Dr. Paul LaVergne, arts and science department chair and Said Lamhaouar, associate vice president of academic support services, attended the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions Educators (AHSIE) fifth Best Practices Conference March 11-13 at New Jersey City University in Jersey City where they shared their knowledge about STEM learning communities with over 40 session participants.

Vaughn’s session entitled “The Design and Implementation of a STEM Related Learning Community” fell under the conference theme of STEM teaching for Hispanics. Professor LaVergne and Mr. Lamhaouar held a group discussion focusing on how professors can integrate these courses in a learning communities setting.

“Our presentation delved into the similarities and differences in teaching and learning methods of these subjects and how best to apply collaborative inquiry-based learning to increase student outcomes,” said LaVergne.

In addition to presenting, LaVergne and Lamhaouar were able to attend interesting sessions focusing on the utilization of peer mentors to retain HIS students and the role of Supplemental Instructor (SI Tutors).

“It was great to be able to attend the conference, present our knowledge and learn from the success of others,” said Lamhaouar.  “We will institute new ideas from the conference as appropriate to improve our programs here at Vaughn.”

The conference, which has previously been held in New Mexico, California and Texas, is designed to enable grantees of HSI grant programs the opportunity to share best practices, network and learn how to get the most impact from grant funding. Over 30 sessions with topics from evaluation to grant management were offered. The conference theme was “From Seed to Tree: Cultivating Leadership and Success in HSIs.”