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  • Fri, May 10, 11:59pm -Online Applications 
  • Sat, May 11, 3:00pm -Posters & Digital Submissions 

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Mary Hardy,



Annual Student Poster Showcase

Thursday, May 16th | 11 am - 2 pm
HLRC, 4th Floor

The awards ceremony will be held at 12:30pm.


Click below for the

Showcase Student Information Sheet


Click below for the

Showcase Judging Rubric

The Academic Poster Contest

West’s Winning Approach to Learning


After reading about research conducted at Stanford on increasing student engagement and success through project-based learning, West’s Professor Holly Bailey-Hofmann had an idea. Professor Hofmann introduced a new final project to her pre-collegiate level English 21 courses. Along with writing a traditional research paper, students would present educational posters to the college community. The fact that it was a competition with cash prizes, said the professor, engendered even more student engagement and retention.


The students proudly displayed their projects on the main walk of campus during and after the lunch hour. Students, faculty, and staff browsed the posters while the poster-makers provided additional explanations of their work to onlookers. The students with the most outstanding projects were congratulated by the college president with cash prizes. For this event, students not only develop research skills, but thanks to the festive atmosphere of the annual poster fair, they have an opportunity to be in the spotlight for academic achievement, learn what is covered in other academic areas, and even sign up on the spot for a Math or English placement exam.


The Spring 2011 event received such positive feedback from both students and faculty that it has been repeated every spring thereafter. The event has grown from the initial 30 basic skills students to 150 in 2012 to 350 students in 2013 and 2014 from all class levels (above and below transfer). In addition to English, English Literature, and English as a Second Language, participating disciplines have included Math, Physics, Astronomy, Biology, Anthropology, Sociology, Communication Studies, Dental Hygiene, Health, Child Development, Computer Science, Aviation, and Hospitality.


Student participants have reported feeling “proud,” "accomplished,” and “excited.” In follow-up surveys, 41% reported that they signed up for the college placement exams. 70% said they learned something new. Fifty-five percent explored what students learn in other classes. and 57% said they would like to participate in another such event. The existing data sample is currently too small to draw definitive conclusions. However, the initial input is encouraging. The poster contest proposal was made at the 2010 West Summer Think Tank, which sought innovative ideas to increase student success and was written into West’s Foundational Skills Plan. It has been aligned with institutional and program level Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), and the Student Success Committee, the SLO Committee, and formal program review will evaluate the Showcase's effects on student engagement, persistence, and success beginning this year.


This year's 9th Annual Poster Showcase will take place on Thursday, May 16, 2019, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, at HLRC, 4th Floor. 

Prizes will be awarded by President Limbaugh to students who create the most outstanding posters at 12:30 pm.


For more information about the 9th Annual Student Poster Showcase, please contact Mary Hardy (