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Development Opportunities

The Office of Faculty Advancement (OFA) coordinates the following development opportunities for faculty. Faculty can stay apprised of these programs throughout the year by reading the bi-monthly Faculty Advancement Newsletters (sent by For more information about each of these programs or events, please connect with our Program Coordinator, Karina Serrano.

Fall Faculty Conference

This annual event provides an opportunity for all faculty to come together as one visible corporate body; to be reminded of our mission, purpose & values; and to create a forum for focused attention to identified topics of need and/or enrichment shared by all faculty resulting in professional growth and development.

Topics & Issues selected for faculty enrichment and development at the faculty conferences generally parallel the University Outcomes and rotate on a cycle to give balanced attention to our university learning priorities.

Pedagogy Development Consulting

The Pedagogy Development Consulting (PDC) is available to assist faculty in strengthening their communication and instructional pedagogy through personalized coaching. The program is open to any faculty member on a regular contract and information shared as part of the consulting process is confidential. The PDC provides:

  • A structure for focused attention to the classroom behaviors and practices of a faculty member in order to identify and better leverage teaching strengths that support learning and to identify and revise practices that do not support the learning goals of the course.
  • Generates information & recommendations faculty members may use to improve their teaching.
  • Assists faculty with how to leverage teaching development information gleaned from their IDEA course evaluations.
  • Works with faculty to develop individual pedagogical growth plans
  • Serves as the basis for the development of effective teaching practices throughout an academic career.

Writer's Retreat

In the summer, OFA hosts the Faculty Writer's Retreat to provide a quiet, comfortable working space for faculty, free of distractions. The purpose is also to provide a common space—sometimes it is easier to do the solitary work of writing if you are surrounded with other writers pursuing the same goal. In addition to a quiet space, supplies, beverages, snacks, and lunch are also provided. The invitation is sent out to all regular contract faculty members on a first come, first serve basis due to limited space.

Faculty Advancement Lunch & Learns

OFA hosts several “lunch and learns” every semester–50-minute trainings with a small group of faculty to explore ideas, engage in meaningful discourse and walk away with a resource or concept you can implement immediately.

Faculty Learning Communities

Faculty learning communities are small groups (4-12 participants) of faculty from different disciplines who meet together for one or two semesters to focus on a topic of mutual interest to (that can) enhance their development as teachers and scholars. The time and commitment level may range from convening to read and discuss a book to more intentional development that extends to faculty working on shared projects and/or conducting pedagogical classroom research activities that focus on such topics as diversity and active learning techniques.

In order to participate in, or form, a Faculty Learning Community, please contact Shelly Cunningham or Karina Serrano. Cost of books and materials are covered by our office.

Strengths Coaching

“Gallup's StrengthsFinder instrument identifies a person's top five signature themes of talent (out of a possible 34). Through the course of their teaching, faculty bring these signature themes to their students, showing them exemplary ways to think, plan, organize, relate and learn." (Deborah White, a Strengths Education Consultant in a resource called—"Teaching With Your Strengths.")

  • According to The Gallup Organization, the best of the best in any field have found a way to use their strengths. 'All great teachers are alike in a key way – they use their natural talents to the utmost, whether they are aware of it or not.' (Liesveld & Miller, 2005, p.11).
  • In The Courage to Teach, Parker Palmer talks about good teaching emanating from an authentic sense of self-identity. 'Whoever our students may be, whatever the subject we teach, ultimately we teach who we are.'(Palmer, 1998).

The StrengthsFinder instrument is available as an online assessment tool to any faculty member who desires to complete the assessment. After completing the assessment (takes about 45 minutes), a 60-90 minute coaching session is arranged for faculty to learn more about their results and how best to leverage their strengths in their teaching and relationships with students and colleagues.

On-Request Training and Consultation

The Associate Provost for Faculty Advancement is available on an as-needed basis to meet with any faculty member who has questions related to their teaching or professional development.