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Aprils, 2019 I The Clarion
2019 Gateway Course
By Chloe McGee
On Monday Mar. 19, BC English professors
Jessica Tucker and Tina Holland collaborated
with Katie McBriar, Junior, and McKayla
Robinette, Sophomore, to attend and present
at the 2019 Gateway Course Experience
Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
The conference is an annual event that
spans over the course of three days, which
are comprised of, what Holland refers to as,
“concurrent sessions” instructed by professors,
administrators, and staff from across the
Representing Brevard College’s English
department, Tucker and Holland arrived at the
event on Sun., March 18 and were joined by
Robinette and McBriar the next day.
McBriar and Robinette both hold multiple
student leadership positions on campus.
McBriar serves as the president of both CAB
and BC Serves, as well as a student leader
and Teaching Assistant (TA) for introductory
English courses. Robinette is the president of
the Agriculture Club, Resident Advisor (RA) in
Beam Dormitory and a Supplemental Instructor
(SI) for English 111 and 112 honors classes.
Before attending the conference, the group
worked together flipping the traditional model
and adapting to 21 st century learning. Robinette
says that their modernized course focuses on
“applicable writing... how to communicate
The GCE conference is nationwide
opportunity, geared towards educators, to
exchange ideas that enhance both teaching
and learning strategies for gateway courses
— first-year curriculum. Tucker believes that
this “makes students’ participation even more
significant.” She says that “their perspectives
were very helpful to the audience” when the
pair explained their roles in remodeling the
ENG 111 course.
While this was Tucker’s first time
participating, Holland has attended several of
these conferences in the past. Holland claims
that her trip to Indianapolis for the 2014
Gateway Course Experience Conference is
the reason why she now incorporates student
leadership positions in her classes. She says
that this was an “integral part” of redesigning
the 111 course.
Their presentation shared the success in
redesigning the school’s ENG 111 course. They
revealed just how much improvement was
made after the new model was introduced to the
curriculum by comparing academic statistics.
“We saw a major decrease in grades of D and
F, as well as the withdrawal and incomplete
rates,” said Robinette.
When Tucker was enrolled as an undergraduate
at Brevard College, Holland taught two of her
courses. “I am grateful to work with her now as
we address the needs of21st-century learners,”
said Tucker. “What I love about teaching is how
I continue to learn new things and address new
Their presentation included an interactive
activity where audience members pretended as
though they were students writing three distinct
forms of communication.
As for the feedback, Holland says that the
“interest level was really high” and for many in
the audience this was a “new concept.”
“Katie and McKayla are outstanding students,
leaders, and presenters,” said Tucker. “I am
extremely impressed with them, not only for
their participation at the conference but also
in our classrooms and the EEC.”
Photo by Peter Trench
Photo taken after presenting at the Gateway Course Experience Conference
Continued from page 1
sections of willow, alder and dogwood trees
and planted them in the stream bank.
“They are flagged because the students are
testing a couple of different methods that
ecologists use,” Drinkard said. “Some of them
have been soaked ahead of time, some have not.
Some have had a chemical, a rooting hormone,
applied to the area that is going to be below
The students will go back in about a month
to see which of the methods were the most
The pink flags that can be seen near the bridge
by Sims Art Building are a numbering system
and each flag has a code that tells which team
collected it, what species of tree it is, which
tree it was, what kind of treatment it got for
soaking and what kind of treatment it got for
On Friday, March 29, a troop of Boy Scouts
were on campus working with Environmental
professors as well as the ECO 245 students to
help place the rest of the stakes and it was an
excellent opportunity for the campus to work
on community outreach.
“I think it would be neat to keep doing some
different trials on what is most efficient in
creating good establishment for the stakes,”
Drinkard said. “We are trying to figure out
the best method for here and we will work to
continue using that method.”
Math / Science
honors & awards
Brevard College’s 2019 honors and awards
ceremonies will start Tuesday, April 9, when
the Math and Science Division will recognize
their award recipients at 4 p.m. in the Porter
Center’s Scott Commons.
Other ceremonies will take place starting
on April 15. More about those will be in next
week’s issue of The Clarion.