The Division of Academic Affairs spent the summer reflecting on year one of the GROWTH professional development offerings. Lessons learned will help inform year two, with a focus on assessing professional development plans.  

GROWTH is an initiative through the Division of Academic Affairs to develop college-specific professional development programming with a focus on the Framework for Inclusive Excellence (FITE). The GROWTH Change Leadership Team, appointed by the Office of the Provost, supports colleges and units in their development of their professional development plans to focus on teaching, support, and service practices with an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lens.  

The second year of GROWTH Change will focus on developing assessment of revamped professional development programs as a new year of workshops and professional learning continues. “Assessment informs our future needs,” said Assistant Vice President for Faculty Development, Diversity, and Learning Dr. Yojanna Cuenca-Carlino, who oversees the work of the GROWTH Change Leadership Team. “We are working to understand how we can make changes in the classroom, and how we can apply the knowledge we gain from data-driven resources.”  

The College of Education’s Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Fiscal Planning Dr. Stacey Jones Bock noted the University teaches educators to engage in a “continuous feedback loop” to measure student progress toward learning objectives. “This feedback loop also allows us to modify learning activities to meet our learner’s needs,” said Bock, who also serves on the GROWTH Change Team. “We approach assessment in the same way with our GROWTH professional learning activities.” 

The college uses both quantitative and qualitative assessments, with surveys sent to the participants of  professional learning and workshops. “Each of the assessment activities allows the team to change some activities and implement new ones to address the questions that arose from the assessment process,” she said.  

Assessment will be used in conjunction with collecting artifacts from the faculty and staff participating in the College of Education’s programming which focuses on Culture and Classroom Climate. The College is working with the Center for Transformation and Change’s Dr. Kathy Obear to create inclusive organizations. “We will also prepare for 10 summer fellowships for faculty and staff in the summer of 2022,” said Bock. “The fellows will submit course changes and/or policy or practice recommendations upon completion of the work.” 

Staff members, also a key element in student support, are continuing to collect data to further align professional development with the Framework for Inclusive Support and Service Excellence (FISSE).“We felt it was important to tailor our assessment to reflect the FISSE Dimensions,” said Director of the Speech and Hearing Clinic Heidi Verticchio, who serves on the GROWTH Change Team. As an aspect of assessment, Enrollment Management and Academic Services (EMAS) created a Professional Development Participation and Reflection Form. “The form collects information pertaining to the participant’s feelings about the benefits of participating in the professional development, their level of understanding of the topic before and after the session, key take-aways, and how they plan to apply what they learned,” said Associate Director of Orientation and Training Services Corey Burgess. 

The results are shared on a Professional Development Dashboard to inform future topics and plans. “Through the assessment we can see that staff report that the programming we are doing is beneficial,” said Associate Director of Enrollment Management Stacy Ramsey. “We also see that staff are increasing their knowledge in important areas that support student success and are identifying ways to apply this working with our students.” 

Find out more about GROWTH and FITE. Find out more about FISSE.