Portrait of Engagement

Campus participation

The Faculty Professional Development Program organizes and conducts offerings aimed at engaging faculty in focused conversations about designing teaching/learning experiences to contribute to a "teaching commons" at the Northern Arizona University.

The office also provides consultations to departments and colleges, committees, and to individual faculty. The figures below relate to the open resource sessions (workshops, roundtable discussions, book discussions, and guest speakers).

Number of sessions: 22
Total session attendance: 633
Unduplicated number of attendees: 332
Number of departments/programs represented: 110

Selected 2012-2013 highlights

Forty different faculty from 24 different departments/programs led sessions and five faculty members led learning communities. Seven students were also invited to present their perspectives at sessions.

Faculty Professional Development Program sessions were coordinated with 11 different co-sponsoring groups (excluding departmental and committee work sessions).

An optional, day-long work session on teaching called Productive Beginnings was offered to faculty before the start of the fall semester.  The program provided specific course design frameworks and related teaching strategies adaptable to multiple disciplines and was co-facilitated by two faculty members.

Four Faculty Learning Communities were active through the year, involving over 63 faculty members and campus professional staff who were involved in sustained conversations on focused topics:

  • Intersections of Culture and Learning: Implications for Student Success, Faculty Growth, and Teaching
  • First-Generation College Student Experiences
  • Blended Learning Course Redesign
  • Researching the Impact of Our Teaching on Student Learning


There are six Likert-scale questions and three open-ended questions on the electronic survey sent out immediately following sessions. The first two items address the goals of each session:

  1. 96 percent of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the session and materials met the stated goal
  2. 90 percent agreed or strongly agreed that topics were clearly addressed, useful, and provided valuable interactions between resource presenters and participants

Infrastructure Changes During 2012-13:

With the support of the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Dean of Cline Library, the Program moved into a remodeled space in Cline Library. The “Teaching Commons” includes offices and formal and informal meeting spaces. With the retirement of the director, a new director was selected after a campus-wide search. Professor Larry Gallagher began his tenure July 1, 2013. The name of the office was changed from “Faculty Development Program” to the “Faculty Professional Development Program” in order to be responsive to the program’s expanded work beyond an exclusive focus on teaching.


For a printable PDF version, download the complete Portrait of Engagement