News from Montgomery College News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 140, Rockville, MD 20850

For Immediate Release (00-24)
Date: June 9, 2000
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952 (pager: 301-930-2880)

State Education Association Honors Montgomery College Professor
Marcia Bronstein Named Outstanding Contributor to Developmental Education

Rockville, MD -- Montgomery College English professor Marcia Bronstein has been named the state's "Outstanding Contributor to Developmental Education" by the Developmental Education Association of Maryland (DEAM). The organization is made up of faculty and administrators involved with developmental education and learning assistance programs, in such areas as tutoring, learning disabilities, counseling, and study skills.

Bronstein, based at the College’s Takoma Park Campus, teaches developmental English and writing, as well as first semester English for students who need additional instruction and support.

Bronstein was cited by the DEAM board of directors for her many contributions to the field of developmental education, and for her teaching and programmatic activities which benefit students and the professional community alike.

“For over 20 years as a writing teacher, I've had just one goal: to make my classes wonderful places to learn,” said Bronstein.  “I have used every possible source, from philosophy to psychology to technology, to create an environment in which students feel safe, absorbed, important, and happy to roll their sleeves up and really work.  I draw energy and inspiration from my students above all -- their lives, their hopes, their incredible energy, and, especially, their wonderful words.”

“Through my work with her on a number of projects and programs, I have come to realize that Professor Bronstein is truly one of the most exceptional educators I have ever worked with,” said Paula Ottinger, an administrator for learning and support skills at the Takoma Park Campus.

“Marcia does not see developmental students as a group apart from ‘real’ college students; her teaching and her interactions with them clearly communicate the legitimacy and importance of their academic work, and place them in the mainstream of the higher education process. She is also very clear about holding students to high standards and not allowing the disservice of ‘slipping through’ to occur,” said Ottinger.

Bronstein pioneered a number of innovative initiatives at the College, including the “Success Core Learning Community Program” which featured a team teaching approach to reading, writing, mathematics, and strong study skills and student development and counseling components.

She also developed, in collaboration with Margo Woodward-Barnett of the Campus Counseling Department, a “Goal Management Program,” which addresses the non-cognitive variables that impact student success in high-risk developmental English and reading courses. By setting short-term goals and meeting regularly with a counselor, students’ attendance improved, pass rates increased, and attrition rates dropped. The project soon gained the support of other developmental education faculty, and is now being expanded on the Takoma Park, Rockville and Germantown campuses.

She played a major role in developing the writing curriculum for “Pathways to Success,” a new Montgomery College initiative designed to serve students whose reading assessment scores at entry to the College are below the level appropriate for the College’s existing developmental courses.

Bronstein is also the chief organizer of Community Conversations/Town Meetings, an interdisciplinary learning community that links over 10 courses across all three Montgomery College campuses. The culminating event is a televised roundtable involving students, faculty, and community members, and expert speakers. The first town meeting, in 1999, focused on the theme of violence in the schools. The 2000 town meeting, held last April, focused on the ethics of human genetic engineering.

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