Ohio Christian University (OCU) and the College of Adult & Graduate Studies (AGS) recognizes the importance of its AGS faculty. Consequently, it has developed a Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL) devoted to AGS faculty and the staff who serve them. CETL officially launches on October 22, 2018, as a virtual space on the University’s intranet--myOCU.
As CETL Director Cindi Celske explains, “The center’s vision is to build a scholarly community in which faculty learns from outside resources and one another. Our faculty are highly-educated and experienced in specific disciplines, creating a fascinating group of professionals with unique needs. Since OCU promotes a culture of learning, faculty need a place to reference information, to learn, and to converse about new concepts and theories in their disciplines, faith, and pedagogy. The center will focus on those needs.”
Associate Provost and Vice President of the College of Adult & Graduate Studies, Bradford Sample and AGS Academic Dean, Scott Marsee conceived the idea of building a virtual center for AGS faculty. AGS academic directors Bill Harle, Lynn Lease, Jon Tomlinson, and Wayne Pessia further contributed to the vision for the center. AGS Faculty Services staff, Dr. Cindi Celske, and Elayne Cabrera performed the design and development work. As Celske notes, “This is a team effort and a work in progress. We are recruiting faculty volunteers to serve on a CETL Steering Committee and are surveying the faculty to better understand their needs. We foresee many academicians will share content and ideas as the center becomes a community.”
Initially, the center will provide links to resources and forms so that faculty expectations, policies, and practices are better defined. AGS weekly devotionals will be archived in the ‘Integrating Faith in Teaching’ section. Faculty news and events sections are being developed. Also, a professional development section will provide access to hundreds of teaching-related videos from Magna Publications, enabling faculty to self-select topics of interest.
A soft launch of CETL occurred last spring when it served as a communication tool to promote, organize, and archive materials from the inaugural AGS Virtual Faculty Development Conference. The center plans to offer more webinars, online meetings, and conferences as it provides paths of learning for faculty.
“I like our tagline ‘CETL develops faculty . . . for a change',” explains Celske. “We live in a fast-paced world that requires highly educated instructors to continually develop so they may initiate and navigate change in Christian higher education. It is exciting to see how God will develop our AGS faculty through CETL so they may better prepare our students to become world-impacting Christian servant leaders!”