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Lehigh Carbon Community College

Dr. Mason Conklin & Dr. Kimberlin Zelinsky,

On December 5, 2022, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) held their annual conference meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Each year, accredited schools from across the United States meet to better understand the guidelines, compliance, and to demonstrate different initiatives to gauge their effectiveness.

Dr. Mason Conklin, Reinhardt’s Director of the Center for Innovative Teaching & Engaged Learning, provided a presentation during the conference about the benefits of using the statistical software program “R” which is a free software environment that is used for statistical computing and graphics.

Conklin also oversees Reinhardt’s Quality Enhancement Plan, where he focuses on higher education practices, such as internships, studying abroad, undergraduate research, and service learning. To monitor these practices, his duties entail compiling reports and assessment data to make graphs and decisions about a multitude of things ranging from retention to Quantum Programming (QP) data, which he initially used Excel to conduct. However, using Excel became too time consuming as his data increased during the 2020 Covid Pandemic. Collecting data then became way easier for him when he discovered “R.”

Co-presenter Dr. Kimberlin Zelinsky, who is an Assistant Professor for the Cauble School of Nursing & Health Science was also in attendance. Zelinsky expressed how the program specifically helped motivate her nursing students. “I can’t speak on how the actual program works, only to the results from the program that Dr. Conklin shares with the nursing department. We can see the context and experience from his data, and it motivates us to improve the quality of experience as high impact learning practices.”