With endowed support from an anonymous benefactor, the Poorvu Center launched the Faculty Teaching Academy program. The goal of the program is to engage faculty in structured conversations in communities of practice with peers, in which participants advance their knowledge of scholarly approaches to teaching excellence. Faculty will learn, practice, and extend foundational teaching skills and articulate a self-development trajectory for subsequent teaching growth. The initiative focuses on development of high-impact teaching for faculty in their first three years of teaching at Yale, inclusive of newly hired full-time ladder faculty, as well as lecturers and lectors who hold multi-year appointments or one-year renewable appointments. According to the gift indenture, all new faculty who regularly teach Yale College undergraduates are eligible to participate, including those whose primary appointment is in a professional school.
Completion of the program requires participation in all of the following components during a two-year period initiated during the initial three years of hire. The components are as follows:
- Summer Institute on Course ReDesign or approved alternative, such as a department-centered focused teaching program
- Full participation in a 6-session weekly faculty learning community (offered each semester)
- Two or more peer classroom observations (with two different individuals)
- One individual teaching consultation with a member of the Poorvu Center’s faculty development team
- Attendance at two teaching-focused events sponsored by the Poorvu Center or other auspice (e.g. Teaching and Learning Lunches; Science Education Seminar; Department-sponsored discussion of disciplinary teaching)
- A final program portfolio
The program is open to both ladder faculty and lecturers as described above. Faculty who commit to full participation by completing all six compenents during a two-year period will receive a $3,000 contribution to their research accounts or professional development accounts upon completion of the program.
The Poorvu Center will measure program outcomes including participants’ confidence in future teaching, their ability to access and apply teaching and learning resources, and alignment of student outcomes with course goals, as well as the value of individual program components. We will also examine completed program portfolios for evidence of individuals’ development as educators, as seen in relevant artifacts. To determine the program’s reach and impact over time, we will track participant demographics and the extent to which participants continue to engage with the Poorvu Center and the teaching community at Yale.
Teaching-intensive Summer Institute (component 1)
Intensive training at Yale will be offered every summer via a small number of Summer Institutes. These Institutes may differ in focus, but all will share a similar overarching framework and encompass the following components:
- Programming over an intensive period (e.g. three days, or five mornings), with full-time participant attendance
- Engagement with core ideas of pedagogy: how people learn, inclusive teaching practices, student assessment, with attention to disciplinary variation
- Attention to collegial discussion and interaction
- Applied teaching project development
- Development of individual post-program plan
Other intensive training options:
A number of high-quality teaching institutes focus on higher education pedagogical development (e.g., Yale Center for Language Study pedagogy workshops, Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching, Folger Shakespeare Library Scholarly Programs, Humanities Intensive Teaching and Learning, Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education). Eligible faculty members may participate in one of these options as an alternative to the Poorvu Center teaching-intensive institute, and use it to complete component 1, with prior approval by the Poorvu Center.
6-session weekly learning community (component 2)
This program component will happen each fall and spring term, providing recurring options for faculty to join. The learning community will be built around structured sessions that engage faculty with peers on a range of high-impact practices and relevant topics (e.g. course design, feedback and assessment, inclusive teaching, balancing teaching and research).
Upon completion of the first two program components, Poorvu Center professionals will help faculty develop a personalized post-program plan to pursue individual teaching goals as they complete components 3 – 6. Individual plans will accommodate disciplinary variations, teaching schedules, and research programs.
Participating faculty will be provided with readings and resources throughout the program; they will also have access to a wide collection of general and disciplinary resources curated specifically for Yale faculty.
Final program portfolio (component 6)
The final program portfolio will consist of the following four sections:
- Individual’s course evaluations with reflection/annotation of student ratings and comments
- A reflection on one’s teaching development over the time period, as well as thoughts about future teaching development
- A representative syllabus that portrays individual teaching and learning principles
- Student work examples that document learning, with reflective commentary on how the assessment reflects student development
How to Register
Questions regarding this program are welcome: please contact Victoria Hallinan, Associate Director of Faculty Teaching Initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org.