Jonathan Brennan, Ph.D.
Dr. Brennan has facilitated student success workshops for faculty from colleges and universities across North America for over two decades. Dr. Brennan is a researcher in best practices in student success, holds a BA and an MA in English, an MA in Counseling Psychology, a PhD in Ethnic Studies (UC Berkeley), an EdD in Educational Leadership and Change (Fielding Graduate University), and also consults as an Effectiveness and Leadership Coach. Since 2006, he has served as Chair of the On Course National Conference.
Dr. Brennan is a faculty member (and former chair) of the English Department at Mission College in Santa Clara, California. He designed and coordinated an On Course Program at Mission College that significantly improved the retention and academic success rate of students in developmental English, Mathematics, Reading, and ESL. He has chaired the Student Success Committee as well as the Accreditation Committee, served as Vice President of the Academic Senate, and teaches composition, African American and Native American literature, and life skills classes. He has served as director of an academic mentoring program for basic skills students, developed the first year seminar Learning Communities project, and directed research grants for the state of California’s Fund for Student Success and Fund for Instructional Improvement programs.
He was voted Faculty of the Year at Mission College in 1999-2000, and was awarded a NISOD Teaching Excellence Award. In April, 2005, he was awarded the Stanback-Stroud Diversity award from the California State Academic Senate, and in 2008 was awarded the California State Hayward Award for Excellence in Education.
Dr. Brennan’s books include Engaging Learners through Zoom (Wiley Jossey-Bass), On Course: Strategies for Success in College, Career, and Life (Cengage), Choosing a Good Road (a student success textbook for high school students), Mixed Race Literature (Stanford Press), and When Br’er Rabbit Meets Coyote: African-Native American Literature (University of Illinois Press). In the last 3 decades, he has focused his research on higher education leadership, best practices in non-cognitive learner competencies, effectiveness in distance learning, and the intersection between race, culture, equity and access to education.
Dr. Brennan has been teaching online courses since 2003, and was a member of the Academic Senate Committee on Distance Learning. He has taught using multiple CMS platforms, including ETUDES, Blackboard, Angel and Canvas. He has assessed online courses for the demonstration of regular, effective student contact and engaged learning. He developed the On Course Online workshop and is the lead designer of the new, Engaging Learners through Zoom workshop. On Course workshops offer educators the opportunity to acquire new best practices in both supporting online learners in strengthening non-cognitive variables and in designing and implementing active online learning structures that improve learning outcomes, success rates and retention.