Awards, new Surgical Technology degree program begins at AACC

An Anne Arundel Community College certificate program and course have won top honors from the Maryland Distance Learning Association (MDLA).

The MDLA gave AACC’s Transportation, Logistics and Cargo Security (TLC) certificate program the 2010 Distance Education Program of the Year Award. The 2010 MDLA Distance Education Course of the Year Award went to AACC’s computer technologies course, “Programming 2 in Java” (CSI 162). Patricia Gregory of Davidsonville, AACC professor of computer science, was honored for her work developing and teaching this online course.

AACC created the award-winning TLC program through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to address industry training needs nationwide. An advisory committee comprised of regional business, government and education leaders worked with a team of instructional designers from the AACC Center for Workforce Solutions to provide feedback as courses were developed and piloted. Initially, training took place in a face-to-face classroom setting. After a successful pilot offering, the courses were then converted to an online format and marketed nationally.

The training is offered for college credit or as noncredit continuing education and is targeted to new and existing workers in the TLC fields. AACC also offers the training to the general public.

Gregory joined AACC in 1991 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science degree from Bowie State University.

An Anne Arundel Community College faculty member has won the Instructional Technology Council’s 2010 Award for Outstanding eLearning Faculty.

A panel of judges selected Sandra L. King of Annapolis, associate professor of English and communications, for implementing outstanding and innovative teaching and class management strategies, for demonstrated course success and excellent student retention. She was one of three U.S. faculty who won in her category, which was one of eight categories in the 2010 Awards for Excellence in eLearning.

King coordinates the AACC Academy of Excellence for faculty who teach online and hybrid (a combination of online and in-class learning) courses. She oversees the peer-mentoring program for first-time online/hybrid faculty and coordinates the AACC Quality Matters program. She is a QM master reviewer, conducts QM training and one of her courses in 2009 met the challenging QM standards.

Student success is a top priority for King, who joined AACC in 2001. She has a librarian help students with research, uses student support systems to ensure academic success and communicates in detail her academic expectations and grading practices. She builds group activities, group discussions and reflective learning blogs into all of her courses.
Active in professional organizations, her memberships include the Maryland Distance Learning Association, National Communication Association and Maryland Communication Association.

Founded in 1977, the Instructional Technology Council is based in Washington, D.C. with member institutions located in the United States, Canada, Ireland and Saudi Arabia.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission has approved an Associate of Applied Science degree program in Surgical Technology at Anne Arundel Community College.

Students can take classes this spring and summer to prepare for the fall launch of this 60-credit program, which will prepare them to enter one of the fastest growing professions in the nation, according to the Maryland Hospital Association. Employment in the field is expected to grow much faster than average during the decade ending 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with 23,200 jobs added. Maryland is one of the three top-paying states with hourly mean wages of $22.72. The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation projects 1,150 job openings through 2016.

Surgical technologists work in hospitals, surgical centers and other health care facilities. They prepare operating rooms by setting up surgical instruments and equipment, sterile drapes and solutions; prepare patients for surgery by washing, shaving and disinfecting incision sites; transport patients to the operating room; observe patients’ vital signs; check charts and help the surgical team with sterile gowns and gloves.

Both Anne Arundel Medical Center and Baltimore Washington Medical Center approached AACC about a training partnership, offering to help develop the new program to generate trained workers. AACC students will gain hands-on practice in operating rooms at Anne Arundel Medical Center during times – such as weekends – that do not interfere with the hospital’s schedule. This partnership benefits the hospital by generating a pool of job applicants familiar with its facilities and benefits AACC because it doesn’t have to build and equip a surgical lab.

AACC hopes to graduate 20 students annually for employment within Anne Arundel County. Typically, it will take two years to earn the degree. The training will prepare graduates for a national certification exam. AACC is seeking program accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

For information on the program, call the AACC School of Health Professions, Wellness and Physical Education at 410-777-7318.

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