MCC English faculty receive Developmental Education Endowment Award

Stacy WilsonStacy Wilson, MCC English faculty MESA, Arizona -- July 21, 2021 -- Mesa Community College English faculty Stacy Wilson and Alex Arreguin receive the MCC Developmental Education Endowment Award to contextualize teaching and learning in English courses (specifically ENG101 and ENG102). This is accomplished by engaging students in active learning through hands-on experiences and the use of real-world examples pertinent to each student to teach abstract ideas or concepts.

“Contextualized teaching and learning asks instructors to help students build bridges between prior knowledge, course concepts and sites of future application,” said Wilson. “We are customizing our courses with activities and examples students can relate with, explicitly linking rhetoric and composition to scenarios and sites they currently occupy or soon will. This contextualization enables students to weave academic content with real-world application and, ultimately, facilitates deep learning. We are excited to share this framework with faculty and utilize it in our courses as it has been shown to activate student engagement which in turn influences performance, effort and persistence.”

The team shares more than $4,440 ($2,220.72 each) to develop a framework for contextualizing First Year Composition courses with the goal of deepening student engagement and learning. The framework will emphasize the incorporation of prior learning; alignment of content with knowledge, skills, and habits of mind; and the application of future Alex ArreguinAlex Arreguin, MCC English faculty writing contexts.

The award committee selected the project, in part, for its support of Guided Pathways, stating, “As we move forward with Guided Pathways, this project uses high-impact practices for contextualizing learning experiences in first-year courses. We believe that this will lead to improved transfer of knowledge and skills into other classes and settings.”

Guided Pathways clearly outlines courses that must be completed to achieve an educational goal; it is an evidence-based, comprehensive educational model designed to provide intellectually coherent learning experiences. Pathway Maps align with industry needs and college requirements to achieve degree or certificate attainment or university transfer credits in the shortest time, incurring the least expense.

The MCC Developmental Education Endowment Award is managed by the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and was established with funding from the U.S. Department of Education Title III Foundations for Student Success grant and philanthropic support provided to the MCC Office of Development.

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, or 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College and is known for service learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses, additional locations and a combination of online formats. Through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, MCC is transforming how it champions student success, college completion, university transfer and career attainment and advancement. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution and nearly 50% of its students are the first in their families to attend college. Its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized tribes of Arizona as well as out-of-state tribes. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The diverse student body includes more than 300 international students from 55 countries. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to successfully transfer to a university or compete in the workforce. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC),

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, July 21, 2021