Truckee Meadows Community College the Outstanding Community Partner Award.

Two other recipients are Microsoft Corporation in Reno and the Washoe K-12 Education Foundation. The formal presentation took place at Academy of Arts, Careers & Technology, during the 2nd annual event showcasing WCSD’s academic and career programs in media, business, manufacturing and medical occupations.

WCSD’s community partner award for TMCC was due in large part to the outreach efforts of graphic communications professors toward signature academy teachers, offering specialized software training seminars, said Lance Bowen, Associate Dean.

Brian Wells, Professor of Graphic Communications, gives credit to a WCSD technical education leader and to Deans at the college.

“The Washoe County CTE/Signature Program Director, Dr. Dana Ryan is a powerhouse,” Wells said. “Together with Dr. Ryan, we met with Dean Armida Fruzzetti and Associate Dean Lance Bowen to make these training seminars happen.”

Brian Wells, Dan Bouweraerts and Ron Marston presented a total of 10 professional development classes to WCSD CTE and Signature Program teachers between January and May.

Topics included animation, storyboarding, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash, design and color theory, Web design, 3-point lighting and Adobe Premiere Pro for video production. The seminars are two hours long and held in the TMCC graphics labs.

“There are signature graphics programs at Reno High School and at Spanish Springs High — the signature programs in Washoe County are enrollment dependent,” Wells said. “There are also graphics classes being taught at Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology (AACT) and at some of the other high schools, as well. I visit the high schools to conduct outreach and connect with the teachers and students in the region.”

Each school year, Wells, Marston and Bouweraerts make on-site presentations at area high schools. These talks include describing the Graphic Communications program, reviewing academic requirements of the AAS degree, and discussing transfer potential to in-state and out-of-state four-year programs.

“I pitch storyboards and give high energy lectures; trying to get the students excited about animation and graphics production,” Wells said. “I strive to make the workshops enjoyable for the teachers. The teachers, I am told, really liked the classes this semester.”

The idea for seminars grew from Wells' involvement in technical education committees

Wells is a member of the WCSD Council for Career and Technical Education (CCATE), and on the board of the Media and Information Technology Committee. CCATE’s mission is to provide support, set standards and advocate for career and technical education. The Media and Information Technology Committee supports teachers who instruct in technological and media fields.

“Teachers had submitted requests for Perkins grants toward equipment like computers and software, and I thought they would be able to better use these tools with specific training.”

In addition to assisting teachers with the technology, there was also the consideration of tests that high school students take leading to graduation.

“This professional development is imperative because the high school students have to take a proficiency exam in their respective media topics before they graduate,” Wells said. “Teacher professional development is directly related to high school graduation rates. This is the key.”

Collaboration between TMCC and the school district will continue

Wells, Bouweraerts and Marston plan to continue the workshops in the next academic year.

“The CTE/Signature Program Director, Dr. Dana Ryan, is very pleased with the outcomes of our efforts,” Wells said.

Professor Wells has been working on organizing and setting up the training seminars with Matt Mackay, a teacher at Reno High School who is also on the board of Nevada Association of Career and Technical Education (NACTE).

NACTE is holding their annual conference at Lake Tahoe from July 22-25. Wells and Mackay are hoping to present a model they’ve been constructing for career and technical education professional development in Nevada.

“Workforce development is about filling the technical jobs that we have available in Nevada,” Wells said. “We should keep our talent here in the state.”

More information about visual design programs at TMCC can be found on the Graphic Communications Web pages.



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