WCSU Returns to Normal, Reopening Information and Covid-19 Updates

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)

Blackboard Support For WCSU Faculty

Excellence in Teaching Training Videos


  • Supporting Students with Autism in Higher Education (3/30/2021)


    Goal: Advance equity in access to opportunity and success.

    When: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 4:00-6:00 pm

    Where: Online / WebEx | Cost: Free | Flyer: Link

    Required Registration: Click here for registration


    A team of experts from www.hussmanautism.org offer an overview of evidence-based and research-backed information and methods that faculty and staff members can use to successfully support students with autism in higher education settings.


    • Diversity acceptance and inclusion.
    • Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Condition and Asperger Syndrome.
    • How autism may present in a university setting.
    • Strategies for supporting/teaching students with autism.
    • Accommodation requirements / accommodation recommendations.


    • John P. Hussman, Ph.D., MS. Ed.
      Executive Director, Hussman Institute for Autism
    • Beth Benevides, B.A.
      Director of Outreach, Hussman Institute for Autism
    • Colleen George, M.A. Developmental Disabilities
      Program Manager, Hussman Institute for Autism
    • Zosia Zaks, M.Ed., C.R.C.
      Manager of Programs and Education, Hussman Center for Adults with Autism

    About The Hussman Institute for Autism:

    The vision of the Hussman Institute for Autism is to improve the lives of individuals with autism and their families by creating a continuum of supports and resources to address the needs for evidence-based teaching methods, communication, inclusion, connection, and independence.

    Our perspective is not that autism is a tragedy that must be eliminated with a cure, nor that those with autism must be turned over to be “fixed” by therapists in segregated settings. Rather, our goal is to provide resources to support those with autism within their homes, schools and communities and enable learning, communication, and meaningful relationships through day-to-day engagement with those around them.

    The Hussman Institute for Autism is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in Maryland.

    Links & information:


  • Building Community Circles: Navigating the Transition Pathway for Individuals with ASD   (3/30/2021)

    WHAT:  2nd Conference on Transition to assist school personnel and families with meeting the diverse transition needs of individuals with ASD in CT.

    WHO: Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders at SCCU.

    WHEN: April 30, 2021 8:45am-1:00pm (Eastern Time)

    WHERE: Held Virtually

    COST: Free

    REGISTRATION: https://bit.ly/ASDtransitionconference


    1. Keynote: Secondary Transition Discussion with CT State Agencies 

      Description: School-age students, who have been found eligible for special education services, are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  The process and requirements for accessing adult and community services are different from public education.  Strong partnerships between the family, school, and agencies are critical to a student’s successful transition from school to adult life.  This session will assist families in understanding and navigating the secondary transition planning process.  Discussion will include a review of federal and state requirements, as well as an overview of tools, resources, and professional learning opportunities related to secondary transition.  An opportunity to learn more about CT state agencies, hear about new initiatives, and have the opportunity to ask these state agency representatives questions.

       2. Panelists:

    • Cathleen A. Calway, Autism Support and Resource Specialist, Department of Social Services (DSS), Division of Health, Community Options Unit
    • Ian Card, Level Up Counselor, Aging and Disability Services (ADS), Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS)
    • Lisa Farrell, Benefits Specialist, Aging and Disability Services (ADS), Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), Connect to Work Project
    • Ebony Johnson, Lead Workforce Specialist – CareerHub, The WorkPlace
    • Richard Martinez, Benefits Specialist, Aging and Disability Services (ADS), Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), Connect to Work Project
    • MaryEllen McGarry, Benefits Specialist, Aging and Disability Services (ADS), Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), Connect to Work Project
    • Karen Quesnel, RETAIN-CT Project Manager, Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Workforce Competitiveness
    • Cynthia Scott, Benefits Specialist, Aging and Disability Services (ADS), Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), Connect to Work Project
    • Brian K. Smith, Assistant Regional Director – West Region, Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Individual and Family Support Division
    • Alycia M. Trakas, Education Consultant, Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), Bureau of Special Education

         3. Breakout Sessions: Participants will take part in 2 breakout sessions that you decide on the day of the event, no need to pick now!  Topics will include:

    • Recreation: Building Recreation Opportunities — Mary Jo Archambault, CTRS, EdD
    • IEP Transition Planning — Nicholas Gelbar, PhD BCBA-D NCSP
    • Vocational Services – Peter Gerhardt, ED.D
    • Transition to College – Fred Volkmar, M.D.

        4. Family Panel:  Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center will provide a panel of families who will share their experience and answer questions.

    Contact Information and disability accommodations: 
    Ms. Eileen Farmer
    University Assistant
    Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Southern Connecticut State University
  • Using Humor in the Classroom (3/29/2021)



    WCSU Professor Julius Kelp Wins Nobel Prize!  

    Image preview








    For inventing “…the greatest new drink since Dracula discovered bloody marys.”

    Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor (1963).


    • CELT seeks traces of humorous life forms in the academic universe.
    • Join the quest and share your surreal scholastic slapstick stories.
    • Clowning around not 4U? Read: Using Humor in the Classroom.


    Thursday 4/1, 10:00-11:00 am

    See Academic Affairs announcement for meeting information. 

  • Education & Educational Psych Conference – 2021 (3/19/2021)

    When: April 10th, 2021 (Saturday) 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

    Where: Link provided on 4/7/2021 with Registration

    Cost: Free

    Registration: Fill out our form

    For full information including times, abstracts, and more, please visit the conference page.

  • Synchronous Online Teaching Session (2/1/2021)

    Are you teaching synchronously this term and want to learn and share tips, techniques, success and lessons learned?

    Please sign up to attend this webinar session on Friday, February 5, 2021, 10:30am – 12pm via WebEx (link provided
    on sign up form).

    Sign up here

    Questions? Contact Aura Lippincott (lippincotta@wcsu.edu)

  • 2021 CT OER Grant Program & Information sessions (1/11/2021)

    Call for Applications for the Connecticut Open Educational Resources Grant Program is open for all Connecticut faculty.

    During its inaugural year, the grant program was able to support 1,015 students from 13 different institutions across 60 course sections to avoid over $171,000 in textbook costs. On average, 90% of those students completed their coursework with 79% of those students receiving a letter grade of ‘C’ or better.

    Public Act 19-117 Section 147 has provided over $90,000 for this second grant round for faculty and academic departments within Connecticut’s higher education institutions to explore, adopt, supplement, and create Open Educational Resources (OER).

    The deadline for applications for this opportunity is February 15th, 2021.

    In support of this call, the council has scheduled three information sessions for those interested faculty:

    • January 21st at 12pm ET
    • January 26th at 10am ET
    • February 1st at 4pm ET

    Register for information sessions here.

    About the grant opportunity
    The Connecticut Open Educational Resources Coordinating Council is pleased to announce the return of the Connecticut Open Educational Resources Grant Program to continue the support of Connecticut higher education institutions’ efforts to increase access, affordability, and achievement for students through the incorporation of open educational resources (OER). The grant program focuses on OER opportunities in “high impact” areas – courses with high enrollment and high textbook costs for which high-quality OER already exists.

    The Connecticut Open Education Resources Grant Program is available to all Connecticut higher education institutional faculty and will support projects in the following categories:

    1. Review – Evaluate an openly licensed textbook or other open content related to your course(s)/ discipline and write a review for public display. Where possible, student involvement in the review is strongly encouraged.
    2. Adoption – Adopt an existing open textbook or open course content with little to no changes made to the content.  Where possible, student involvement is strongly encouraged. This is for an individual faculty member seeking to transform their course by adopting OER materials.
    3. Supplemental – Develop missing ancillaries for currently adopted OER such as quiz question banks, lecture slides, or lab manuals. Where possible, student involvement is strongly encouraged. This is for an individual faculty member seeking to substantively supplement their adopted OER materials.
    4. Impact – For collaborative, larger-scale proposals not covered by the categories above that demonstrate a high impact on student success through the use of OER. Cross-institutional collaborative proposals, as well as student involvement, are strongly encouraged.  Examples include (but are not limited to) Course-wide Adoptions, Collaborative Supplemental Creations, and Creation/Significant Revision of stand-alone instructional materials.

    For more information, including instructions, evaluation criteria, and requirements of grantees, please visit the Connecticut Open Educational Resources Grant Program site.

  • CELT Discussion – Grading Woes (12/7/2020)

    CELT Talk – Grading Woes

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 | 10:30 am  |  1 hr

    Phineas and Ferb – Somebody Give Me A Grade [and make it an “A”] (1:50)

    https://youtu.be/GQ149r4NHks (video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4MjsgNDZBg (lyrics for singalong)

    How to deal with grading dilemmas? 

    Present your questions and share your insights: 

    • How to respond to redo requests?
    • What to do with borderline scores?
    • How deal with suspected cases of academic dishonesty?
    • What is the best way to respond to challenges to final grades?
    • How to handle students’ emotional reactions to posted scores and grades?

    See VPAA academic announcements for webex link. 

  • CELT Discussion: Crisis? What Crisis? 12/2/2020 (11/30/2020)

    CELT DISCUSSION – Crisis? What Crisis?  *

    Album cover - Supertramp: Crisis? What Crisis? Released 11/29/1975

    *Album cover – Supertramp: Crisis? What Crisis? Released 11/29/1975 (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Supertramp_-_Crisis.jpg)

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 | 10:30 am 

     Join the conversation:

    • How bad WCSU’s enrollment crisis is?
    • How concerned are you about this crisis?
    • How can faculty preserve and promote WCSU?
    • What can faculty do to keep WCSU viable during this crisis?
    • What teaching methods can attract, retain, and support students?
    • What content will make WCSU relevant and attractive to prospective students?


    See what others say:

     A World Economic Forum analysis published on 11/3/2020 points out that COVID-19 exposes existing tensions regarding the value of university education. It stipulates that COVID-19 means that universities might shrink or implode. It states that Universities are cornerstones of society and must be preserved.



    An October 2020 KPMG International industry analysis of the higher education sector predicts the end of a golden age for universities, that a disruption is underway in higher education, and that change and adaptation are critical for institutional survival.



    On October 22, 2020, the US-based National Student Center Clearinghouse Research Center published an updated report on the impact of COVID-19 on US higher education enrollments. To highlight unique enrollment patterns that are attributable to the pandemic the Center reported year-over-year percent change in enrollment between 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 based on the same institutions reporting in 2018 and 2019. The data shows that COVID 19 lead to a broad and clear decline in undergraduate and freshmen enrollments and to steep declines in enrollments of minority students and students in community colleges.



    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 | 10:30 am  |  (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)  |  1 hr

    By Webex, see VPAA academic announcements for details.

  • CELT WORKSHOP – Teaching “To Do” List for Spring 2021 (11/17/2020)

    CELT WORKSHOP – Teaching “To Do” List for Spring 2021

    Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | 10:30 am 


    Why now, so early?

    • Spring semester 2021 opens on January 26, 2021.
    • Most courses will be offered as online synchronous.
    • Updating classes takes reflection, time, and effort.

    Why should I care?

    • Many students are already experiencing “online burnout”.
    • Quality courses sustain learners’ motivation and performance.
    • Good courses and programs promote retention and graduation.
    • WCSU’s future depends on collective performance and reputation.

    What to do next? To be discussed:

    • Course Synchronous tools (Bb Collaborate, MS teams, WebEx)
    • Course Design (flow, assessment, involvement, workload)
    • Course Accessibility (text, audio/video, external links)
    • Course Bb template & variants

    Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | 10:30 am  |  (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)  |  1 hr

    By Webex, see VPAA academic announcements for details.

  • 2020-2021 BOARD OF REGENTS FACULTY AWARDS (11/3/2020)

    Nominations are being accepted for campus-based and system-wide recognitions of excellence in teaching or research/creative/scholarly work by full-time, junior faculty members and part-time faculty members of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.

    Teaching Awards $$$ 

    The awards are given to recognize faculty who have distinguished themselves as outstanding teachers for at least five years and have a minimum of two years’ record of accomplishment of promoting instructional improvements for the programs/departments. Each CSU institution may nominate a campus-based awardee and a system-wide awardee will be chosen from this group.

    Research Awards $$$

    The awards are given to recognize faculty from the state universities who are doing exceptional research/creative work. Each CSU institution may nominate a campus-based awardee and a system-wide awardee will be chosen from this group.

    Adjunct Faculty Teaching Awards $$$

    The awards are given to recognize part-time faculty who have distinguished themselves as outstanding teachers with a record of accomplishment of increasing student learning and promoting instructional improvements for the programs/departments. Two applicants might be selected to receive system-wide awards.

    Please submit your nominations to the committee at cunninghamj@wcsu.edu by November 27, 2020

    More information can be found at http://www.ct.edu/faculty/awards.