Center for Teaching Excellence focuses on faculty

The Center for Teaching Excellence officially opened in the Cerritos College Library on Thursday with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

The center coordinator Dr. David Betancourt said, “The mission of the center is to provide professional development for our faculty, and also to provide a one stop resource center so they can come in and ask questions about anything that’s going on (around) campus.”

According to Amparo Atherton, one of the center’s educational technology trainers, the center holds different workshops and trains faculty and staff in new programs that are used in the classroom.

“I usually train faculty and staff on any instructional and institutional programs. We teach how to use the web email, Talon Net, PowerPoint, Word, Excel (and) anything they need for the class.”

The center was originally thought up by Bryan Reece, former dean of the Student Success Center.

Reece said, “We had a place called the Innovation Center, which did a lot of training on technology and wanted to generally expand the center and rebrand it to create a place that offered more than just technology training.”

Reece designed the center with Anthony Fortner, a professor from the Woodworking Manufacturing department.

Fortner explained that students were brought in from the department’s “capstone class” to complete the center.

“(The class is) called Production Design Team,” said Fortner. “They come in and their class is to make these projects.”

The class project was completed over two semesters with each class putting 144 hours into the room.

One of the classes built the room dividers near the entrance to the room while the other class built the rolling doors in the back of the room.

During the ceremony, students and faculty from the Woodworking Department were given a plaque for their hard work, while a second plaque was hung on one of the office walls.

“We thought it was a really good opportunity to help create a situation where students can apply the knowledge they’re learning in classes,” Betancourt said.

Robert Lemen, who graduated from Cerritos with a certificate in cabinet making, was one of the students who helped in the building of the center.

Lemen wasn’t expecting to be acknowledged during the ceremony or be given the plaque.

“It was nice,” Lemen said. “I was just told to come for the ribbon cutting ceremony.”

The office also has space dedicated to Cerritos’s Outstanding Faculty on the walls.

As visitors walk in, they can see pictures of the recipients from this year’s Outstanding Faculty Awards, while the back wall honors the Most Outstanding Faculty Award winners from the previous years.

“The ultimate goal of course is to help the faculty in the areas they feel they need help in and provide the training they need so we can help increase student success,” Betancourt said.