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 Professional Learning Hub

Upcoming Events

  • FRIDAY, NOV. 16 | 10:00 - 3:00 | HLRC - 4th FLOOR



Professional Learning Hub

Theory of Change:

If we build new networks and use existing networks, we will recruit leaders and train them so that we will build a community of practitioners so that they will implement what they have learned and advocate for a culture of change. This will result in changing the culture of West to be more inclusive and collaborative and to encourage people to reach their potential.

Project Team:

  • Our Dean: Dr. Mary-Jo Apigo
  • PL Hub Coordinator: Jeanene Ames
  • PL Hub Faculty Trainers:
    • Dr. Katherine Boutry – Creativity Studies
    • Analuisa Castro – Just-in-Time Teaching and Remediation (JiTTR)
    • Dr. Dolores Gallegos – Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning (CRTL)
    • Mary Hardy – Habits of Mind (HoM)
    • Vicky Nesia – Growth Mindset (GM)
    • Leslie Tejada – AB705: Student-centered Approaches for the AB705 Classroom
    • Tim Welch – Reading Apprenticeship (RA)

Join our team as we build a community of practitioners that will implement and advocate for a culture of change.

  • AB705: Student-centered Approaches for the AB705 Classroom – In this methodology, faculty will actively and collaboratively explore the redesign principles of the AB705 classroom. Under the new AB705 legislation, all California Community Colleges are required to make changes in assessment, placement, and basic skills instruction. Most notably, colleges will no longer be allowed to force students into remedial sequences in math and English. This means that all students enrolling at West will place directly into transfer-level classes; some will take the traditional transfer-level course while others will place into the transfer-level course with additional concurrent support. Therefore, the purpose of the AB705 methodology is to support faculty as they transition into teaching co-requisite classes. The co-requisite model revises not only the sequence, but also the curriculum to give students the best chance at reaching their educational goals.
  • Creativity Studies – According to the 2017 Bloomberg Report, creativity is the number one trait employers seek. We are told we need to be effective critical and creative thinkers, yet have rarely been exposed to practical tools and techniques to help us cultivate our creativity. This Hub teaches the tenets of Creativity Studies and how they can be integrated into any course to enhance student success and teamwork, skills that carry over from the classroom into the workforce and life.
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching & Learning – In this culturally responsive instructional methodology, faculty will participate in strategies for facilitating courageous conversations on their campus around culture and equity with the goal of promoting greater student success and equity.
  • Growth Mindset – Faculty, staff, and administrators of West Los Angeles College challenge their students to do better academically each day. As part of this effort, we provide them with support services, a transformative education, and strategies to help them find success academically. Cultivating a Growth Mindset is an example of a strategy that we can use to foster student success. Be a part of the Professional Learning Hub on cultivating Growth Mindset and learn how to incorporate a Growth Mindset concept in your lesson plans to help your students transform into individuals who believe in their ability to reach their full potential.
  • Habits of Mind – Habits of Mind is a set of sixteen dispositions initially identified by educators Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick in the 1980’s, which have been associated with intelligent thinking and problem solving among “successful” people from many professions. Please join us in developing a community of practice at West, focused on critically assessing, adapting, and implementing the HoM framework to enhance the teaching and learning experiences of our students, classified staff, and faculty.
  • Just-in-Time Teaching and Remediation – Just in Time Teaching & Remediation is a design principle derived from Accelerated English and math with a purpose of refocusing the structure of class time.  The use of Just in Time Teaching & Remediation creates a more dynamic learning environment.  Just in Time Teaching & Remediation revises the curriculum so that instructors may better prepare students for what is to come in the class and prepares students “Just in Time” for student success.   
  • Reading Apprenticeship – Reading Apprenticeship is an approach that engages students on four dimensions:   Social, Personal, Cognitive, and Knowledge-Building.  Instructors who embrace this approach learn well-developed routines that allow them to model their expertise and to fully develop their classes into forums that embrace and make full use of all four of these dimensions. 
  • The PL Hub is a project supported by the Basic Skills Student Outcomes Transformation Program (BSSOT)
  • BSSOT addresses students assigned to basic skills when research shows that they would have done well in a college-level math and English course.
  • Our interventions:
    • Contextualize remedial instruction in foundational skills for the industry cluster, pathways, or both, in which student seek to advance
    • Create a Professional Learning Hub


Professional Learning Hub: Trainings, FIG Meetings, and Events


Meet Our PL Hub Faculty Trainers:

Katherine Boutry

A tenured professor and Director of the Creativity Studies Lab at West Los Angeles College, Dr. Katherine Boutry received her PhD in English Language and Literature at Harvard University where she taught for five years and served as the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies. She created the MFA Program at Mount Saint Mary’s University, and is the author of several articles on Creativity Studies and The West Guide to Writing. She is also a produced television writer. She is currently working on her MS in Creativity Studies from SUNY, Buffalo's International Center for Studies in Creativity.


As the Director of the Creativity Studies Lab at West Los Angeles College, she is launching the first pilot “creativity-enhanced” general education classes at the College. She has spoken about the pilot program (The first program of its kind in California, and the first in a community college anywhere) at the American Creativity Association Conference (Knowledge, Innovation and Enterprise) in Berlin in 2016. Her chapter “’Creativity takes courage’: the link between creativity studies and student well-being in the urban community college” in Creativity, Innovation, and Well-Being  (2017 American Creativity Association) won the American Creativity Association Advisory Panel’s Best Essay Recognition Award. 


  • “Creativity and Student Success.” Talk delivered at the League for Innovation in Community College Conference in Phoenix, AZ in June 2017.
  • She was the facilitator of a session entitled “Do Creativity Studies Benefit Underserved Populations?” at the Creativity Expert Exchange “Celebrating Creativity” Conference in October 2017 sponsored by the International Center for Creativity Studies (ICSC) at SUNY, Buffalo.
  • She was also “Lead Discussant” at the Torrance Creativity Roundtable at the Knowledge, Innovation, and Enterprise 2017 American Creativity Association Conference at Drexel University in November 2017 where the special topic is “Creativity in K-16 Education.”
  • Her chapter entitled “Creativity Studies and Shakespeare at the Urban Community College” is forthcoming in an anthology, Shakespeare and the Other 99% (Palgrave 2018). The chapter discusses teaching “Creativity-Enhanced Shakespeare” at the community college and the fact that several of her students have gotten Shakespeare tattoos after her class. She spoke on that topic at the American Shakespeare Association Conference in Los Angeles in March 2018 on a panel called "Shakespeare beyond the Research University."
  • Her
  • As Director of the Creativity Lab, she brought Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to campus on May 13, 2017 for a campus-wide creativity conference: “The Creative Edge" and helped launch a Creativity Club on campus with fifty student members. A second conference was held on April 21, 2018.
  • She also created a monthly Creativity Focused Inquiry Group for faculty, staff, and students.




Analuisa Castro

Analuisa Castro is a mathematics instructor in the Basic Skills Non-credit Department who teaches courses that provides students with tools that allows them to be successful in future math courses and/or aptitude math exams.  Analuisa Castro teaches both on campus at West Los Angeles College and off campus at the Police Orientation Preparation Program (POPP).  Prior to teaching, Analuisa Castro has been a lifetime tutor in the discipline of mathematics.  

Analuisa has earned her M.A. in Mathematics Education at California State University, Long Beach. While attending California State University, Long Beach, Analuisa has participated in research projects in Mathematics Education.  Her research projects were shared locally and abroad at conferences in Germany, Taiwan, and China.  Analuisa was the organizer for Math at the Beach 2016 at California State University, Long Beach.  Math at the Beach shares new teaching strategies to local school teachers (K-12) in the surrounding Long Beach and Los Angeles area.

Analuisa Castro lives an active lifestyle, and she enjoys watching and playing soccer.  



Dolores Gallegos


Dr. Dolores Gallegos, our current Behavioral Sciences, Department Chair has actively taught Child Development courses at West Los Angeles College since 2013. Prior to pursuing a department chair role, Dr. Gallegos was the Lead Faculty in Child Development. Dr. Gallegos is also involved in West’s Puente program. Dr. Gallegos attended California State University, Los Angeles to earn her: Bachelor’s of Arts in Child Development; Master of Arts in Primary/Early Childhood Education; a Multiple Subject Teaching Clear Credential; and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on school policy reform.


Prior to joining West Los Angeles College’s Child Development team, Dr. Gallegos began her teaching career as a pre-school teacher and throughout her twelve years of teaching she taught in kindergarten, first grade and second grade and she also served as Assistant Principal for two-years.  Dr. Gallegos’ highlight while teaching elementary school at Our Lady of Guadalupe, for eight-years, was her in-depth learning about pedagogy and she learned that it takes a community to educate young people. Additionally, Dr. Gallegos served as the After School Program Director at Para Los Niños for one-year and she was a kindergarten and 1st grade teacher at their Charter School as well for three years.


Dr. Gallegos hobbies include: hiking the Sierra Mountains and Mt. Wilson with her husband, Alejandro. Hanging out with her twin nieces; writing children’s short stories and fables based on her twin nieces, and caring and going on adventures with her parents, Jesus and Maria.


Mary Hardy


Mary Hardy has been teaching and learning in the Los Angeles Community College District since 2005. At West, she teaches introductory, transfer-level courses in cultural, linguistic, and physical anthropology. She is an active member of the Focused Inquiry Group on Reading Apprenticeship and the Student Spring Poster Showcase Committee, and has served as a Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning (CRT-L) trainer. At Pierce, she teaches cultural and physical anthropology courses in the Program for Accelerated College Education (PACE), in the Anthropology Department during winter and summer intersessions, and in the high school outreach program.


Mary has over twenty-five years of experience as an ethnographer and a qualitative researcher, working in a range of communities in California, and in a peri-urban squatter settlement in Mexicali, Mexico. In 1993, she earned an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree from Hampshire College. In 1996, she received a Master’s degree from UCLA where she advanced to doctoral candidacy in 2002. She is at work on an ethnography of older current and former heroin users in California. Her main areas of interest are: drug use, addiction, and policy reform; body/mind healing; gender, sexual, and family systems/relations; and social inequality and political resistance.


Mary spends most of her free time walking, listening to music, and attending theatrical and musical performances.


Mary loves West. She is happy to be part of West’s Professional Learning Hub, serving as a Habits of Mind trainer.


Vicky Nesia


Vicky Nesia works as a staff member in the Office of the President and an adjunct faculty in Child Development. She joined West Los Angeles College in the summer of 2009 after over 10 years at East Los Angeles College (ELAC). She is a community college graduate receiving an A.A. degree in Computer Application and Office Technology from ELAC. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles and a Master’s degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. Vicky participated in the Growth Mindset curriculum training in 2014 and has continued her work in cultivating growth mindset at West, one classroom at a time. She looks forward to working with other faculty members on promoting a Growth Mindset culture at West.



Leslie Tejada


Leslie Tejada earned her B.A. and M.A. in English at California State University, Long Beach.

She started teaching in 2012 and joined West Los Angeles’s English department in 2015. She primarily teaches English 100, West’s Accelerated English course. Her mission at the community college is to help awaken students to their true potential through reading and writing.  


In addition to her English classes, Leslie is also an SLO facilitator, Puente mentor, division coffee maker, and Accelerated English trainer. In Fall 2016, Leslie’s Accelerated English class was featured in a KPCC article called “Meet the Educators Trying to Fix California ‘Broken’ Remedial Education System.” Leslie has always wanted to be a teacher and feels very fortunate to be able to do it at West.


When she is not teaching, Leslie enjoys traveling, going to concerts, and visiting museums.

Tim Welch


Tim Welch describes Reading Apprenticeship as a transformational event in his path as an instructor.  He always strove to build community in his classes, and he had a sense that modeling expertise was part of the process of teaching, but it wasn’t until he encountered Reading Apprenticeship that he discovered a practical roadmap to truly realize this vision.  Since attending that first one-day training in Reading Apprenticeship, Tim has participated in extensive professional development and transformed his teaching style and philosophy.  

Tim 2016.jpeg