Meet Moira Lafayette, PLSP-ECMC Foundation fellow

Meet Moira Lafayette, dean of health sciences and public safety at Blackhawk Technical College (BTC). The Techniques interview with Lafayette appears as part of a digital-exclusive spotlight series on fellows in the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation.

What leadership skills do you hope to develop as part of the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation?

Through the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation, I hope to develop leadership skills in the following areas:

  1. Mentoring and supporting program chairs to administer programs and develop program tools and documents that put student success first
  2. Inspiring faculty to integrate digital tools and online resources into their curriculum — to enhance quality, flexible delivery of instruction that supports student learning and success of underserved populations
  3. Engaging in strategic program management to address the changing demands of students, employers and industry

In what ways have you innovated to engage students & inspire colleagues in CTE through the COVID-19 pandemic?

The pandemic environment added a sense of urgency to innovating the flexible learning opportunities at Blackhawk Technical College. As an institutional leader, I have championed innovation by collaborating with my peers across the college to identify strategies and resources for integrating digital tools and teaching strategies to support learners. Further, we consistently work toward a greater awareness of equity, diversity and inclusion in CTE.

At the start of the pandemic, faculty shifted content delivery to virtual. We combined online content with hybrid in-person learning, and we continued to adopt more digital resources. Additionally, we leveraged in-person clinical simulation sessions with remote technology. This has been a remarkable innovation for BTC.

I also gathered student feedback on their learning experience during the pandemic. This data will be used to support more focus on technology during student orientation and in a review of courses to ensure technology resources and support are readily available.

Our education systems face many challenges in 2021. Please discuss the steps CTE can take to improve equitable access to high-quality CTE programs of study.

The challenges students face during a global pandemic were reflected in the persistence rates of many BTC students. We saw an initial dip in returning student registrations from spring 2020 to fall 2021 as students sorted out how to juggle the competing demands on their time. Some of the stimulus activities to support families will help, along with ensuring quality child care is available, because many of our students are parents with children.

BTC has taken steps to increase institutional supports in areas of scholarship and financial aid. This work helps improve equitable access to CTE programs for students in our district.  We engage with industry partners regularly, through advisory boards and committees, to promote the benefits of CTE. Continued communication goes a long way in garnering the support of employers and legislators. And we need their support to shape our programs and hire our students.

Learn more about the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation.

Please also meet:

  • Tiffanie Rosier, STEM education coordinator at Northern Virginia Community College
  • Tachaka Hollins, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Tennessee Board of Regents
  • Tracey D. Cooper, executive director of nursing at Temple College
  • Bernie Phelps, director of Perkins, Perkins Rural Reserve and dual enrollment at Montana Technological University, Highlands College
  • Vickie Thomas, director of the Center for Workforce and Community Development at Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell
  • Brad Kinsinger, director of the Global Agriculture Learning Center at Hawkeye Community College
  • Eric Sewell, director of technical education at Southern Union State Community College
  • C.J. Wurster, district director at Maricopa County Community College District
  • Katie Vincent, director of workforce partnerships at Owensboro Community and Technical College
  • Xue Xing, assistant professor of teaching and learning at University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Aleksander Marthinussen, program manager with NOVA SySTEMic at Northern Virginia Community College
  • Martha Payan-Hernandez, director of CTE at Fullerton College
  • Dan Adams, former CTE administrator and current stay-at-home dad
  • Ashlee Spannagel, dean of CTE and workforce development at Southeastern Community College
  • Darlene O’Rourke, Perkins grant director and officer at Queensborough Community College
  • Shelsi Barber-Carter, CTE coordinator at Baton Rouge Community College