The Digication Blog


In the ever-evolving world of modern education, visionary leadership is the cornerstone of progress. Guiding institutions through challenging initiatives requires more than just expertise; it demands unwavering dedication and a willingness to embrace innovative tools that can transform the educational landscape.

This Digication Scholars Conversation is a captivating journey that delves into the remarkable story of Dr. Amanda Hyberger, an esteemed professor of Music and former Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Director at Chattanooga State Community College, whose steadfast and thoughtful ePortfolio leadership paved the way for unprecedented success in challenging QEP through the strategic and profound implementation of ePortfolios.

Early Music Experience and Background

amanda-hyberger-chatt-state-collegeAmanda Hyberger.

Amanda describes her early years in music as a regular “Pastor’s Kid” who sang within the walls of a Southern gospel church choir. Painting a vivid picture of her upbringing, she grew up in a home where her parents and uncles played instruments as she gained an early appreciation for music. She also recalls her experiences singing hymns and spiritual songs, underscoring the solid musical foundation during those formative years.

Amanda’s experiences, from meeting her first music teacher, whom she described as “a very gifted woman,” to the challenging years during her early years in college and the time it took to find her singing voice, grew her passion for music.

The Professor of Music's journey from teaching preschoolers to molding young minds in college classrooms encapsulates the harmonious symphony of her life’s work. With an unwavering focus on cultivating healthy singing practices and an unyielding resolve to enhance the quality of education, Amanda’s story is an inspiring crescendo that resonates far beyond the classroom walls.

Amanda shares her experiences teaching voice and music at various levels, from preschool to college. She emphasizes her focus on teaching healthy singing practices and addressing issues that arise from incorrect vocal Techniques. Her dedication to her students’ growth and her commitment to enhancing the quality of education at the college set the stage for the conversation. But how did she transition from that world of music and singing to becoming involved in ePortfolios and the QEP at Chattanooga State Community College? Amanda’s journey traversed from being a passionate music student to becoming a beacon of inspiration as a professor.

Understanding Thoughtful ePortfolio Leadership

“I had an epiphany one day where I realized that musicians are pretty much qualitative researchers.” – Amanda Hyberger.

At the heart of every successful educational endeavor lies thoughtful leadership - a guiding force that sets the tone for meaningful change. Chattanooga State Community College found its guiding star in Amanda, a seasoned educator with an unwavering commitment to quality music education and a reputation for being fun. 

Amanda embodies thoughtful leadership in implementing ePortfolios. Her journey began with a vision to empower students to articulate their purpose, strengths, and areas for growth. As the QEP Director, Amanda spearheaded the integration of ePortfolios, enabling students to showcase their educational endeavors alongside their life experiences, reflect on their progress, and set meaningful goals.

Her role wasn’t confined to the classroom; Amanda’s ability to envision and enact change made her the ideal conductor for the QEP. As the notes of thoughtful leadership began to resonate, the stage was set for a symphony of transformation.

Thoughtful ePortfolio leadership goes beyond the technical aspects of creating digital portfolios. It involves guiding students and faculty to use ePortfolios as platforms for meaningful self-reflection, goal-setting, and showcasing their achievements. Thoughtful ePortfolio leaders recognize that this process contributes to the overall quality enhancement of education. It empowers students to take ownership of their learning and continuously improve.

Thoughtful ePortfolio leadership entails aligning ePortfolio usage with learning outcomes. At Chattanooga State, music students use ePortfolios to demonstrate their proficiency in music education, from ear training to vocal lessons. This intentional alignment fosters a deeper understanding of their progress and skill development, allowing them to monitor their growth over time.

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and Music Education

The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is the heartbeat of Chattanooga State Community College’s commitment to excellence. Rooted in the culture of quality education, the QEP strives to elevate student learning experiences and equip them with skills that transcend academia. At its core, the QEP harmonizes with the college’s mission to provide top-notch music education, fusing artistic expression with academic rigor.

Amanda recently stepped away from her long-standing administrative role as the QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan) Director to focus on her passion for music education. She had dedicated almost a decade to this role while championing the institution's commitment to academic quality and improvement.

Despite this career shift, Amanda's commitment to ePortfolios remains unwavering. She continues integrating ePortfolios into classrooms, utilizing them as an effective teaching tool to enhance student learning and development. Additionally, she assists faculty members in developing Promotion and Tenure ePortfolios, further contributing to the academic community.

Her pioneering work in this field continues to influence and inspire educational institutions today. Her wealth of experience and expertise is a valuable resource for institutions looking to make meaningful strides in ePortfolio integration and education.

Our conversation with Amanda gave us insights into her career transition, ongoing commitment to ePortfolios, and continued influence in the field.

Remember, a fundamental tenet of thoughtful ePortfolio leadership is cultivating future leaders. Through ePortfolios, students develop essential skills such as self-assessment, critical thinking, and communication –vital for effective leadership. By showcasing their accomplishments and reflecting on their journey, students are better equipped to become leaders in their chosen fields, contributing positively to their communities.

Visit the episode's page for more about Dr. Amanda's rich sense of humor, honesty, and candor.