welcome letter 2014

August 12, 2013
Dear (Name here)
Welcome to Everett Community College! You are joining a superb community of colleagues at a
world-class institution that invests in supporting and advancing faculty.
As part of our welcome, I would like to personally invite you to our annual on-campus New
Faculty Orientation on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 3-4. It seems like only a short time
ago that I took part in my own orientation, but it was actually 11 years ago! My current role on
campus is as an instructor in the math department, a faculty mentor, and the Director of the
Honors Program. Over the past few years I have been developing this orientation as well as the
New Faculty Teaching Academy that you will be a part of.
The two-day orientation event will provide you with important information and advice to get you
started in your first year at EvCC. I will be introducing you to the many resources our campus
provides to promote your success. You will meet colleagues in your cohort as well as senior
colleagues who will support your teaching and professional development. During these two days
I will also introduce you to some of the key people on campus who will assist you in learning
more about issues around campus protocols, policies and procedures.
Throughout your first year at EvCC, you will be a part of a unique learning community called the
New Faculty Teaching Academy. Nothing is more important to the continued growth of teachers
than working in a climate that supports professional learning, and at Everett Community College
we want to provide you with rich experiences that will assist in developing and enhancing your
teaching interests and effectiveness. During the academic year you and your Teaching Academy
cohort will work with a community of scholars who value teaching, and who seek to foster
excellence in teaching and learning practices. Toward this end, the Teaching Academy will be
designed to provide opportunities for professional growth.
My goals for you in the Teaching Academy are to provide on-going support for your work,
including professional development; to increase institutional scholarship; to increase reflective
practices; to improve instructional performance; and to promote norms of collaboration and
In order to prepare for Orientation and the Teaching Academy, I have established a “class” in our
LMS (Learning Management System), Canvas, that has a treasure trove of information. Please
check into the Canvas class by going to the college website, www.everettcc.edu. In the left column
you will see a list of options. Please go to eLearning Canvas and click on EvCC Canvas (note that
there is a Canvas How-To’s link also, and it might be helpful to look at that first). To access the
New Faculty Teaching Academy class, logon with your 804 number, and your PIN that was given
to you by HR. There will be a landing page for the Canvas site, and a drop-down menu for courses
that you are enrolled in (and later that you will be teaching). You will see our course listed. The
first thing you should do is check out the modules, and as the next step, please introduce yourself
to the other members of your cohort by clicking on the discussion board. If you have any
problems logging into Angel, please contact the Help Desk at 425-388-9367 or 1-888-575-9027
or by emailing elearning@everettcc.edu and specify your problem. The class will “go live” on
August 25th.
Also included in this packet is a composition book that we will be using throughout the Teaching
Academy for various assignments and assessments. As your first “assignment” for the class, think
about this: what are the characteristics of a great teacher? Think about the teachers you have
known over the years who made an impact on you as a student. What about them impressed you,
and what are some of the characteristics you hope you have? Bring that list, in your composition
book, and I will share with you some of the things that some colleagues, sitting around the lunch
table one afternoon, came up with.
Finally, as part of the assessment of the Teaching Academy, I have included a pre-survey. Please
complete the survey and bring to the orientation on September 3rd . You will be asked to complete
a similar survey at the end of your first year to assess any changes that might have taken place in
your teaching practices. As part of the Teaching Academy you will be asked to write short,
monthly reflective statements about the topics we’ll be covering. At the orientation I will provide
you with the dates, time and topics for our meetings.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I will be available prior to September 3rd
at mbalachowski@everettcc.edu. I will also be on campus Monday – Thursday the week prior to
Orientation. I am looking forward to working with you in the coming year. Enjoy the rest of the
summer, and I’ll see you on September 3rd !
Peg Balachowsk
*Please contact your division AA if you have not received your SID by the time you receive this letter.