Business and CTE Growing Commitment to Teaching Excellence


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World class educators like Joe Mahoney, professor ofbusiness administration and Caterpillar Chair in Business, as well as newlyminted faculty members all realize that learning is a lifelong process for themas well as their students and they are committed to being better teachers.

“Effective teaching is a lifelong pursuit and we can alwaysdo more,” is the sentiment that drives Cheelan Bo-Linn, Head of InstructionalDevelopment in the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and her colleagues inthe College of Business. “Together we explore the changing needs of thebusiness disciplines, aspiring business professionals and future educators. Werun workshops, regular programs, and host advanced seminars that delve into thecutting edge of what we know about the learning process.”

Just this year the BA department created a seminar fordoctoral students with help from CTE. Bill Qualls, head of the department, sawthe need for business-specific training of their highly-prized students andworked with Mahoney to organize the new training program. Students meet onceper month for ten months, immersing themselves in exercises that develop acomplete range of teaching materials and skills that give them an edge on thejob market.

Any business graduate student needing guidance can work withother CTE programs. The Certificate in Foundations of Teaching provides basicclassroom skills, while those with more experience can work on a GraduateTeaching Certificate. Beyond that, graduate students and faculty may earn aTeacher Scholar Certificate, a Certificate in Technology-Enhanced Teaching, ora Citizen Scholar Certificate (service-learning).

For more than a decade, faculty have developed theirteaching excellence through programs originally developed by a joint effortbetween CTE, the Provost’s Office and the College of Business. The Academy forthe Advancement of Learning organizes four teaching programs.

New Business faculty can take an intensive one day workshop,Success in Teaching Excellence Program and all faculty can participate in theReflective Teacher Workshop Series as well as themed lunches called theTeaching and Learning Workshop Series.

Faculty Conversations is an informal support activitydesigned to bring participants together to interact and participate in a seriesfocused on a current book selection each year. Past selections have included,The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploringthe Biology of Learning by James Zull, The Courage to Teach: Exploring theInner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker Palmer, and 5 Minds for theFuture by Howard Gardner.

“Such examinations and active self-assessment is intended tobecome a regular part of teaching that encourages good judgment and helpsteachers take ownership of their teaching,” says Bo-Linn.

The many offerings expand self-reflection about teachingeffectiveness serving to move these educators to see education as a regularscholarly pursuit; a perspective that some faculty believe is key.

“Once teaching is brought to the same level of engagement asother scholarship, faculty excel, becoming better in the classroom,” says NickPetruzzi, associate professor of business administration and Gutman TeachingExcellence Fellow and academic director of MBA programs.

“As someone who has actively participated across thebreadth of these programs, I can attest to their sustained value: Theycontinually draw participants from across departments and from across ranks;they foster collegiality and a collaborative learning community; and they yieldtangible benefits in the form of improved teaching effectiveness.”

For more than 40 years CTE has worked with College ofBusiness educators, growing to meet changing needs and new opportunities. As aresult, faculty and graduate students have many well-structured programsdesigned to keep learning in the College of Business excellent.

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 For more on the Center for Teaching Excellence, visit: http://business.illinois.edu/academy/.

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