Mid Michigan College’s LUCES (Learning & Understanding Content to Empower Success) Program was recently recognized by the Liberal Arts Network for Development (LAND) with their Institutional Excellence Award.

LAND supports the development of the liberal arts at Michigan community colleges, and serves as a forum, network, and resource for educators.

The LAND Institutional Excellence Award was established to spotlight, honor, and provide public recognition to a team or group that demonstrates exemplary collaboration and teamwork in the design, implementation, assessment, or advocacy of an innovative course/project/program which improves the impact/quality of the liberal arts curriculum, strengthens a current college program or project which advances the liberal arts, and/or offers a new option for students to experience the liberal arts. Awardees receive a $1,000 check to support the further program efforts.

“We’re humbled to receive this award which is in recognition of LUCES faculty’s hard work, dedication, and training. These funds will help us facilitate an understanding of SIOP college-wide so we can better serve our students and help them succeed,” explained Iliana Miller, Faculty Member and LUCES Program Committee Chair at Mid.

The LUCES Program at Mid launched five years ago. An effort led by Scott Mertes, VP of Academic Affairs & Community Outreach, and Lucy Andacia, Forgein Language Faculty, who served as the lead administrator and faculty member who created and supported LUCES academy. The program continues to generate productive discussion about effective teaching and learning. The team of faculty, administrators, and staff who are involved with LUCES have long recognized college readiness is a threshold.

“We started looking for a methodology that would help make knowing the proper ways to speak, act, read, and write in an academic setting more clear to students who fail to cross this threshold on their own,” explained Miller.

Pearson Education’s Sheltered Instruction Observational Protocol (SIOP) Model provided a framework that the Mid team utilized to teach college-level academic content concurrently with academic language and strategies for success. The SIOP Model is scientifically validated, and is used internationally. (Source: Pearson Education, 2012.) Using the SIOP model, LUCES instructors at Mid identify, introduce, and emphasize content objectives and new vocabulary as a first step.

“We guide students who fail to cross the threshold of college readiness without compromising course proficiencies and objectives,” stated Miller. “Clear pronunciation, gestures and body language, slower speech rate, and sufficient wait time for student responses all help to support student understanding.”

Different techniques including thinking aloud, modeling, supplemental visual materials, hands-on activities, role play exercises, conceptual maps, etc. are implemented throughout course sessions so students can adapt the content language to their own level of proficiency.

In 2016, Mid enrolled 273 students in LUCES courses. Enrollment continues to grow, 2020 Fall and Winter semesters saw 409 students enroll in LUCES courses.

Future plans include a proposed sequence of LUCES courses for transfer degrees in Business and Liberal Studies, which will also meet Michigan Transfer Agreement requirements. Mid’s LUCES Committee also plans to develop a faculty training module that is consistent with the SIOP Model and addresses the unique challenges of college-level teaching and learning.

For more information about LUCES, contact Iliana Miller at imiller@midmich.edu or (989) 386-6622 x547.

Learn more about LAND at landconferencemi.com

Back to the top