Standard 5. Continuous improvement
Strategies; Plans for the Future
Since the last NCATE review in 2004, the unit has undertaken a number of initiatives to maintain and improve qualified professional education faculty:
- The new RIC/AFT Agreement was signed in 2007. It includes a number of improvements in faculty work conditions. Chairs stipends and loads were enhanced. There was a revision of the release time provision, salary and compensation for summer and overload was increased, promotional increments were increased, maternity and paternity leaves were instituted, faculty development funds were slightly increased and the president's salary adjustment was increased by $50,000 dollars for each year.
- The idea of a Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) at RIC has been under discussion for a number of years. Exploration of an FCTL was a stated goal in the college's current strategic plan, Plan 2010. Specifically, under Institutional Goal 1, "Ensure high-quality learning opportunities for all students," Objective 1.9 was to "Explore the feasibility of creating a Center for Teaching and Learning for college faculty and submit a feasibility plan by 2009." It is now an active and influential unit. See also the history of creation of the FCT.
- The Unit full-time faculty numbers remain stable; no positions were lost. We have six new searches in 2010/11.
- The following elements of the 2008-2013 Strategic Plan refer to faculty:
- Strategy 1.2: Develop a culture of fundamental values of leadership that are infused throughout FSEHD.
- Develop and implement a program of continuous professional development focusing on leadership for the department chairs (Implemented)
- Develop and implement a plan to identify and prepare individuals to become future leaders in FSEHD and the College (in progress)
- Create and fill the position of Coordinator of Technology (in progress)
- Create a position description and seek permission to advertise and hire an Assistant Dean for Partnerships and Placements (Completed)
- Strategy 2.3: Establish a program for faculty members to engage in assessment data analysis and interpretation at the program and individual course levels.
- Assist each FSEHD faculty member to implement the Chalk and Wire data management system (on-going)
- Engage in and provide analyses of unit data to chairs and program coordinators in order to make improvements to each academic program (Completed and improving)
- Engage in analysis of program data and make improvements to the program based upon the data (Completed and improving)
- Strategy 3.1: Develop and foster a climate of community within FSEHD.
- Continue to expand the Dean's Research Colloquium (Completed and improving)
- Develop and implement a research grant program for faculty and students to work on research activities together (in progress)
- Encourage and support the formation of team-teaching teams both within and across departments (in progress)
- Create a system to equalize the distribution of credits for team-teaching teams (in progress)
- Create a joint faculty committee (Feinstein & Henry Barnard School, HBS) to explore opportunities to develop ongoing, vibrant relationships with HBS (in progress)
- Make changes to the procedures, such as searching, appointing, evaluating, granting tenure and promotion, granting sabbatical leaves, governing the joint appointed faculty members to meet the current needs of FSEHD (proposal under discussion)
- Develop, foster, and enhance opportunities for joint faculty (Feinstein & HBS) relationships and projects (ongoing)
- Support faculty members to seek grants and contracts (completed and ongoing)
- Strategy 3.2: Identify, discuss, and practice teaching and learning best practices in each academic program.
- Continue to sponsor and support the Promising Practices Conference (Completed)
- Engage faculty members in enhanced discussions of teaching and learning goals at a minimum of two FSEHD all faculty meeting each academic year (completed: Fall retreat and departmental retreats)
- Engage in enhanced discussions of teaching and learning goals, successes and struggles, during department meetings (All departments have scheduled curriculum retreats)
- Support the further development and expansion of the STEM Center activities (Completed and ongoing)
- Strategy 3.3: Establish programs to guide and support junior faculty members in FSEHD.
- Continue to sponsor the Dean's New Faculty Orientation Program (Completed)
- Create and implement a faculty mentor program for new faculty members (Completed)
- Provide promotion, tenure, and sabbatical leave workshops for FSEHD faculty members (Completed)
- Strategy 3.4: Enhance communication of faculty members within and between departments and programs.
- Resume and enhance the operation of the inter-department academic programs work groups (in progress)
- Provide FSEHD faculty members and the VPAA with minutes of each Dean's Leadership Committee meeting (Completed; we also instituted Weekly Updates)
- Provide minutes to department faculty members, adjunct faculty members and the Dean of each department meeting (in progress)
- Provide department faculty members with the department's annual report (Reports cancelled due to changes in State regulations)
- Provide all FSEHD faculty members with the Feinstein School annual report (Reports cancelled due to changes in State regulations)
- Strategy 4.2: Increase opportunities to foster active, vibrant relationships with partner entities, cooperating teachers, Practicum teachers, and supervisors.
- Revitalize and encourage the operation of the FSEHD Partnership Committee (in progress)
- Develop and implement a program to support and enhance partnerships (in progress)
- Identify and provide professional development for cooperating teachers and supervisors (pilot on-line course is completed)
- Support and expand the outreach and community service opportunities (completed and ongoing)
- Strategy 5.1: Increase efforts to attract and hire faculty members from underrepresented groups.
- Create a program to advertise all vacant positions at historically black institutions, institutions with large minority populations, professional conferences, etc.(Completed)
- Encourage and support the placement of vacant position advertisements in multicultural academic publications and at large national conferences (Completed)
- Strategy 5.2: Develop and sustain a culturally competent culture and climate of FSEHD.
- Create a program to offer support to students facing personal challenges (new freshmen learning community created)
- Increase efforts to attract more urban high school graduates from underrepresented groups to enroll in FSEHD programs (Mount Pleasant Teacher Academy)
- Continue to support ALLIED (Completed)
- Develop and implement a plan to increase the retention of students from underrepresented groups (in progress)
Plans for the future
Unit faculty have started a number of initiatives aimed at stronger accountability, more support for and more opportunities for professional development, and enhancing faculty engagement with practitioners in the field:
- The newly proposed Charter introduces a much stronger annual and comprehensive evaluation mechanisms, inviting systematic peer review and streamlined data collection. We have designed a new on-line Personal Data Form to simplify and speed up submission of annual reports.
- A new School-wide course evaluation instrument is being discussed, and will be approved in Fall 2011.
- We are planning another learning community on the use of Chalk and Wire, modeled after HOLC.
- We want to reinvent advisory boards to involve practitioners in providing direct and frequent feedback on our programs.
- Aggressive recruitment and thoughtful recruitment of more diverse faculty remains a priority.