Teaching success is
Student success is about more than access and completion. It's about what happens inside the classroom through connection, understanding and application.
We are on a mission to make purposeful teaching as important in higher education as research and content knowledge.
Your Student Success Initiatives Will Benefit from Improved Faculty Engagement
American higher education has been moving toward a stronger emphasis on student success and completion for some time. Steps are being taken at all levels – from state policy to national initiatives – to promote remediation reform, math pathways, guided pathways, equity programs and technology-enabled advising.
A lesser-discussed component in the student success equation is the classroom and the role of the faculty. Faculty members have the most contact with students and are able to see, communicate and guide in ways that others cannot. Yet, in the larger push to implement and effect change, it's possible and even likely that not enough space has been created for broad faculty engagement and ongoing development to fully position the efforts for success.
There is both a need and an opportunity for faculty to be at the center of these initiatives to better ensure effective implementation and to have a stronger impact on student outcomes.
We believe faculty are the real student success game changers.
Student Success Ecosphere
"Teaching, as differentiated from subject matter expertise, had to have an effect on student outcomes just as, if not more, significant than the impact of data-driven student advising, integrated academic support programs, and reformed financial aid policies."
Taking College Teaching Seriously: Pedagogy Matters!
Keys to Teaching Success
Offer a true community of practice
Teaching can be lonely. Improving anything is often easier when you're surrounded by like-minded professionals with similar goals. We offer a creative and encouraging community where faculty members can be authentic in the refinement of their teaching practice.
Measure impact through data
Faculty members and administrators want to know what they are doing is making a difference. While respecting the privacy of the classroom and the professional development experience, through our fellowship program, data on teaching practice is made visible for the first time.
Meet faculty where they are
Most higher education professional development uses a “prescriptive” method (classes, seminars and workshops), which adult learning theory explains is not extremely effective in changing faculty behavior in the classroom. Our method of reflective practice changes classroom behavior.
Improve on certifications
Higher education has grown to accept problematic measures of good teaching. For example, typical certifications show that faculty members understood the content, at that moment in time; it is not an indication of application. Through our fellowship program, faculty members and their institutions see what's actually happening in the classroom over the course of multiple academic terms.
Support all faculty
Part-time contingent faculty make up more than 50 percent of the instructors, teaching many of the introductory classes where students struggle. Unfortunately, part-timers often cannot get to the teaching centers on campus for professional development. As a result, vulnerable students do not benefit from enhanced teaching techniques. Our approach supports all faculty members, wherever they are and whenever they are ready.
Hire based on teaching skills
Where do you go for faculty who are great at teaching? Course evaluations have their limitations. Hiring faculty who use great teaching techniques is difficult without solid data from their past. We connect you with faculty who use evidence-based teaching techniques, and they have the data to prove it.
Faculty Guild Fellowship
We offer a multi-term fellowship where faculty members develop the insights needed to prepare their diverse students for a complex world.
Fellows bolster their teaching practices, supported by a circle of peers and a professional facilitator, in an online environment. Fellows learn by reflecting on their own teaching – not from disconnected, general guidance. Through analytics, fellows see how their teaching behaviors change over time. And their institutions receive aggregated, non-identified data to measure return on investment.
We don’t lecture to faculty on how to teach better or have them watch training videos hour after hour. Rather, through a facilitated appreciative inquiry model, we help them reflect on their own work – the teaching they are doing every week – and guide them as they seek to improve. As a result, faculty members become more mindful of their efforts and more engaged in the art and science of quality teaching.
Our purpose is to enhance, not evaluate.
Our model is based on six years of research, development, application and analysis:
Led by Dr. Gail Mellow, president of La Guardia Community College
Funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Kresge Foundation
Involved dozens of colleges and hundreds of faculty since 2010
Created by practitioners and independently evaluated by Stanford Research Institute
How It Works
During your Faculty Guild fellowship, you'll have the support of a trained facilitator, a community of colleagues and easy-to-use software.
You’ll join an online “circle” of seven other faculty members in a similar academic area or discipline, e.g., STEM. Most circles are a mix of faculty from multiple institutions. From there, your circle will follow a simple three-step practice improvement model: