A quality faculty development program that targets improved teaching is a crucial component in an institution of higher education (Sorcinelli, 2014). Reder (2014) states that “colleges and universities that make claims to take teaching seriously but do not support faculty openly and intentionally, with formal programs that they can point to, are quickly becoming a thing of the past” (p. 1). Benbow and Lee (2019) found that “faculty teaching experience, time allocation, and organizational support for formal and informal teaching discussions are often associated with the development of beneficial teaching-focused social networks linked to the accrual of social capital” (p. 3). Bond and Lockee (2018) assert that the need for faculty development programs arises from “little-to-no formal preparation” of teaching faculty in the process of instructional design and the use of technology for learning (p. 1). Nevertheless, with most colleges and universities struggling with finances, such a teacher-development program, if it exists, is likely to be funded at a bargain basement level, having to do “more with less” (Sorcinelli, 2014, p. iv). For example, as detailed by Mitchell et al. (2017), state funding for the 2017 school year “was nearly $9 billion [approximately 10%] below its 2008 level, after adjusting for inflation” (para. 1).

This situation of high need and low finances leads to programs such as those described in “Good, Fast, Cheap: How Centers of Teaching and Learning Can Capitalize in Today’s Resource-Constrained Context” (Truong et al., 2016). The article describes how the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment at Azusa Pacific University, a much larger center than ours, shares a pool of student workers between 26 full-time staff (across the main and regional campuses serving 10,000 students), utilizes “faculty fellows” to assist teachers, and organizes a faculty-led Faculty Development Day as ways of being good, fast, and cheap. In another example of creating cost-efficiency, Schoening and Oliver (2016) describe building a virtual center for teaching excellence at Creighton University, which provides users with “examples of the use of evidence-based, online pedagogical principles” (p. 367), including resources for new faculty preparing to teach, weekly teaching tips, information about teaching with technology, and a calendar of faculty development events, conferences, and grants. Dunwoody et al. (2012) present a “Case Study of a Shoe-String SoTL Center” at Juniata College that focuses on faculty development specifically in the area of the scholarship of teaching. In their model, the center is run by a rotating faculty board that gets small amounts of release time as part of both cost saving and faculty ownership of the center. Sweet et al. (2017) demonstrate how Eastern Kentucky University uses “Foundation Professors” to coordinate and facilitate faculty development through such modalities as roundtable presentations in a Teaching and Learning Innovation series, mentoring new faculty (including mentoring their scholarship endeavors), facilitating a faculty development award, and even connecting with alumni.

As these innovative teaching centers illustrate, robust financial resources and centers for teaching and learning (CTLs) rarely meet. Zakrajsek (2013) recounts his experience running faculty development centers and working with annual budgets ranging from 50 dollars to 1.2 million dollars. He says, “I am absolutely convinced that the biggest mistake a faculty development director can make is to lament not having enough money and, more specifically, to allow the ‘lack of adequate budget’ to impact what is accomplished. There are very few directors of centers/institutes/department/units who feel they have adequate funding” (p. 123). We are certainly not promoting the idea that we can always do more with less, but at the same time we want to show that we can have a useful impact with a minimal budget. Our own CTL is underfunded, but we move forward to the greatest extent we are able. Our programs and support systems have been growing, thanks to the generous collaborative spirit of participating faculty.

In this study, we illustrate how underfunded programs can leverage peer collaboration and support to initiate productive, formal systems of assistance for faculty. Moreover, we propose that sustainable programs, especially at small liberal arts institutions, must include a strong component of peer networks and in-house expertise rather than relying on outside consulting services. We are inspired by Cooperrider and Whitney’s (2001) appreciative inquiry theory, which:

[i]n its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives “life” to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms. AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential. (p. 613)

In our work at the CTL we are asking questions about what is possible in our institution with the current resources and positive dispositions of colleagues to support one another’s professional development plans. These practices are currently based on peer support and collaboration as economically and ecologically viable for our institution.

Our Educational Context

Andrews University is a small, faith-based, private midwestern university with about 1,700 undergraduate and 1,600 graduate students and a full-time faculty of about 200. The university has had negative bottom lines over the past few years. Prior to creating the CTL and appointing a half-time position faculty director, there had been attempts to provide faculty development in the area of teaching, including setting aside a small room in the library for consultation, creating a collection of library resources, and some “one-off” workshops. Additionally, the Center for College Faith developed some materials and provided opportunities for dialogue about issues of faith and learning.

Recognizing the necessity of a more formal faculty development program to foster improved teaching, raise student satisfaction, and improve faculty morale, the provost’s office created the Center for Teaching and Learning. A faculty member was appointed director of the CTL in the school year 2016–2017. This appointment is in line with Sorcinelli’s (2014) findings that although the staffing of liberal arts colleges is eclectic, “the use of faculty members to help colleagues clearly remains a structural part of faculty development at liberal arts colleges” (p. ii). The initial budget for the CTL in the 2016–2017 school year was $4,300 plus a half-time (12 credits per year out of 24) teaching release of the director. In the school year 2017–2018, under continued financial exigency for the university, the budget decreased to $2,500.

It is clear that with this kind of budget, the CTL would not, for example, be able to bring in high-priced experts for workshops, get faculty release time for special teaching development workgroups, or have funded faculty retreats. Therefore, the CTL has had to diligently pursue measures that tap into low-cost or “free” resources, creating programs that capitalize on enhancing, distributing, and synergizing faculty expertise from within the university. Zakrajsek (2013) suggests that with lean budgets, it is important to stay positive and do the best one can with the resources one has at hand. In the rest of this article, we will briefly describe several collaborative programs at our institution, outline their logistics and their perceived benefits, and identify their cost. We hope that such an introduction to our program will encourage other institutions with tight budgets to go forward with faculty development programs, recognizing that although some valuable kinds of professional development are expensive, others are not.

Faculty Institute

This two-day professional development event takes place two weeks before classes begin. The Faculty Institute (FI) operates as a teaching and learning conference, and it is planned and supported financially by the Office of the Provost. The planning committee operates under the guidance of the Effective Teaching and Learning Council (ETLC), made up of faculty representing all the schools of the university and recommended by the deans of those schools to the provost. These faculty have demonstrated a commitment to effective teaching and collegial support. The ETLC is the advisory council for the Center for Teaching and Learning. Therefore, the CTL is centrally involved in setting the tone and theme of the institute as well as securing sessions of interest to faculty. Individual members of the FI Planning Committee propose the sessions and the committee approves them. At the end of each session, faculty are sent emails aligned with their session schedule to provide feedback. This feedback includes identifying topics they would like in next year’s FI. In the last three years, we have been intentional about collecting the feedback forms and categorizing the responses. The topics with the highest rates of requests include assessment, advancement and tenure, university governance, and student support systems particularly focused on mental health. The CTL uses the results of those feedback forms to help guide the planning of professional development for the next year and the Faculty Institute sessions.

The Scholarship of Teaching Group

The CTL initiates and supports faculty doing research on the scholarship of teaching in areas such as literature review, Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications, and software training. The group meets once per month to discuss progress and to collaborate. A typical session would include reports on progress in each of the research components by each of the members of the group. On occasion, an experienced researcher, IRB officer, or other person with relevant expertise makes an invited presentation. The CTL secures a room to meet in, coordinates the resources needed for the meeting including any speakers, and may provide snacks or a meal depending on the time of the day the team meets. The research group, which started in fall 2017, has only three members at present, though more faculty have expressed interest in future participation. No manuscript for publication has yet been submitted. However, the group presented at a Scholarship of Teaching Conference and plans to continue working on a team project in the coming year, with the goal of submitting one article for publication per academic year. A faculty member shared with us that “the scholarship of teaching group has been instrumental in my research endeavors. I was able to share ideas and methodology, find commonalities and interests for co-investigation, meet other professors with different strengths and experiences and collaborate in presentations and publications.”

Research Publication Support Group

The CTL co-sponsors a research group that meets regularly to support faculty in writing and publication. Over the course of two years, the group read and discussed How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing (Silvia, 2007) and Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success (Belcher, 2009). This group is led by the Associate Dean of Online Higher Education, and it appears in the CTL’s professional development brochure, which advertises its offerings to faculty. The CTL facilitates the registration process and, on occasion, has funded a meal for the members when special guests make short presentations. So far, participants have been all female. There is overwhelming evidence that women and scholars of color are at a disadvantage in advancing in rank and earning tenure (Alexander & Moore, 2008; Antecol et al., 2018; Moss-Racusin et al., 2012). Martinez et al. (2015) document the experience of female scholars of color and the positive impact that a research and writing collaboration had in their personal and professional lives. Jensen (2017) suggests that faculty writing programs are a necessity in higher education institutions:

[T]he most direct way to improve academic life for students, faculty members, and administrators is to support faculty writing. Many academics struggle with their writing. There’s no reason to treat that struggle like a shameful secret or to mystify the writing process. (para. 7)

This group fulfills an important role in supporting junior scholars, women, and minority faculty at our institution. Over a period of two years, six group participants submitted an article each to a journal while they were members of the group.

Faculty Book Club

As another program to facilitate faculty development in teaching, a Faculty Book Club (FBC) was formed to encourage faculty to read and discuss research relevant to best practices in teaching. Faculty voluntarily sign up to get together three times per semester to discuss themes presented in a common book, typically having to do with improving pedagogy. Titles read and discussed together over the past three years include What the Best College Teachers Do, by Ken Bain; Small Teaching, by James M. Lang; Make It Stick, by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel; and Grit, by Angela Duckworth. Cost per semester is approximately $900 for three meetings, three meals, and 30 participants and $500 for 30 copies of the book in question. Faculty facilitators for the FBC are invited from the pool of regular club participants and if they have expertise in an area we are discussing. The facilitators create discussion questions via Google Docs, and the questions are printed for the participants. However, the discussions are organic and flow out of the interests and questions that the faculty identified while reading the book. As found in our research on the impact of the FBC, based on eight qualitative interviews with FBC participants, the book club (1) provided the primary means for educating participants on the scholarship of teaching; (2) led to changes in teaching practice; (3) led to faculty sharing insights from FBC books about effective learning strategies with students; (4) created desirable networking opportunities with faculty from diverse disciplines as well as a forum for exchanging ideas; (5) increased accountability of faculty to work at professional development in teaching; and (6) increased the likelihood that faculty will engage in research in the scholarship of teaching (Coria-Navia & Moncrieff, 2018). Judging by the positive feedback from these interviews and continued robust participation in the FBC, this has been one of our most successful programs.

Lunch and Learn

Lunch and Learn sessions are “one-off” workshops on a variety of topics. Topics have been initiated by faculty through an online survey asking faculty what sessions they would like to see offered and through feedback forms faculty complete at the end of each session they attend at the Faculty Institute. More details about this process have been provided in the Faculty Institute description above. The CTL also uses some of the FI requests for future training for the Lunch and Learn topics. The Lunch and Learn series for 2019–2020 included sessions on Formative Dialogues, credit for prior learning, spiritual life survey results, using open source courses, and diversity and inclusion training. The Lunch and Learn sessions have traditionally been planned to fill gaps and provide support and training in the implementation of university-wide initiatives related to teaching. We are also supporting campus initiatives for diversity and inclusion when they impact the classroom and student/teacher interactions. As Zakrajsek (2016) notes, “Campus-wide initiatives take much more time, but can also have a large and impacting effect” (p. 108). We believe that the value of these sessions goes beyond tips and tricks of the trade. The Lunch and Learn sessions are good for faculty morale; they provide a sense of purpose and build community. They encourage faculty to think about innovative best practices and to hear what others are doing in their classrooms. While we would like to have surveys to provide additional data about this program, there is understandable faculty pushback in this culture of assessment about assessing every development program they attend. However, we can definitely see evidence of the value that faculty see in these sessions in their informal appreciative comments and the fact that they consistently show up.

We average 25 participants per session, which is more than 10% of our full-time faculty. As with the Faculty Book Club, the main cost is the meals, approximately $400 per semester for 40 participants. However, the benefit is significant, as faculty have a chance to learn from one another on a variety of topics, some of which are tailored to support university-wide initiatives.

Andrews University Teaching and Learning Conference

The Andrews University Teaching and Learning Conference serves as an arena where faculty and students from Andrews University, as well as other area K–12 schools, colleges, and universities, can come together to focus on the scholarship of teaching and to reflect on research and best practices within the field. The conference is fully funded through university funds from our School of Education and the provost’s office and a partnership with our local public school district. The attendance and participation has increased from 20 to 30 individuals in 2014 to over 140 in the 2017 conference. In 2018 we reached the capacity of number of presentations for a one-day conference. We had 55 presenters and 34 presentations from K–20 educators. We realized quickly that in order to keep a critical number of audience members in each session, we had to scale back on the number of strands offered. Therefore, in 2019, we offered four strands instead of five. We had 45 presenters (of which 15 were Andrews University faculty) delivering 36 presentations. We were strategic in having fewer hour-long presentations to allow more presenters in a more condensed schedule. Our numbers remained in the 140 attendees range. However, starting this year, we have noticed several staff and faculty members coming in and out of sessions they had handpicked out of the program even if they did not formally register for the conference. This is evidence that the sessions offered were of interest campus-wide even for those who were unable to attend the daylong event.

The CTL director chairs the Andrews University Teaching and Learning Conference planning committee. Other members of the committee include two faculty members from the Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Department, one or two graduate students, a representative from the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, and a representative from the Center for Digital Learning and Instructional Technology. Partnering with other departments across the campus and other institutions, with the CTL acting as resource manager and coordinator, is a great way to leverage additional resources. Since the 2021 conference was offered virtually, the attendance was almost triplicated to 416 participants. The next steps include reevaluating the delivery of the conference and its impact on the local and global community of educators. Educators from over 20 countries participated in the 2021 conference.

Formative Dialogues

Formative Dialogues is a program in which faculty support one another through classroom observations and dialogue about teaching. This program began in 2017 with a workshop during our annual fall Faculty Institute. An invited presenter led faculty through a demonstration of a process by which they would visit one another’s classrooms, not for traditional evaluation, but for a carefully defined process of “formative dialogue” (FD)—essentially, feedback on specific points requested by the observed teacher. The cost for the initial workshop and a follow-up meeting with the original presenter was $1,500, covered by the Office of the Provost. Now that we have 28 trained faculty members who can do formative dialogues, we can continue to build and refine the program within our institution with no significant ongoing costs.

A recent meeting with the Promotion and Tenure Criteria Committee resulted in the optional inclusion of Formative Dialogues in the tenure and promotion rubric. We used to have two separate systems, one for tenure review and one for Formative Dialogues, but we do not believe that to be optimal use of knowledge and resources. We are still learning how the faculty will embrace Formative Dialogues when they are more familiar with the formalized system of peer evaluation for tenure and promotion. However, professors have been asking for training in these processes and for a more uniform system of peer feedback for tenure and promotion. We believe that Formative Dialogues can serve this dual role. In order for the nature of Formative Dialogues not to be lost as non-threatening peer feedback, it will be crucial to keep the self-reflection document written by the faculty who were observed as optional in the advancement portfolio. This way, faculty can have as many Formative Dialogues as they wish and report their results only if they desire to do so.

We recently did a Lunch and Learn session on Formative Dialogues, and the faculty in attendance gave positive feedback. The current practice is that faculty who would like to become a “Colleague” (trained observer) in the Formative Dialogues Program have to observe a FD (a before and after meeting plus the class itself) and conduct a FD with a trained Colleague. We decided on this model to continue to leverage the expertise of individual faculty and maintain the individualization of the experience without having to resort to lengthy training sessions accommodating multiple schedules. This way, we are also better able to meet the individual needs of each faculty member. For example, if a faculty member feels quite comfortable in following the steps for conducting a FD but less comfortable in providing the feedback to a colleague in the areas they could improve, the trained Colleague will be able to focus the training and feedback in this area. The faculty who have engaged in Formative Dialogues have given strongly positive feedback. Several colleagues who participated in Lunch and Learn sessions provided testimonials and enthusiastically recommended the program to other colleagues. Faculty who were observed shared their experience in the same setting and also in faculty meetings, recommending the program to others.

Peer Mentoring Program

The Faculty Peer Mentoring Program at Andrews University provides quality guidance and support for faculty by pairing successful faculty mentors with new faculty or those who simply wish to grow in particular areas. Last year, all new faculty members were assigned a peer mentor, a seasoned faculty member from a different department. Twenty-one mentor/mentee pairs spent time together at the Faculty Institute in the fall and were encouraged to arrange their own informal contacts during the year, such as meeting for lunch, visiting one another’s classrooms, reflecting on syllabi, or just giving general advice such as where to find the offices or campus that can provide additional support for specific needs. Other areas of support include research, tenure and promotion procedures, or meeting non-academic needs such as recommendations on local banks, dentists, or car mechanics. Several members of the Effective Teaching and Learning Council, which serves in an advisory role to the CTL, saw a great need for this type of peer mentoring support.

We devised the protocol of how this mentoring program would work by benchmarking similar institutions and put out a request for volunteer mentors. Our pilot program only included new faculty. Within a week, the over 20 pairs of new faculty and their mentors were formed. Volunteer mentors were sought from the Effective Teaching and Learning Council, the Faculty Senate, and the faculty at-large. Pairs were formed with input from the chairs of the departments in which the new faculty were appointed and from the new faculty’s identified needs, which we sought via email. The program was very much a grassroots effort led by faculty members who envisioned creating a culture of peer support and collaboration through the onboarding process. However, the CTL was instrumental in organizing and supporting this effort, another example of how the CTL is the nexus for collaborative faculty development efforts.

Currently, the CTL is responsible for finding mentors and matching them with mentees for both new and existing faculty as well as organizing training and support of this program. Phillips et al. (2010) suggest that mentoring programs actually improve the university’s bottom line. This is especially true in the areas of recruitment and retention and the support of underrepresented faculty (Phillips et al., 2010). The most tangible cost of this program is the time investment of the mentoring pairs. The provost’s office has agreed to host an end-of-year meal and celebration of the pilot program. The next steps will be to gather feedback and input from participants and to expand the program to include all faculty who wish to participate.

The feedback we received on the peer mentoring program from new faculty who conscientiously engaged in the mentoring program was mostly positive. In general, faculty enjoyed meeting faculty from other departments. “I liked pairing with a seasoned educator from another department. This seemed less imposing than a mentor from my own department,” said one respondent. However, some new faculty did not care to work with a mentor or did not find the experience particularly useful. One mentor said, “the few times my mentee reached out to me, the questions were very specific to her field and I was unable to answer most of them.” Therefore, we have committed to a more rigorous process of pairing mentors and mentees including inviting faculty members and not relying only on volunteers. Other participating faculty valued “being able to connect and discuss, and having access to someone with experience,” and some faculty reported making new friends.

As we continue to evaluate our mentoring program, we are considering implementing some of the protocols of Lobban-Viravong and Schneider (2018), who describe a peer mentoring program at Grinnell College. The Grinnell program focuses on protégé (mentee) agency in arranging meetings and goals, with the mentor mainly acting as an accountability partner and conduit to appropriate institutional resources to facilitate the protégé’s needs.

According to the authors, these roles and expectations have contributed to a mentoring program that is “effective, inexpensive, and sustainable” (p. 1).

Concluding Remarks

As we contemplated the needs of our faculty to quickly switch to remote teaching and learning in spring 2020, due to the pandemic and our campus being closed after mid-March to almost all face-to-face instruction, we designed training and support that included a robust partnership with the Center for Digital Learning and Instructional Technology but also peer collaboration and support. Over 60 faculty and staff members, who felt comfortable with the new expectations of teaching remotely, volunteered to be on a list to support their colleagues. We created a Faculty Fellows Program to recognize the work of leading faculty in this area and created a robust faculty development program for the summer term based on faculty’s areas of strength and expertise. Additionally, eight sessions of our Faculty Institute were designed for informal dialogue on faculty-generated topics that we hope will become communities of practice throughout the semester.

While we would love to have an annual budget of $50,000 and a full teaching release of the CTL’s director, we recognize that much can be done to begin formalized practices of professional development with peer collaboration and support. While we had in our plans to create the Faculty Fellows Program in the future, the pandemic encouraged us to do this sooner. Some of our future goals include funding release time for faculty to develop creative courses, funding teaching releases or stipends for the faculty fellows, more robust support for research projects on the scholarship of teaching, and the possibility of inviting off-campus experts in teacher development to campus for workshops with faculty. Additional funding would position the CTL as an independent department on campus well resourced to support more initiatives that matter to faculty. But as we work to secure those resources, we feel empowered to share what is possible without significant resources.

We recognize that in order to optimize our work, we will need to design a robust plan for the collection of data on the effectiveness of the CTL’s offering. Although we have begun a research agenda related to the CTL’s offerings (including two articles that have already been published related to the impact of the Faculty Book Club), documenting increased student learning as a result of participation in CTL offerings is more challenging. Faculty have repeatedly shared that they would like to be able to attend sessions without having to fill out feedback forms every time. Zakrajsek (2018) gives some helpful advice on how to do effective and minimally intrusive data collection at such sessions. For one example, we would like to work with our IT department to develop a system to track data on attendance that would populate a portfolio site that can be used for advancement and tenure. Recent valuable research has appeared that give additional guidance on how CTLs can gather appropriate data to evaluate which programs to continue, which to cut, and what new ideas to try (Brinthaupt et al., 2019; Cruz et al., 2019; Nadler et al., 2012; Sweet et al., 2018; Wright et al., 2018). Additionally, Nadler et al. (2012) offer great insight into possible ways to go beyond the self-reporting measures into evidence of the CTL’s impact on student learning. These include classroom observations, student artifacts, students’ reporting, and institutional invitations for the CTL to participate in large-scale interventions. In this article, we noted, for example, that the CTL led the university in the creation of the new institutional outcomes. Going forward, we plan to articulate a robust vision for assessment of the CTL impact and to improve our data gathering from CTL offerings to give us a better basis for aligning our mission with our resources and our programs. Table 1 presents a summary of our offerings with the corresponding strategic plan priorities.

Table 1.

CTL Programs Review

Program  CTL strategic plan component Key partners Annual cost Time of year  Number of participants per year CTL role
Faculty Institute 1, 2, 3, 7 Office of the Provost faculty presenters $4,000$6,500 August, once per year 150–200 planning, logistic support, assessment
Scholarship of Teaching Group 4 Participating faculty $0$300
Depending if lunch meeting time
Once per month, year-round 10 planning, logistic support
Research Publication Support Group 4 Center for Digital Learning and Instructional Technology $0 Once per month, year-round 14 support
Faculty Book Club 1, 2, 3, 5 Office of Diversity and Inclusion,
Center for College Faith
$2,800 3–4 times per semester 50–60 planning, financial and logistic
Lunch and Learn 2, 3, 5, 7 Office of Diversity and Inclusion,
Center for College Faith,
Center for Digital Learning and Instructional Technology, faculty and staff presenters
$800 2 times per semester 40–60 planning, financial and logistic support
Teaching and Learning Conference 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 Berrien Springs Public Schools,
College of Education,
Office of the Provost, Office of Research and Creative Scholarship,
Center for Digital Learning and Instructional Technology
$4,000 March, once per year 150–200 planning, co-hosting, logistic support, assessment
Formative Dialogues 2, 5, 6 Faculty “Colleagues” $0 Ongoing, as scheduled by faculty 10 training and support
Peer Mentoring 1, 5 Faculty peer mentors $0 7–8 times per year 10–20 mentoring pairs training and support

Center for Teaching and Learning Strategic Plan May 2018–April 2022

The Center for Teaching and Learning will continue to focus on the adoption and promotion of evidence-based practices and implementation of a coherent plan of faculty development in keeping with faculty-identified needs, institutional initiatives, and the appropriate allocation of resources. This strategic plan has been crafted to support the Andrews University Strategic Plan 2017–2022.

  1. Advocate for faculty wellbeing as an essential component of effective teaching.

  2. Position Andrews University as a leader in SDA Higher Education through effective and innovative teaching practices.

  3. Embrace and support university priorities as they apply to curriculum, including but not limited to the development of institutional outcomes, Diversity and Inclusion, Wellness, and Civic Engagement. Offer training on institutional initiatives through new and adopted programming venues such as the Faculty Book Club, the Faculty Technology Showcase, and the Lunch and Learn sessions.

  4. Develop a plan to advance the scholarship of teaching through the strategic awarding of monies to fund the development and/or refinement of professors’ skills and knowledge in selected identified areas.

  5. Support faculty in designing professional development plans to improve their teaching and the teaching component of their advancement. Continue the support of faculty participation in the Andrews University Teaching and Learning Conference and other conferences related to the scholarship of teaching.

  6. Improve CTL’s online presence through the creation, identification, and curation of available videos and training documents.

  7. Continue collaborative practices with the Department of Digital Learning and Instructional Technology, Center for College Faith, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, and the Department of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum.

  8. Secure a budget adequately reflecting the center’s significant contribution to the fulfillment of campus mission, vision, and strategic direction.

  9. Secure a space that is centrally located, easily accessible, welcoming, engaging, and resource-rich.

Higher education institutions have many potential resources for faculty development already located on campus, especially in human resources. The opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration are present, but some support to develop them is needed. Funding may come from other areas on campus, but CTLs are ideally positioned to fill the essential role of facilitating these relationships. We have worked to create a set of opportunities for faculty to engage in meaningful activities to improve their teaching by increasing intra-campus collaboration and collaboration with the community. In these times of seriously limited financial resources we must creatively experiment to leverage these human resources and connections to enhance the academic experience for students and faculty. We have found that our model is resilient and flexible, two traits that can allow us to survive the current global challenges and to reimagine and retool for future contingencies.


Anneris Coria-Navia is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Andrews University. Her primary research interests include faculty development and educational improvement and change.

Scott Moncrieff is Professor of English at Andrews University. His primary research interests include faculty development and literary studies. His article “ ‘Kind of Magic Back Here’: Gardening and Human Limitations in George Saunders’s ‘The Semplica Girl Diaries’ ” appears in the March 2021 issue of Christianity and Literature.


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