Members of Illinois State University’s Growth Change Team are meeting with the goal of creating professional development with an inclusive lens. 

Appointed by the Office of the Provost, the Growth Change Team includes representatives from all colleges in the University. The team is meeting this summer and has been tasked with creating college-specific professional development programming based on culturally responsive practices that align with the new Framework for Inclusive Teaching Excellence, or FITE, guidelines. 

“No college or unit is going to have the same needs when it comes to students and instructors. They are all unique,” said Assistant Vice President for Academic Administration Yojanna Cuenca-Carlino, who is the chair of the Professional Development Task Force and leads the Growth Change Team. Formed with the input of college deans, many of the team members were already working toward inclusivity in their areas. “They will give agency to people within their colleges to create faculty professional development opportunities related to the specific needs of their students and instructors.”  

FITE is the result of a year-long effort from campus-wide collaborators to create professional development specifically tailored to Illinois State faculty. The evidence-based guidelines focus on six dimensions: Science of Learning, Impact of Course Design, Evidence-Based Pedagogy, Classroom Climate and Culture, Feedback and Assessment Loop, and Data-Informed Reflection. Find out more about FITE.   

The framework helps instructors integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into long-term professional development goals, said Growth Change Team member Mayuko Nakamura. “Within FITE, equity serves as a critical lens to examine all professional development activities and can be used as a tool to bring more transformational changes in faculty and students’ lives,” said Nakamura, who is helping organize the team’s weeklong retreat this summer, which will also include ongoing professional development. 

The Growth Change Team will develop individual plans for colleges that integrate current professional development work with the data-driven FITE. “College/unit leaders will make the determinations of their faculty and staff needs, and build on what they already have in place to create learning communities and make connections,” said Cuenca-Carlino, who has been researching evidence-based development and mentorship for years. 

Spearheading the work is the Growth Leadership Team, a set of advisors from the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT); the Office of the Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; the Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology (CeMaST); University Assessment Services; the Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement,  and the Office of Student Research. The leaders will work with each college to develop plans. “Arguably, the most useful program is one that is designed by those it serves. Having representatives from each department work with faculty development liaisons better ensures both relevance and timeliness of support to address professional challenges,” said Linda Summers of CTLT, who works with Nakamura and Cuenca-Carlino on the leadership team.  

Along with establishing measurable goals for faculty, the plans for colleges will outline the types of professional development programs to be offered, how those programs will align with the colleges’ and university strategic plans, and how success will be measured. “Each plan will work to strengthen the instruction students receive; we are planning faculty professional development with an asset-based mindset through an equity lens. said Cuenca-Carlino. “The thing about working with an inclusive lens is that we know these are best practices that will benefit all students in the classroom.” 

Those interested in learning more about the Growth Change Team can contact Cuenca-Carlino. 

Growth Change Team
Yojanna Cuenca-Carlino, Office of the Provost, Chair 

Leadership Team
Dana Karraker, CTLT
Mayuko Nakamura, CTLT
Katy Strzepek, CESL
Julie Ann McFann, CTLT
Linda Summers, CTLT
Rebekka Darner, CeMaST
Amelia Noël-Elkins, Office of the Provost
Jen Friberg, CTLT, Cross Chair in SoTL
Gina Hunter, Office of Student Research
Derek Meyers, University Assessment Services
Ryan Smith, University Assessment Services

College of Applied Science and Technology
Leadership advisor – Rebekka Darner
Cara Rabe-Hemp 

College of Arts and Sciences
Leadership advisor – Jen Friberg, Gina Hunter
Linda Clemmons
Jeff Barrett
Scott Jordan
Heidi Verticchio

College of Business
Leadership advisor – Julie Ann McFann
Terry Noel
Tina Thompson 

College of Education
Leadership advisor – Mayuko Nakamura
Stacey Bock
Shamaine Bertrand
Linsay DeMartino
Tara Kaczorowski 

Graduate School, Enrollment Management and Academic Services
Leadership advisor – Yojanna Cuenca-Carlino
Noelle Selkow
Eike Schmedt
Stacy Ramsey
Corey Burgess

Mennonite College of Nursing

Leadership advisor – Dana Karraker
Seon Yoon Chung
Cindy Kerber   

Milner Library
Leadership advisor – Linda Summers
Sue Franzen 

Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts
Leadership advisor – Katy Strzepek
Sara Semonis
Kristin Carlson