New Faculty Orientation
August 16-17, 8:30-1:00 pm, TFAC 237
We launch the academic year with two half-day sessions welcoming our new faculty to campus. On August 16th our new colleagues will be welcomed by President Cesareo and our senior academic administration, and have the opportunity to meet key support staff and administrators on campus. On August 17th the staff of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence–Jim, Sarah, and Beth–will engage the new faculty in conversations about teaching and learning on campus, and introduce them to some of the tools and resources we have to support them in their work.
Course Innovation Academy: Opening Session
August 16th, 12:30-3:00 pm, TFAC 227
The signature program of the Center for Teaching Excellence is our Course Innovation Academy, in which eight faculty members work together throughout the year to transform one of their courses into a dynamic new learning experience for their students. They also engage in observations of one another’s classes throughout the year, learning from one another and stealing great ideas. This August will launch the fourth year of the Academy, with participants coming together from a diverse range of disciplines. Our initial August meeting is followed by monthly meetings on the following dates and topics:
September 17th, 4:00-6:00 pm: The 20-Year Goal
October 15th, 4:00-6:00 pm: Design Alternatives
November 12, 4:00-6:00 pm: Community and Mission
December 10th, 4:00-6:00: Observation Experiences
Advisory Council Meeting
Thursday, August 30th, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, TFAC 237
The CTE Advisory Council, which consists of eight faculty and staff members, meets each semester to review our programming and offer recommendations and new ideas. They help serve as our ambassadors throughout the Assumption College community.
Fall Faculty Learning Community: The Slow Professor
September 18, 5:00-7:00 pm, Maison Hall
Our fall faculty learning community will focus on The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy. In the Preface to the book, the authors argue that we should read it as a “call to action.” That call stems from their desire to “foster greater openness about the ways in which the corporate university affects our professional practice and well-being.” In response to the pressures that faculty (and students) face from that corporatization process, they argue that “Slow professors advocate deliberation over acceleration. We need time to think, and so do our students.” Our dinner discussion will invite you to consider the following questions: Does their analysis of the corporatization of the university resonate with your experiences? Do the principles of the various “Slow” movements (i.e., Slow Food) translate well in to academic life? Are their recommendations for the application of those principles realistic in terms of how they would fit into your academic work? Do you have other recommendations, ideas, or practices that you have used, or that come to mind, in terms of slowing down our work, and the work of our students?
New Faculty Reception: Teaching at Assumption
September 19th, 4:00-5:15 pm, TFAC 227
Both full and part-time new faculty are welcome ro our first New Faculty Reception, where we will have the opportunity to check in after the first few weeks of the semester. Bring your successes, challenges, good ideas and pleas for help. We’ll have two senior colleagues joining us to help provide a little perspective on your experiences. The format will be informal discussion.
New Faculty Reception: Learning at Assumption
October 10th, 4:00-5:15, TFAC 227
Our October reception will feature our D’Amour Student Fellows, who will provide you with a little perspective on the student experience of teaching and learning at Assumption. While we will invite them to begin with a short presentation, mostly we will make them available to you for questions and conversation. Want to know what students think about particular teaching approaches? Types of assignments? Life on campus outside of the classroom? The Fellows will draw both from their own experiences and from their work as tutors in the Academic Support Center.
Food for Thought: Teaching by Discussion
October 11th, 11:30-12:30, TFAC 227
Many of us bring to our faculty roles fond memories of intense intellectual conversations from our own undergraduate and graduate education. Cultivating such discussions with our students today can prove challenging, but still should remain a vital part of a liberal arts education. Prof. Molly McGrath (Philosophy) has an enviable reputation on campus as a leader of classroom discussions, and she will share with us her perspective on why discussions matter and how she approaches some of the practical aspects of teaching through discussion. Her short presentation will be followed, naturally, by discussion.
Food for Thought: Open-Ended Student Projects
November 7th, 11:30am-12:30 pm, TFAC 227
Have you ever offered your students the opportunity to decide how they will demonstrate their learning to you? In addition to the more conventional work that students complete for his courses, Prof. David Crowley (Natural Sciences) invites his students to follow their own interests in the creation of an open-ended project that could take almost any form imaginable. In our November Food for Thought, he will share with us how he developed this assignment, show us some of the impressive work his students have done in response to it, and discuss some of the practical aspects of incorporating such an assignment into a course.
New Faculty Reception: The Assumption Mission
November 14th, 4:00-5:15, TFAC
Fr. Richard Lamoureux will lead this session on teaching at Assumption in alignment with our mission as a Catholic, liberal arts college. The format as always will be informal conversation, informed in this case by some perspective from Fr. Lamoureux on Emmanual D’Alzon, the founder of the Assumptionists, his writings on education, and the way in which our mission intersects with the everyday work of educating our students.