Published: Nov. 16, 2020 By ,

Instructor's view of a lecture hall of studentsUPDATE: the Faculty Fellows 21-22 cohort has been filled.​

ASSETT’s annual call for Faculty Fellows is now open, and we’re excited to be supporting a college-wide initiative to acknowledge and elevate teaching quality! 

Recently, Dean Jim White announced a plan for departments in the College of Arts & Sciences to develop discipline-specific standards and measures for evaluating teaching quality. ASSETT will support this new college-wide initiative by building on the success of the NSF-funded Teaching Quality Framework (TQF) initiative in the Center for STEM Learning: “The Teaching Quality Framework initiative facilitates departmental and campus-wide efforts to provide a richer evaluation of teaching to enhance the value of high-quality teaching and reward scholarly approaches to improving student learning.” 

ASSETT will provide guidance, in consultation with the TQF initiative, through a special offering of its Faculty Fellows program. Faculty Fellows are an interdisciplinary group of Arts & Sciences faculty who come together around a shared interest in exploring new ways to continuously improve the undergraduate learning experience. With support from ASSETT staff, Faculty Fellows serve as mentors, leaders, and liaisons to address needs and challenges within their individual departments. 

In previous years, each Faculty Fellow has proposed and executed a project of interest within their home department. (For example, read our recent spotlight article on Mona Attawa’s Qahwa Arabi Arabic-teaching platform.) The 2021–22 cohort is unique in that all of the fellows will engage in a culminating project focused on the same goal: to lead their departments in constructive conversations and consensus-building to define and document teaching quality. 

Fellowships require a three-semester commitment and include a $3000 professional development award (not to be used as a salary stipend). A cohort of 10 fellows will meet twice-monthly in synchronous Zoom seminars during spring 2021. Leveraging a grassroots faculty learning community approach, they will investigate characteristics of teaching quality, including: 

  • goal-oriented, inclusive, and scholarly teaching;

  • teaching with technology, including strategies to improve access and accessibility for diverse students;

  • multiple measures of evaluation; and

  • facilitation techniques for guiding departments in building consensus on these topics. 

During the 2021–22 academic year, the fellows will facilitate the development of teaching quality definitions and scholarly approaches to teaching evaluation within their individual departments.

Department chairs in the College of Arts & Sciences are invited to submit letters of nomination to no later than January 18, 2021. Letters should describe the nominee’s qualifications and capacity to engage their colleagues in developing teaching quality standards as well as conveying the department’s commitment to support their participation for the duration of the program. Additionally, each nominee will be asked to complete a brief online application to describe their interest in serving as a Faculty Fellow and how they could contribute to the overall success of the cohort. 

Tenure-track faculty and senior instructors are eligible, including those who have previously participated in a Faculty Fellows cohort. Further details and submission instructions are available on the ASSETT website

Questions about the program or the application process may be directed to the Faculty Fellows facilitators, Amanda McAndrew and Joy Adams.

Photo by William Moreland on Unsplash