CETaL's Role in Faculty Development at UTEP
In 1997 the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning was established under the NSF MIE grant to provide support for STEM faculty as they incorporated active, cooperative and collaborative learning into their curricula. Since 2000, CETaL has served the entire campus in areas of teaching effectiveness and effective pedagogy. Today, CETaL still focuses on teaching effectiveness, but also provides more comprehensive professional development of faculty in order to better prepare and sustain them for their careers in the academe in the long term. CETaL provides programs with a focus on new faculty when they first arrive, but emphasizes continuing professional development for later stages in a faculty life.
Contributions to Teaching Effectiveness: Each semester, CETaL offers a series of public workshops to the faculty at large. These offerings change every semester in response to evaluations that are conducted at the end of each workshop and to faculty requests to the Center. Evaluations of workshops request information on the quality of the session, suggestions for improvement as well as suggestions for future topics for seminars and workshops.Workshops are developed by the Director of CETaL and in collaboration with the Instructional Support Services staff or faculty who bring particular expertise. CETaL also responds to requests from individual departments or colleges for workshops on topics of particular interest in a particular discipline or group of disciplines. In order to support the assessment of student learning outcomes, the Director conducts end-of-semester, and end-of-program focus groups with students upon request for course and program improvement for a variety of departments.
The Director conducts individual consultations with faculty members and staff on demand on a range of topics, including such things as: integrating pedagogical innovations; assignment and course design; curriculum design; interpreting student evaluations; documenting student learning outcomes; documenting effective teaching for promotion; planning an academic career; etc.
Contributions to Professional Development of Faculty
A. SUN Conference. Each year, CETaL organizes the international SUN Conference on Teaching and Learning, held on the UTEP campus typically in March. This event is an annual opportunity for faculty from across the nation and other countries (we have had participants from Canada, Mexico and Europe) to share the results of their best teaching efforts, and the primary way CETaL has found to support and promote effective Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, as well as attention to student learning outcomes. Sun Conference Website
B. Collaborative Faculty Mentoring Program. CETaL's director also directs a formal collaborative faculty mentoring program with the aim of contributing to the university's goal to retain and promote a highly qualified, diverse faculty. The mission is to assist new faculty in their professional development through the guidance and support of experienced UTEP faculty members who serve as role models, advisors, and advocates. Its three goals are to provide:
- Access and Connections: to information and resources that support academic activities and to networking opportunities for new ventures and relationships;
- Balance of Work Loads: An environment where new faculty can discuss the conflicting demands of work and family and prioritizing the diverse demands of teaching, research, and service;
- Acculturation: Orientation for new faculty to UTEP in general.