3.7.3 Faculty Development

The institution provides ongoing professional development of faculty as teachers, scholars and practitioners.

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Prairie View A&M University faculty members participate in a variety of ongoing professional development activities that enhance teaching and research. In fulfilling the mission of the University, faculty members have the responsibility of maintaining competence in their field of specialization as stated in the Prairie View A&M University Rule 12.01.99.P1 [1] and Section Two of Texas A&M University System Policy 12.01 Academic Responsibility of Faculty Members [2]. Faculty members actively participate in local, state, regional, national and international professional organizations that enhance their teaching and research initiatives.

Travel to Professional Conferences

During the annual budgeting process, funds are allocated to support faculty travel to professional conferences. Between FY 2004 and FY 2008, $3,026,906.34 was spent by the University to support travel, training and registration expenditures on instruction and research accounts. The amount spent each year is shown in the following table [3]:

Prairie View A&M University
Travel, Training, and Registration Expenditures
on Instruction and Research Accounts
For FYís 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008





























An itemization list of travel for these years gives faculty member names, departments or research areas, amount of travel covered, and registration fees for conference and professional activities [4]. The itemized expenditure document demonstrates the range of professional development opportunities supported by the University for faculty. PVAMU also provides other opportunities as well.

Title III Funded Faculty and Professional Development

Given the University's mission which is focused on teaching, research and service, the Title III program, funded by the U. S. Department of Education for the purpose of strengthening the resource development capacity of historically black colleges and universities,  implemented an activity devoted to faculty and professional staff development [5] [6]. This activity from 2002-2007 was designed to expand the awareness of best practices, enhance in and out of class teaching strategies, and provide the latest technologies available for instructional purposes to the Prairie View A&M faculty and professional staff. The activity provided support for many faculty members to participate in on and off-campus faculty development activities, including professional workshops in specific content areas as well as pedagogy workshops that span across teaching and research disciplines. Training helps provided tools for incorporating new instructional strategies and improve on those previously used. On-campus trainings were conducted in individual, small, and large group settings. A series of webinars were provided with follow up conversations on selected topics. Professional staff attended software training workshops and selected staff attended off-campus professional development workshops [6]. Even though this activity ended in 2007, the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) continues to provide support and services funder under this activity. The Title III Activities which are supported for the years 2002-2007 and 2007-2012 are found on the PVAMU Research and Development website [5] [7]. Many of the specific activities and professional development opportunities noted are discussed below and are included in the Faculty Handbook.

Faculty Handbook

The 2007-2008 Handbook [8] cites some of the ongoing development opportunities for faculty and references the Center for Teaching Excellence, Off-Campus Travel to Workshops/Conferences, Faculty Development Leave, Annual Leave, University Awards and Recognition, and the Regents Professor Award.

Center for Teaching Excellence

Faculty development opportunities supported by the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) include: semester sabbatical support, consulting services for faculty and staff, workshop facilitation, technical assistance and equipment support, faculty and staff support to attend workshops and seminars, and provision of resources for faculty to thrive as teachers and grow professionally. On-campus faculty training workshops supported by CTE have reached over five hundred faculty members since 2006. This number includes the 160 participants in the Historically Black Colleges and University Faculty Development Network Conference sponsored by the CTE and the two Town Hall meetings conducted on the Quality Enhancement Plan and Learning Outcomes (65 Faculty for the March 1, 2007, Town Hall, and 75 Faculty for the May 31, 2007, Town Hall). These are referenced in Core Requirement 2.12. Sample workshops and participant numbers demonstrate the range of topics for faculty development and participation [9] [10] [11]. All workshops and webinars are advertised to all faculty and staff through flyers and by email through Campus Announcements [12].

Off-Campus Travel

Travel for faculty to attend off-campus workshops and conferences is funded from several sources. Title III provides support for faculty and staff members to participate in conferences and professional meetings. Sample support is provided [13] [14]. Departmental budgets provide a limited amount of support for faculty travel, which may be supplemented by the dean of the respective colleges and/or the Provost [4]. The Office of Research and Development also assists with some travel to professional meetings [15].

Faculty Development Leave

Prairie View A&M University does not have an official sabbatical program; however, the University, with the assistance of the Association of Former Students, supports a Faculty Development Leave Program. The qualifications for receiving a development leave are in the Faculty Handbook [16]. Further information about the TAMUS policies on Faculty Development can be found in Texas A&M University System Regulations 31.03.04, Leave of Absence with Pay [17]. Recent faculty development leaves were granted to a faculty member for a Core Artist-in-Residence Fellowship and another to conduct research in the NASA Administratorís Fellowship Program [18].

University Awards and Recognition

Awards for faculty performance in teaching, scholarly creativity and research, and professional service are awarded at various levels by campus units and encourage continued development. For example, the College of Business has offered excellence awards to its faculty annually since 2002. The following are the award categories: Deanís Excellence Awards, Excellence in Research, Excellence in Teaching, Excellence in Service, Faculty to Faculty Mentoring Award.  Details regarding the College of Business Excellence Awards are available in the College. Awards of various kinds are frequently published in College newsletters and awards banquet publications distributed to alumni, faculty, staff, and administrators [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25].

Regents Professor Award

The Texas A&M University System Regents Professor Award honors individuals at the rank of professor or equivalent who have provided exemplary service as faculty members not only to their university or agency, but also to the community, the State of Texas, and the nation. The criteria for selection are found in the Faculty Handbook [16]. and on the Board of Regents' Website [26]. Three award winners come from the University [27].

Chancellorís Teaching Excellence Awards

These awards are open to all faculty members in the Texas A&M University System based upon student evaluations [28]. The Chancellorís Teaching Excellence Awards Program has awarded faculty members at the University over $50,000 in the Spring of 2009 [29] and the same amount in Fall of 2008 [30].

Chancellorís Century Council Intra-System Faculty Travel Fund

These travel funds are for use by faculty within the Texas A&M University System to support specific degree programs, curriculum development, and/or research activity [31].

Research and Development

The Office of Research and Development provides administrative and research assistance to faculty, researchers, and students and helps develop multi-disciplinary research and program teams to obtain external funds [32] [33]. Some funded projects have resulted in collaborate workshops for faculty across disciplines such the one awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities for faculty in English, Spanish, Political Science, History, and Philosophy [34] [35].

College Support for Development

Individual Colleges also support faculty development through workshops, in-service trainings, and guest speakers.  These are frequently highlighted in College newsletters and publications [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [36].

Distance Education Training

The Office of Distance Learning provides training and support for faculty and programs offering courses through distance education or for faculty who want to infuse their face-to-face offerings with additional education support through eCourses. Training is offered on a regular basis and is frequently announced to faculty through Campus Announcements [37] [38] [39]. Sufficient training is provided to assist faculty in gaining certification to teach on-line courses [40]. Since the summer of 2008, the University has 95 certified eCourse instructors, 75 who have complete full training and have the eCourse certification assessment remaining, and over 100 with at least initial web enhancement training [41].

Supporting Documentation and Links

Comprehensive Standards 3.7.3

© 2009 Prairie View A&M University