A new faculty development initiative has begun at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. The historically Black educational institution enrolls about 2,700 undergraduate students and 100 graduate students. African Americans make up more than 90 percent of the student body.
The goal of the faculty development initiative is to encourage faculty members to make changes to their teaching styles with a strong sense of the knowledge of how both themselves and the learners will benefit from enhanced learning opportunities. This on-going training for instructors addresses the need for holistic development personally and professionally in an effort to help both the instructor and the university accomplish its mission to provide cutting edge research, teaching, outreach, and service programs that respond to the social and economic needs of the state and region.
The initiative got under way with a workshop entitled, “Higher Ground: Building, Sustaining and Assessing Faculty.” Topics covered included the importance of the instructor’s self-care and self-awareness; making time for research; finding mentors for research; building relationships with students; student-centered learning; and continual staff support.