Xavier University Center for Teaching Excellence
Call for Applications to define a Faculty Learning Community
In 2010-2011, Xavier’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) launched five Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs), funded in part through the President’s Office. The CTE is soliciting applications to define new FLCs for 2011-2012. Either one or a pair of faculty facilitators may propose topics, using the attached format. Proposals for topic-based rather than cohort-based FLCs are particularly encouraged. The FLCs will meet for one year and can begin in either August 2011 or January 2012.
Applications are due Friday, April 8, 2011.
The Faculty Learning Communities program is modeled on the program pioneered by Dr. Milt Cox, founding director of the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching at Miami University. FLC programs have since been established at numerous universities in the United States and in other countries. We at the Center for Teaching Excellence are excited about the potential of FLCs to foster intellectual community among Xavier faculty while encouraging the development and implementation of innovative pedagogy informed by research and experience. FLCs, in short, offer Xavier a new mechanism to support faculty-driven teaching initiatives that will enhance the excellent teaching and learning that have come to characterize this university.
The FLCs that began in 2010-2011 are:
• Effective Laboratory Instruction within the Core Curriculum
• Incorporating Sustainability into Courses
• Mid-Career (cohort-based)
• Using Technologies to Extend Classes Beyond the Classroom
• Mentoring Undergraduate and Graduate Research
Looking for ideas? Descriptions of the FLCs at Miami can be found at:
FLCs at Xavier
A faculty learning community (FLC) is a cross-disciplinary group of 8 to 12 members, led by one or two facilitators, that engages in a year-long collaboration dedicated to exploring one theme or aspect related to teaching and learning within and beyond the university community. Each FLC will meet regularly (10-12 times per year), guided by key questions and directed towards self-defined results. Some FLCs incorporate off-campus retreats or visits to relevant sites, such as other universities. FLC members will present these results at Xavier and, ideally, through external presentations and publications.
In addition to defining the topic of the FLC, the facilitators are expected to support the FLC by sharing their own teaching experience, providing leadership, building community, encouraging creativity, and fostering an environment of open communication and collaboration. In preparation for this, facilitators are expected to attend a one-day training during summer 2011.
Facilitators will receive professional development funds of $1,500 apiece if the community has two facilitators or $2,000 if the community has one facilitator. Professional development funds are not stipends but can be used for expenses such as travel, books, technology, equipment, student assistance, etc. Should the facilitator choose to receive a stipend in lieu of development funds, the amounts will be adjusted to account for the cost of salary-dependent benefits: co-facilitators will receive $1,250 each; a sole facilitator for an FLC will receive a $1,700 stipend.
Each FLC will have a $10,000 budget, which may include up to $500 in professional development funds for each FLC participant. This budget may also be used to fund off-campus visits, retreats, visiting speakers, food, and other relevant expenses. Funds for the facilitators are not part of group budget.
Please direct any questions about FLCs or the application process to David Mengel, Faculty Director of the CTE, firstname.lastname@example.org, 745-3870.
All full-time, teaching faculty from all disciplines are eligible to apply. A librarian may submit a proposal in conjunction with a principal faculty member. Applicants must submit proposals following the format outlined below.
Applications will be reviewed by the CTE Faculty Advisory Committee, who will select the FLCs.
The following must be sent electronically to email@example.com by Friday, April 8, 2011:
1) The application in the form outlined below
2) Curriculum vitae for each facilitator (abbreviated, no more than three pages)
3) A supporting letter from each facilitator’s department chair (can be an e-mail)
Applicants should carbon copy their Department Chair and Dean on this application; acknowledgment of receipt of the application will be sent by e-mail.
The award will be announced by the end of the spring semester 2011.
APPLICATION FORMAT - not to exceed 5 pages
Cover Page (titled: “Faculty Learning Community Application”)
1. Name(s) of facilitator(s)
3. Department (s)
4. Title of proposed FLC
5. Proposed start of FLC (August 2011 or January 2012)
6. Abstract (150 words or less)
Project Description (2-3 pages) – Please provide the following:
1. Description of the FLC topic, including key questions that will guide the community.
2. Rationale for why the topic is relevant to teaching and learning at Xavier and within higher education
3. Possible individual and collective projects resulting from the FLC, including potential for impact on student instruction
4. Possible schedule of topics, readings and activities for the FLC meetings, including possible retreats or guest speakers
1. Will the FLC be limited to certain types of faculty (tenured, tenure-track, etc.)?
2. Is there evidence of faculty interest in this topic?
3. Do you have thoughts on strategies for recruiting members to your FLC?
1. Do you have experience facilitating groups comparable to this one?
2. What is your experience with this topic?
1. Please provide a preliminary budget for the FLC (to be finalized by community).