INDIANAPOLIS – More than 1,400 full-time faculty members convened last week for Ivy Tech Community College’s largest-ever faculty summit. For the first time, all full-time faculty teaching at Ivy Tech came together on the same day for a professional development event.
The two-day event, dubbed the Discipline Dialogues, was modeled from the Majors Meetings that have been occurring in the state of Utah for more than 15 years. The first day provided skill development and idea sharing among and between faculty teaching in similar academic programs. A second professional development day, developed by and focused within each of Ivy Tech’s 14 regions, included professional development activities specifically determined by regional academic leadership.
“Ivy Tech Community College has one of the lowest percentages of full-time faculty members amongst community college in the country, so our full-time faculty members are critical to student success,” said Thomas J. Snyder, President of Ivy Tech. “We feel it’s important to invest resources in our faculty, and bringing these teams together helps us build upon best practices in order to impact the success of our students.”
In addition to professional development opportunities, faculty members brainstormed ideas for improving student success and curriculum development. They shared their experiences in the use of open educational resources, better techniques to measure the depth and breadth of student knowledge, and building relationship with employers.
“Despite all of the collaboration our faculty engage in, they continue to place a lot of value on the opportunity to work with each other to improve student success,” said Dr. Marcus Kolb, Assistant Vice President for Assessment and Academic Policy of Ivy Tech and convener of the Discipline Dialogues. “The freedom to attack issues that they find most crucial made this a unique opportunity that we hope to make an annual event.”
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.