Engineering education takes a step forward with the launch of a new program to help faculty develop a community of scholars and to support efforts toward student success. The Nevada Engineering Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (NEATLE) within the College of Engineering offers faculty training through WebCampus modules, includes plans to hire additional lecturers and augments resources for students.
Teaching Assistant Professor Ann-Marie Vollstedt will head up the program.
“I am honored to be the director of this new initiative and excited to work with others at the University to build the NEATLE program,” Vollstedt said. “I believe our college has so much to offer students and faculty. I would like to see NEATLE be a great resource for everyone. I love teaching and enjoy working with other faculty to research, brainstorm and try new teaching practices in the classroom.”
Vollstedt worked with Engineering Assistant Dean Candice Bauer to develop NEATLE after assessment data and student feedback indicated a need for additional professional development opportunities, more faculty, inclusive and research-based teaching practices, and increased tutoring.
Part of Engineering’s new strategic plan
NEATLE has four principles: Prepare, Advance, Welcome and Serve (PAWS).
- “Prepare” addresses student success, including responding to remedial skills missing from students’ knowledge base and developing a library of training modules.
- “Advance” deals with faculty and offers resources to advance their skills sets in education.
- “Welcome” ensures that students and faculty are welcomed at the College, are able to access learning and have a sense of belonging.
- “Serve” refers to the program’s efforts to serve the College of Engineering and the greater University community.
That aligns with Engineering’s new strategic plan, Wolf Pack Innovation, which has student success and developing a community of scholars as some of its operational pillars.
Specific actions under NEATLE include faculty training through WebCampus modules and hiring three lecturers who will spend 70% of their time teaching and 30% of their time working in the Engineering Tutoring Center. Vollstedt and Bauer will be taking requests for new teaching modules and plan to add a “question-and-answer” feature to the WebCampus site. This online Q-and-A tool is designed to build community among faculty by providing a forum where they can post questions as well as respond to others’ queries.
Vollstedt and Bauer say future NEATLE activities might involve developing a library of training modules, building the College’s peer review program so faculty can review others work, sending newsletters out and trying to engage with the outreach and recruitment team.