SPS hosts faculty professional development day
The School of Professional Studies held its inaugural professional development day for part-time faculty members from American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI), Graduate School of Management (GSOM), International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE), and School of Professional Studies (SPS) on Aug. 15. The event was the first in a series dedicated to supporting the part-time faculty at Clark University.
Host John LaBrie, associate provost and dean of professional education, opened the day-long event, saying “The student experience is the gold standard to success in higher education and the key to that success is the faculty. The point of today is for us to give you back some of that recognition.” Attended by over 80 adjunct faculty, the program provided teaching resources and the development of professional networks to foster a skilled and engaged faculty for Clark’s graduate programs.
Guest speaker Dr. Esther Jones, PhD., associate provost and dean of the faculty, noted that Clark is working hard to invest in its faculty. “The single most important product we deliver is quality education and we have amazing faculty at Clark and are very proud of that,” she said. Jones emphasized that Clark is working to give part-time faculty a greater connection to the university, asserting “we absolutely appreciate the expertise and professionalism the part-time faculty bring to our students.”
Dr. Holly Dolan, Ed.D., associate professor of practice, education department presented a session on “Setting and Measuring Student Learning Outcomes” which reviewed student evaluation and assessment and how to develop measurable learning outcomes. Dr. Donna Gallo, Ph.D., GSOM, spoke on the intricacies of “Managing a Multicultural/Generational Classroom,” discussing best practices on addressing the diverse needs and expectations of students.
Participants also benefited from the assistance of Joanne Dolan, Manager of Online & Instructional Technologies, who gave an overview of Moodle, a learning platform providing an integrated, personalized learning environment for students. Faculty later broke out into department specific sessions for personalized feedback and procedures.
SPS will continue to sponsor presentations and events for part-time faculty with both broad and narrow focus to provide tools needed for success and to strengthen teaching methodology. “If we don’t get it right with our faculty we will never get it right with our students,” LaBrie said. Clark’s graduate programs have experienced an increase in enrollments with some enterprises doubling the number of incoming students compared to prior years. Development programs focusing on the quality of the faculty are key to the continuing success of the graduate programs.