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Faculty Profile: Sharon Baker

Sharon Baker

Sharon Baker, PsyD, associate professor of psychology teaches her class.

Sharon Baker, PsyD, says becoming an instructor six years ago was a great decision for her. But it’s not the only position she’s held in her 12 years at Elgin Community College.

Prior to 2008, Baker worked in college administration, previously serving as assistant director of TRIO/Student Support Services and as associate dean for college-wide retention; however, Baker felt she could do more as an instructor than as an administrator.

Everything I’ve done at ECC has been focused on student success.

One of her first goals as an associate professor of psychology was to lower the rate of students who withdraw or receive failing grades from previous classes, which at that time was 50 percent.

Baker believes in connecting with her students. She makes a habit of knowing their names and meeting with each of them at least once each semester—roughly 150 students in several class sections. Also, Baker makes it clear to her students at the beginning of each semester about what she expects of them and what they should expect from her.

“My intent isn’t to lecture for 75 minutes,” says Baker. She quizzes students prior to each chapter and believes in using real-life examples to her lessons. She also stresses participation and wants her students to collaborate and be responsible for their coursework.

Baker says she meeting her goals. In doing so, she has become appreciative of the work she and her colleagues perform daily to become effective instructors. Beyond the classroom and office, Baker grades papers, plans lessons, and of course, addresses students by email.

The work can be time-consuming, but Baker believes it was worth making the switch.

“I really enjoy the work I do and the relationships with my colleagues,” Baker says. “ECC has given me a lot of opportunities.”

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