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  • KellyCumminsLarge

Kelly Cummins

  • Program:  Instructor, Respiratory Care; Co-Chair, Polysomnographic Technology

    Education/Industry Certifications: MSOM, RRT, RPSGT; Associate of Applied Science, Southeast Community College; Bachelor of Science, Wayne State College; Master of Science, Peru State College

    Has taught at SCC since: 2005

    Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: I worked for five years as an RPSGT in a Sleep Disorders Center where I performed diagnostic and therapeutic sleep studies. I also performed sleep studies for medical research trials, and I scored and prepared sleep reports for the physician’s interpretation. I have worked for 12 years as an RRT in an acute care hospital where I worked in a variety of general and acute care areas, including a Burn Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care, Adult Intensive Care, and an Emergency Department.

    Describe your teaching philosophy.
    My teaching philosophy is based on the idea that learning needs to be student driven but navigated by the instructor. I am here to help the students navigate their resources, as opposed to giving information to the students. Students need to complete their reading and/or video assignments prior to class in order to be prepared to work through activities and case studies when they arrive at class. My role is to provide resources, break down complex concepts and provide simulations where the students find the relevance of the content in which they are learning. This requires me to assess each student consistently, provide feedback and redirect them when needed. I recognize that learning styles vary among students, and their learning styles can be influenced by interaction styles, generation and culture. I use a variety of tools as both resources and assessments in order to reach each type of learner.  

    Why did you decide to teach at a community college?
    I would love to see everyone in our community have a job to go to every day, be able to put food on their tables and clothes on their families back. Being able to help others get a good-paying job, develop a career path and support their family is why I teach at SCC. I hope to influence the development of other programs, which would serve our communities’ needs in the future and continue to balance what our community needs with what the College offers.  

    What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?
    It is an intense, yet rewarding, experience. Students will be amazed at how much they learn and how quickly they are working in the hospital alongside other health care professionals. Our staff recognizes the barriers students face when being enrolled in a full-time program while managing family, work and all life has to offer. We encourage and help students develop back-up plans, organize their time and find resources to overcome the barriers to their success.

    What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?
    I earned a Master of Science degree in Organizational Management, which has prepared me to be a change agent. This means I look to the future in both our community and our profession in order to enable others to do more with their profession and life overall. I teach the students the current curriculum, but also encourage them to consider where the profession has been, what is happening in our profession today and where our profession is heading.  

    What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in your program?
    I strongly suggest students enroll in 15 credit hours for at least one quarter prior to entering the Respiratory Care program. This will prepare the student for the workload of the program and allow them to adjust their lives as needed prior to entering the program. The Respiratory Care program simulates a full-time job. Student’s schedules will typically be Monday through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with class preparation assignments to be completed at home in the evenings.

    What do you enjoy most about working with students?
    I enjoy seeing the students transform from being a student to being a professional. Our students spend 18 months (six quarters) in our program. In their second quarter they are already working in the hospitals alongside other health care professionals, and by fourth quarter they are working in the Intensive Care Units. The progression from student to health care professional is rather quick and an amazing process to witness!

    What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?
    The best part about being an SCC faculty member is seeing the success of our graduates working in the community. Whether I am getting my car fixed or visiting my dentist, I frequently work with graduates of SCC. They are always professional, friendly and appreciative of where they are because of the education they received.  

    What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?
    I don’t know if I have had one single proudest moment as an instructor. However, I frequently get the opportunity to feel proud of our graduates. Whether it is hearing a patient retell how one of our graduates had a positive impact on their health care, or an employer expressing their satisfaction with one of the graduates they have hired, or just seeing one of our graduates advance within our profession, I often have a sense of pride in the role I have played to help our graduates get there.

    What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?
    I like to spend time with my family. We enjoy going to the movies, concerts and other theatrical performances. I also enjoy reading, crocheting and just getting out to the gym and being active.

    What would students be surprised to know about you?
    I have a strong disliking for two things in life: talking on the telephone and peanut butter. I like to see the face of the person I am speaking with, and peanut butter is just gross. I think we ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches growing up.