Aug 252014

To all Wright College students . . .

Welcome to the Fall 2014 semester!

As your college president, I want to let you know that all of us who work at Wright College are committed to providing you with a high quality education and all the support you need. We have an outstanding college, strong faculty and staff, and students who know that completion is the one sure path to success. Our goal is that you earn your degree or certificate and graduate from Wright.

In the past year, a record-breaking number students obtained their associate degrees from Wright. We want to celebrate your degree, too. Your professors, advisors, and staff are all here to help you complete.

Wright College 2014 graduate Chrissy Barnes (center) is headed to Mount Holyoke College and credits her success to the support of (from left) Transfer Center Assistant Ela Jakubczak, Transfer Center Director Susan Calabrese, College Advisor Nicole Meeuwse, and Associate Dean of Student Services Maria Llopiz.

Wright College 2014 graduate Chrissy Barney (center) is headed to Mount Holyoke College and credits her success to the support of (from left) Transfer Center Assistant Ela Jakubczak, Transfer Center Director Susan Calabrese, College Advisor Nicole Meeuwse, and Associate Dean of Student Services Maria Llopiz. Congrats, Chrissy!

Just last week, one of our recent graduates, Chrissy Barney, stopped by Wright to visit and thank her advisor and Advising Center staff for helping her complete and earn her associate degree (see picture). This week, Chrissy is headed to Mount Holyoke College – one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges in the nation – where she is enrolled as a transfer student. When Chrissy thanked and hugged her advisor, she said, “When I started, I never thought this would be possible.”

Completion is possible, with focus and hard work – and by making good use of the student resources available to you.

Wright College is the information technology (IT) center for City Colleges’ “College to Careers” initiative. We’re excited about new associate degree programs in Networking & Technology, Web Development and Computer Science, as well as several certificate programs – all designed to provide the high-demand skills needed for today’s exciting, high-growth industries.

We are working to ensure our facilities meet your needs now and into the future. This week, you’ll receive a survey about the Wright College campus, its physical space and surroundings. Please complete the survey – your feedback will help us greatly in determining space planning requirements and ensuring our physical surroundings are enjoyable, useful and support students’ needs.

Many of the facilities improvements are available to use and enjoy now. In the coming weeks, we will unveil the brand new dance studio and beautiful new gym floor.  Over the course of the semester, you’ll notice new furniture arriving to many of our classrooms – furniture that students like you helped to select last year. You can also take advantage of the new student lounge areas in the Science and Arts buildings, which feature media charging outlets. Use them to relax and recharge between classes.

Again, welcome – or welcome back – to Wright College. You are part of a rich, vibrant community, so enjoy it. Get involved. Stay informed. Stay focused. Keep moving. Keep learning. Keep succeeding. Complete. Complete. Complete. And always remember: success is possible – and we’re going to help you get there.

With all best wishes for a productive and successful semester,


David Potash
President, Wilbur Wright College

P.S.    Be sure to stay informed about Wright College news, events, and activities by subscribing to the Wright College blog – Wright College Net – and liking Wilbur Wright College on Facebook!

Aug 222014


Ted JankowskiTed Jankowski is a new full-time faculty member in the Mathematics Department at Wright College.  He will be teaching developmental math courses to students who need a refresher in math, preparing them for the higher level math courses necessary for graduation.  He will also be teaching other math courses as needed.

WCN: What is your favorite aspect of teaching math?

Ted: I enjoy incorporating group learning activities in the classroom setting and having students learn by active collaboration whenever possible.  It’s far too boring to just lecture, both for the students and the instructor.  Instead, students learn best by doing.  As Confucius said, “I hear and I forget.  I see and I remember.  I do and I understand.”

WCN: What is your background in math instruction?

Ted: I’ve been developing my craft for many years; two years as a part-time instructor at Kennedy-King College, and nine years as a full-time instructor at ITT Technical Institute.

WCN: Why did you choose math instruction as a profession?

Ted: My calculus teacher in high school had a profound influence on me.  It was a difficult and rigorous course to take in high school, but I learned only through hours and hours of dedicated practice and by sheer determination.  Not many of my colleagues liked our teacher because he was so tough, but he did teach us self-discipline, something we all needed to succeed in college and in our later careers.  I ended up being a mechanical engineer, but I never really tried teaching until I joined the Peace Corps for a few years and taught at a high school in rural Zimbabwe.  It was challenging, I admit.  Nevertheless, it was a wonderful life changing experience, one which I still fondly remember.

WCN: What might we find you doing when you’re not teaching at Wright?

Ted: I was born and raised in Chicago and now live near Jefferson Park.  It’s great living in Chicago, and I intend on staying here.  It’s a great vibrant cosmopolitan city. I’m an avid runner.  Each year I try to run a full marathon, and hopefully I will run my 12th this October.  I mainly do it for the exercise and comradery.  Training for a marathon is serious business.  It takes 18 weeks to complete; but once you cross that finish line, you’re hooked and begin thinking of your next race.  I also like the outdoors, as in hiking, bike riding, fishing, camping and the like.  Being outdoors gives you a sense of your place in the world.

WCN: What are your goals for the Fall 2014 Semester?

Ted: I hope to learn all I can to become part of the Wright College community.

Welcome, Ted!


Aug 222014

Below is a selection of presentations from Faculty Development Week 2014.

For a recap of Faculty Development Week 2014, please click here.

For images from FDW 14, please click here.


August 12, 2014

Welcome Back (David Potash)

Wait, Wait, Do Tell Me (Kevin Li)

Holistic Placement Supporting the Whole Student at Wright College (Kevin Li, Steve Robbins, and Sam Rikoon)

Center for Teaching & Learning, Fall 2014 (Alicia Anzaldo and Tracy Mitchell)

AQIP Action Projects at Wright College, 2014 -2015 (Kevin Li)


August 13, 2014

CCSSE/CCFFSSE, 2005 -2014 (Brian Trzebiatowski)


August 14, 2014

Productive Persistence & the Student Mindset Intervention
(Kevin Li and Mira Kolodkin)

PACC : Proposed Academic Curriculum Changes
(Core Team: Mr. Rich Chandler, Mr. Andrew Flesch, Dr. Polly Hoover, Dr. Maria Jaskot-Inclan, Dr. Ileo Lott, Dr. Pervez Rahman, Dr. Sonia Ramirez, and Mr. Ivan Tejeda)




Aug 222014


By Guest Blogger Kevin Li, Wright College Dean of Instruction

IMG_3090Faculty Development Week 2014 (FDW) was a great success!  Thanks to Herculean efforts on the part of many staff and administrators, the district-wide gathering on Monday ran smoothly. Tuesday started with addresses from President Potash and the new Vice President, Nicole Reaves. We were given an overview of trends, accomplishments, and upcoming planning, particularly space planning. Dr. Reaves offered, through a game-show presentation, details about her life, including information about her educational background and her first dog.

IMG_3110Another game show followed, the tried and true “Wait Wait, Do Tell Me”, with a book giveaway sponsored by the Title V grant. Faculty were quizzed on many facets of Wright College, including its illustrious history with synchronized swimming, AQIP categories, and whether the Veterans Services Specialist is Ed Harris, Mike Davis, Ed Davis, or Ed Norton.

Steve Robbins, Director of Reach an Innovation at ETS, joined me to share a presentation about Holistic Placement. Recent data indicate that acceleration based on more robust data, including cognitive and non-cognitive indicators, does no harm to students, and potentially moves them through or out of developmental education, thus increasing their chances of success.

IMG_3252Alicia Anzaldo and Tracy Mitchell shared the good news on the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), which was only an idea a year ago, and now is an orange and blue room with a book collection, 23 upcoming sessions and four book clubs. Last year, the CTL welcomed 272 participants.

This year, FDW featured “poster sessions” for student support services. In response to faculty input after last year’s FDW, the Office of Instruction facilitated two days of poster sessions, where each Wright College department could share their offerings and programming to mingling faculty via a representative and a poster.

In addition to Steve Robbins, mentioned above, other visiting presenters included our HLC Liaison, Linnea Stenson, who gave an overview of the different pathways, including AQIP, and Krista Jackson – who visited us via video conference – to outline IAI (Illinois Articulation Initiative) updates.

IMG_3164Break-out sessions allowed faculty to pursue their own interests, and ranged in topics from hidden habitats in Costa Rica to embedded tutoring and non-cognitive interventions in the classroom.

Presentations and photos from FDW 14 are available for your review and enjoyment.

Again, thank you to everyone who dedicated their time, creativity, energy and resources to ensuring FDW 14 was a dynamic and engaging experience. We will administer a survey to gain further data on faculty perceptions of the week.


Aug 122014

It was wonderful seeing everyone back and getting ready for the Fall 2014 semester at Faculty Development Week. I want to thank Dean of Instruction Kevin Li, the many members of the Dean of Instruction Office, and all the faculty and staff involved in making Faculty In Service today so successful.

You can follow this link if you would like to see my presentation.

As I said this morning, thank you so very much for your contributions, expertise, and good cheer. It is going to be a very good year for Wright College.

David Potash

Aug 112014

FDW Facebook_500x500 (2)Wright College is excited to welcome full-time faculty from across the district to Faculty Development Week 2014!

Welcome, faculty from Daley College, Kennedy-King College, Malcolm X College, Olive-Harvey College, Truman College, and Harold Washington College!

Click the FDW image for today’s program. Please click here for information about campus facilities.

We hope you enjoy today’s program and gain fresh perspectives and insights as you prepare for the coming term. Wright College staff is happy to answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to ask if you need anything.

Aug 102014

Part of a series about Title V at Wright College.

How did Wright College get the Title V Grant and how is this grant being implemented? Early in 2012 the Office of the Vice President applied for Title V funds. Wright College met the criteria to apply (being a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and the Department of Education (DoE) found Wright’s proposal to align with the goals of the Title V program. The grant aims to “improve success for first-year and at-risk students, to improve faculty skills in identifying and supporting these students, and to facilitate faculty efforts to incorporate active and collaborative learning opportunities in their teaching”. Wright College was awarded the Title V grant in July 2012.

What is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI)?*For the purpose of awarding the grant, the DoE defines an HSI as an institution of higher education that has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application.

If the government says Wright is an HSI, are there benefits and responsibilities that go along with that status? There are no particular perks or responsibilities inherent to the designation, besides qualifying for the Title V grant itself. Any other affiliations associated with being an HSI must be actively pursued by Wright if they are deemed helpful to our community and our programming.

Since the Title V grant is for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), why are there not more Hispanic programs, faculty, staff, and students benefitting directly?
Being an HSI is what qualified Wright to apply for Title V funds. With these funds we are expected to develop programming and/or infrastructures that will benefit the institution and our Hispanic students. The language of the grant explains that classroom pedagogies, faculty development, and programming activities that have proven successful for Hispanic students will be put into place across the board, such that the entire Wright community will benefit. The phrase from the grant – “rising tides lift all boats” – captures this thinking. Hispanic-themed events and programming should continue to play a part in the approved Title V grant programs. We welcome ideas and volunteers to build this programming.

The Department of Education’s website states:“The Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program is NOT a scholarship or fellowship program for individuals or for research. The program is designed to support institutions of higher educationthat are HSIs.”*

How are decisions being made about spending and implementation? The grant Project Coordinator, Sara Schupack, and the staff in the Dean of Instruction’s office monitor the progress of the grant programs and develop data collection and reporting systems with the External Evaluator, for communicating progress to the Department of Education.

Professional Development funds are awarded by a committee composed of faculty, staff, and administrators. Currently, the committee includes: Alicia Anzaldo, Larry Buonaguidi, Terrence Doherty, Irene Horne, Christopher Leonard, Kevin Li, William Marsh, John Metoyer, Tracy Mitchell, Suzanne Sanders, Tara Whitehair, Brian Trzebiatowski, and Mark Valencia. Title V work overlaps with that of the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP); thus the AQIP Steering Committee contributes to Title V initiatives as well. Other spending must align directly with programs that are identified in the grant. The approved grant includes a budget with program and infrastructure allotments.

Can I get a position working for the grant? Grant personnel are written into the grant; new positions cannot be created. Many of the people currently working to implement the grant accept these duties in addition to their regular jobs. However, there are many ways to get involved with Title V, including:

►Get to know the grant and its programs.

►Stay updated with Title V efforts by visiting, the Wright College blog which highlights stories and successes of the grant.

►Complete the Application for Use of Professional Development Funds from the Title V Grant. The funds can be used to attend conferences or develop on-site programming. Visit the CTL website to obtain the PD Application and find upcoming sessions.

►Join a committee.

►Participate in events hosted by Wright in Your Corner.

►Identify challenges within a program related to at-risk students or first-year students and suggest an intervention strategy.

Please note that all participation must support the goals and programs described in the approved grant. If you have questions regarding Title V, please contact Sara Schupack.

*Source: The Department of Education’s Website:

Aug 102014

Part of a series about Title V at Wright College.

The programs listed below are written into the Title V grant; Wright is expected to demonstrate progress in each of these areas in measurable ways. New programs cannot be inserted into the grant work. In addition to these programs, themes of the grant include: active and collaborative learning, supporting and identifying at-risk students, supporting first-year students, continuing and enhancing articulation agreements, and developing a holistic placement and intervention process utilizing SuccessNavigator™, a non-cognitive assessment created by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

wiyc event

An event in the Wright in Your Corner student center.

Wright in Your Corner Student Center(WiYC)WiYC (S-100) is a unique resource that integrates academic and social components to support student success. The Center is comprised of academic and student service professionals who provide a dynamic range of services: academic coaching, mentoring, tutoring and more. WiYC is leading Wright’s peer mentoring and extended orientation programs.

Learning Communities (LCs) LCs are linked courses developed by faculty and approved by the faculty-led LC Committee. New LCs are developed every year, including Co-Requisites, an LC form of acceleration for English that has shown great results for student success and retention.

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)The CTL promotes learning and leadership, providing faculty and staff with a forum for sharing promising practices and unique interests. The Title V Professional Development (PD) Committee has approved faculty and staff attendance at conferences around the country, including the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, National Association for Multicultural Education, and National Association of Developmental Education. Conference attendees share their learning with the college via the CTL. Faculty and staff can participate online via Blackboard or in person in the CTL’s new location in S-243.

Skills Connection – This program brings soft skills to Career Programs, embedding career and non-cognitive assessments and training into the curriculum. Faculty members, with the support of the Skills Connection Coordinator, adapt materials for their courses, leading students towards the NCRC (National Career Readiness Certificate).

College Readiness Initiative (CRI) The CRI, which began as a faculty research and faculty tenure project, has continued as an ongoing collaboration between Wright College and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to address the college readiness of incoming students.

Math on Demand Lab

Wright’s Math on Demand Lab

Math On Demand (MOD) Offered in Wright College’s state-of-the-art Math Center (S-305), MOD is an innovative developmental education program, which enhances learning and advancement through and out of developmental education. MOD continues to elicit interest nationwide.

Aug 052014

GED-Facebook-Image-500x500In 2014, the cost of the GED test increased from $50 to $120 per exam. To eliminate the increased financial barrier for students seeking to move on to college or a career, City Colleges will cover the difference in the cost of one exam ($70) for its students who have successfully completed at least one semester of advanced adult education courses.

These scholarships will substantially reduce the cost of the GED test back to its pre-2014 level. Applications for the new scholarship are currently being accepted, based on eligibility.

The district anticipates spending up to $141,000 in FY2015 to help up to 2,000 students reduce costs of the new GED test. Students must meet several requirements including passing an official practice test to be eligible for the GED test scholarship.

According to the 2010 census, approximately 330,000 or nearly one-sixth of Chicago residents of employable age (18 and over) lack a high-school diploma. Students age 25-32 without a high school degree make on average $17,500 less than their peers with a college degree and are more likely to struggle with unemployment, according to a 2014 Pew Research Centre report.

City Colleges recently expanded its adult education off-sites into communities with high populations in need of GED or English Language Learning services. City Colleges offers free adult education classes at more than 70 off-sites, in addition to City Colleges locations, including three GED locations in the Wright College community.

Earning a GED high school equivalency certificate is only the first step. In today’s increasingly competitive economy, employers are demanding more skilled workers making completion of certificate or an associate degree program the standard for transitioning into a living-wage career.  All adult education students have the opportunity to participate in the City Colleges Bridge and Gateway programs once they reach appropriate skill levels. Bridge programs prepare intermediate-level English as a Second Language and Adult Basic Education students to transition to CCC’s career programs like manufacturing, logistics, culinary arts and healthcare. Gateway programs provide merit scholarships and targeted academic support to help students begin college-level work while still taking Adult Education classes.

For more information about GED programs at Wright College, prospective students should call 773-COLLEGE or visit Wright’s Adult Education webpage.

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