Professional Development

Pedagogy Innovation Project (PIP)

PIP Meeting
Intense study
Looking at books
Collaborative discussion
PIP founders and friends
Group picture

PIP is a two-semester, cohort-based professional development program designed for faculty and student-facing staff. We welcome part-time and full-time professionals at Los Medanos College to join us in innovating your pedagogy and instructional design to improve student engagement and learning. We are proud to have worked with 50 LMC faculty and staff over the last 5 years of the program. Our program reports to the Office of Equity & Inclusion.

Check out our video that describes the program

Program Structure

PIP meets every other week, including during FLEX week, to explore best practices in our work with students, collect data on impact and effectiveness, and observe one another in action. Total time commitment is roughly 48 hours (~32 of those hours are spent together in programming). Each program meeting is roughly 1.5 hours.

Program Content 

In our community of practice, we explore principles and theories related to instructional design and pedagogy, including but not limited to educator identity, trauma-informed/healing-centered practices, decolonized assessment, and backward instructional design. Participants engage in unit planning, action research in the classroom/learning environment, classroom observations, peer coaching, readings, and reflections all designed to improve impact on student learning.

Program Objectives 

  • Examine educational theories and practices grounded in culturally responsive pedagogy & adult learning theory.
  • Experiment with instructional moves, assess impact on students, and support fellow cohort members.
  • Observe one another in action and engage in peer coaching and mentorship.
  • Collaborate on designing instructional plans that utilize best practices and peer feedback.
  • Reflect on changes in teaching practice over the course of the program.

Mini-grant Award

Participants who successfully complete the program will receive a $1,000 professional development grant to be spent on conference attendance, educational materials and/or other professional development needs the academic year following their participation.


The program is open to all faculty (part-time and full-time), student-facing classified employees, and classified employees who are also adjunct faculty and have manager approval to include as part of their workday.


To apply, write a short 200-word statement of interest in the program and indicate your availability (final meeting times will be determined by participants’ schedule). Applications are open April-May, and applicants are notified of their acceptance by the time the semester ends.

Fall 2024 Schedule

Dates TBD: Curriculum will Cover:
  Educator Identity
  Belonging & Student Capital 
  Trauma, Stress, & the Brain
  Trauma Informed Practices + Audio Recording in Classroom
  Healing-Centered Engagement
  Decolonized Learning + Video Capture of Teaching
  Reflection & Action Research Planning

Spring 2024 Schedule

Dates: Curriculum Covered
Wed, 1/16  Classroom Data Analysis & Planning Action Research
Wed, 2/7  Backward Design & Adult Learning Theory 
Wed, 2/14  Backward Design: Stage 1 (Learning Goals) 
Wed, 3/6  Backward Design: Stage 2 (Evidence of Learning)
Wed, 3/13  Backward Design: Stage 3 (Learning Plan) & Prep for Peer Observations 
Wed, 4/3  Peer Coaching/Debrief Observations + Prep Action Research Presentations
Wed, 5/15  Action Research Presentations & Next Steps


PIP Co-Leads

Briana McCarthy (Professor of Biological Sciences)
Briana has been teaching college biology for 17 years and has spent 10 of those at Los Medanos College. In addition to being LMC’s assessment coordinator for several years and doing the visioning, advocacy, and groundwork for the Pedagogy Innovation Project, she has also been deeply involved in multiple NSF-funded projects aimed at improving science teaching across K-16 education. Before coming to Los Medanos, she worked as a science teacher educator & instructional coach for K-5 teachers at California Academy of Sciences for 2 years.


Jill Buettner (Professor of English)
Jill has been teaching English since 2009, and she has been at LMC for the last ten years. During her time at LMC, she has been committed to professional development facilitation, leading Faculty Nexus, workshops through the Equity Speaker Series, tutor training in the Center for Academic Support, and PIP. She co-founded PIP with Briana and loves working with faculty and staff through the program.