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Faculty Development


At WISR, faculty are expected to be engaged in evaluating and improving their competencies–as teachers, scholars and professionals–and of equal importance, faculty are an integral part of the WISR learning community, and we continually ask our faculty how we can support and contribute to their development–supporting their progress toward their professional, academic and community leadership goals,  and addressing their learning needs and their desires to improve their teaching.  Read more:  WHAT WISR NEEDS AND WHAT CAN WISR GIVE TO WISR FACULTY


Purpose of Plan:

In the past WISR faculty have engaged in regular, informal collaboration and dialogue with one another, and have often supported one another in their professional, academic and personal development.  Now that WISR is seeking accreditation, we are required to be more conscious about the process of faculty development—helping each faculty member to create a written plan for their development over the next year, and then evaluating at the end of the year what has happened, and the appropriate steps for the next year.  The accreditation process will provide a good stimulus and occasion for to make our faculty development efforts more conscious, intentional and effective.

Perspective on Faculty Development:

Our personalized, learner-centered approach to working with students is a natural and effective approach to take in our faculty development efforts.  This means that faculty, as learners, are the focus of an effort to enable them to engage professionally, academically and personally meaningful transformative learning.  And, by adopting an approach that is similar to our approach with students, it will provide faculty with further insights about WISR’s approach to teaching—because they, as faculty, will be learners.  And, they will be valued and respected as learners, as our students are, and they will be asked to reflect on and document their learning activities, processes and outcomes in ways that are similar to what we try facilitate with, and expect of, our students.

Steps Involved with the Annual Faculty Development Plan:

Near the beginning of each fiscal year (near July 1—but around June through August), each faculty member will meet with the President, and with any other colleagues (inside or outside of WISR) they choose to ask to help with their development, and develop a DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR THE COMING YEAR.  That plan will have features similar to the plan we now ask students to develop when they enroll at WISR.  (see below).  This plan will include consideration of the faculty member’s professional, academic and personal purposes and goals, as well as an assessment of the faculty member’s strengths, limitations and current challenges to be addressed.  The plan will consider how the faculty member’s goals relate to some of the meta-competencies that we aim to develop at WISR among our learners, and an initial articulation of likely activities to be pursued, which, as is the case with our learners, may very likely change and become more informatively defined over time.

AT THE END OF THEY YEAR (around June of each year), THE FACULTY MEMBER WILL ENGAGE IN SELF-ASSESSMENT AND DOCUMENTATION OF THEIR LEARNING ACTIVITIES/PROCESSES DURING THE PREVIOUS YEAR.  The format for writing this self-assessment and providing documentation will be similar to the post-course syllabus form that WISR students fill out at the end of a course of study.

The following three documents are to be placed in each faculty member’s file—for EACH FISCAL YEAR, along with any relevant documentation that the faculty member can add to their file (portfolio) at WISR.

  3. FACULTY MEMBER’S END OF YEAR SELF-ASSESSMENT (similar to student’s descriptions and assessment of their learning and accomplishments during a course of study at WISR).


  • Certificates or other documentation of continuing education courses taken and completed, including date(s) of each activity, and topic(s) addressed.
  • A log of WISR-sponsored professional development activities in which they have participated (brief description of each activity and date held). [Include date(s) of each activity and topic(s) addressed.]
  • List of any relevant professional or community leadership activities during the year, along with the dates of each activity and the topics addressed by each activity—including membership in professional organizations, participation in professional or community conferences and events, jobs and volunteer work outside of WISR, for example.
  • List of relevant self-directed learning activities, and participation in WISR’s institutional functioning and development.
  • Copies of articles, Papers or Books written, and published or presented a professional conferences.
  • Clippings from newspapers and professional newsletters, for example, describing the faculty member’s participation in and contributions to their profession and community.
  • Evaluations or letters from colleagues, co-workers, students and others who know about the faculty member’s performance as a WISR faculty member, as a professional in their field, or as an engaged citizen or community leader.


For the initial plan for the year:

Each faculty member will write a preliminary educational plan, with the support and mentoring from WISR’s President or another senior member of WISR’s faculty, and if they wish in collaboration with other colleagues.  The development and pursuit of the plan are part of the faculty member’s participation in the WISR learning community, and it is very much expected that plan may change, perhaps a lot, through the faculty member’s engagement with her or his learning and development through the year. This plan will articulate short and long-term goals, or possible directions important to the faculty member, including questions and dilemmas about the best direction(s) to take, with which the faculty member might be wrestling.  This plan will include the faculty member’s initial ideas about how their learning activities can build bridges to the next important things they do at WISR, and in their professional, academic and community involvements.  For example, they can explore various career and learning options and seek out continuing education and other activities to build bridges for themselves to further their professional and community involvements, and develop further the competencies needed to be an engaged, expert and contributing member of the WISR faculty.  They will be encouraged to take advantage of the knowledge and networking connections of WISR faculty, alumni, students, Board members, and friends of WISR, as well as continuing education opportunities at WISR faculty meetings and other events at WISR. They can do scholarly and professional action-research, become more deeply engaged in the literature in their fields of interest, and interview people and seek out community involvements—and, in all of these endeavors remaining mindful of how these efforts may be laying the foundation and creating the pathways to the goals and directions that have laid out for themselves.

The plan should also include the faculty member’s inventory of her or his strengths and limitations, interests and values, as well as their assessment of needs, challenges and opportunities at WISR, and in the profession and the world in which she or he wishes to make a difference.  Also, the faculty member is expected to discuss this plan in relation to the his or her plans to develop further as a contributing member of WISR’s faculty, and in the areas of WISR’s core meta-competencies, and in relation to WISR’s graduation requirements.  [These meta-competencies are:  Thinking and Communication; Becoming Conscious, Intentional, and Improvising Learners; Community Leadership and Collaboration—Practical Skills and Talents; Experience, Competence, Talent and Knowledge in One’s Chose Area(s) of Specialization; Participatory Action-Inquiry and Qualitative Research; Justice, Sustainability and Social Change; Multicultural Perspective.]