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Jessie LaCross

Start Date: 03/15/2017

Program: Continuing Education

Education/Industry Certifications: Master of Arts, Instructional Technology

Years Teaching at SCC: 11 1/2

Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: 44

Describe your teaching philosophy.
It is really important for me to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to learning for all students involved. This means providing a relaxed atmosphere (which frequently includes humor), prompting student interest with relevant hands-on problems and activities, and encouraging students to work with and teach each other. I try to utilize instructional methods for adult learners who may prefer to see, hear, as well as read instructions, and I always encourage questions.

Why did you decide to teach at a community college?
I am a firm believer in lifelong learning. I find adult learners are highly motivated learners in a classroom, and I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to work with adults who are trying to improve their workforce skills. In addition to this, community colleges also give me the freedom to vary my work schedule as needed, and they provide me the opportunity to travel to companies off site as well as on campus. I love the variety of my work!

What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?
I typically strive for a comfortable, non-stressful, enjoyable, yet busy day of active and engaged learning for all of us, myself included. Students can readily expect to learn not only what we advertise, but I frequently will sit one-on-one with students between sessions if they have specific needs that may go beyond the class. I also provide follow-up help for students via email.

What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?
A bachelor’s degree in psychology has come in very handy in the classroom. It has helped me to discern students’ needs and learning styles more quickly, which in turn allows me to adapt my teaching to those needs.

What advice do you have for students pursuing coursework in your program?  
My advice for all students, regardless whether they are pursuing a certification, is that because technology changes constantly, it is in our own best interest to keep up to date with these changes as well. Job knowledge can only enhance job security.

What do you enjoy most about working with students?
Students who take my classes are typically working adults who are highly motivated to learn. They come full of questions, offer real-life problems to be solved, and work as hard as they can for the time we spend together. They come from all professions and walks of life, and they are a complete inspiration to me.

What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?
The directors and all the staff in the Continuing Education Division are just phenomenal people to work with. They are professional, competent, kind, and incredibly hard-working and caring individuals.

What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?
Many years ago, an adult student took an HTML class with me. This was when many websites were still being built by hand. Eight years after the class ended, he emailed me and informed me that he had since joined the Peace Corps and volunteered in a small town in Africa. He had used all that he learned from that HTML class to build a website about this small African town, sharing information about its residents, its customs and needs to the world. How kind of him to let me know that he was able to put what he learned to such positive effect!

What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?
I am an avid gardener and grandmother to two beautiful grandsons under 3! Both tasks enable me to play again and forget the stresses of life for a little while.

What would students be surprised to know about you?
•    I am a total introvert by nature. (Just not in the classroom.)
•    I have moved 33 times in my life.
•    I will answer any software question that I can, as long as the question is accompanied with a dark chocolate bribe.