Twelve graduate school faculty members at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota recently completed a new Teaching Fellows Program. Offered through the university’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), this project is part of the university’s ongoing initiative to provide excellence in teaching and learning.

Participants finished the new, six-month faculty development program on Saturday, April 19, 2014. Monthly sessions focused on topics ranging from providing access to education and engaging adult students. Faculty fellows created teaching journals and portfolios to demonstrate learning. Upon finishing the program, fellows are encouraged to share what they’ve learned with other Saint Mary’s teachers by hosting workshops and webinars or becoming a mentor.

“This program is meant to instill research-based teaching practices and strategies into faculty members’ instructional repertoire,” said Susan Hines, director of faculty development for Saint Mary’s Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs. “We are grounding it in our Lasallian tradition of excellence and learner-centered teaching. Ultimately, the objective is to give back.”

The feedback received from the inaugural group was positive, and participants gave high praise to the new initiative.

“The graduating group was extremely honored to have been selected for this program,” Hines said. “They’re highly engaged, and they want to continue as a group as they move forward. I receive emails from participants saying, ‘I’m so sad this is our last one, this has been so enjoyable and so engaging.’”

Hines is already preparing for the next group of Teaching Fellows. After a summer of program analysis and evaluation, she will start another group in November 2014.

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