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Faculty Development for the 21st Century

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EDUCAUSE Review Volume 44, Number 3, ISSN 1527-6619


In the 21st century, colleges and universities need to consider faculty development programs in the same way that they view academic programs for their Net Gen and Millennial students. In other words, successful faculty development programs should include mentoring, delivery in a variety of on-campus and off-campus formats (face-to-face, blended, online, self-initiated/self-paced), and anyplace/anytime programming to accommodate just-in-time needs. Faculty members are learners with needs and constraints similar to those of students. Support programs must be valuable, relevant, current, and engaging. They should also demonstrate best practices in providing a participatory, facilitated learning environment. In addition, faculty development programs should address the multiple roles and needs of the faculty member as facilitator, teacher, advisor, mentor, and researcher. Institutions should also consider that offering a dynamic faculty development program will serve not only full-time, but also part-time faculty--relied on heavily by some institutions. Finally, faculty development can occur outside official programs: internal opportunities can include serving on and/or leading committees, writing and administering grants, and designing and facilitating official faculty development programs; external development opportunities can include attending conferences, furthering academic studies, conducting research projects, and collaborating with colleagues from other institutions. Implementing and sustaining successful faculty development initiatives continues to be both an opportunity and a challenge, especially with the anticipated severe budget cuts that many institutions are facing. The EDUCAUSE community recently identified "encouraging faculty adoption and innovation in teaching and learning with IT" as one of the top-five teaching and learning challenges of 2009. Thus it is critical that institutions continue to seek systemic ways to support teaching and learning innovation and to connect to successful programs. A critical component of an innovative teaching and learning environment continues to be sustainability: the process of faculty development must begin before students enter the academic profession and must continue at all subsequent levels of the 21st-century faculty member's career. In this article, the authors present a five-year plan for faculty support and development and offer some recommendations for supporting and leveraging the talents of faculty members. (Contains 3 notes.)


Diaz, V., Garrett, P.B., Kinley, E.R., Moore, J.F., Schwartz, C.M. & Kohrman, P. (2009). Faculty Development for the 21st Century. EDUCAUSE Review, 44(3), 46-55. Retrieved February 27, 2021 from .

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