Campus News - December 10, 2001
CASTL on the UNM landscape
By Carolyn Gonzales
the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship in Teaching and Learning, Susan
Deese-Roberts, director, is open in the Communication and Journalism (C&J)
building, room 158.
CASTL helps faculty develop teaching skills and a greater understanding about
teaching and learning in the classroom. By Feb. 1, it will also be able to offer
a place for Faculty Senate committees and other faculty groups to meet.
Jean Civikly-Powell, director, Faculty Dispute Resolution and C&J professor
emeritus, served as interim director and chair of the task force to create the
program. She was also instrumental in finding a space on campus to build CASTL,
Deese-Roberts serves as the programs first selected director, a 2/3-time appointment, allowing Deese-Roberts to retain a 1/3-time position as a faculty member in the General Library.
Deese-Roberts, who earned her both her masters and PhD in adult education
from UNM, sees a natural connection and progression to CASTL from her role in
the library for the last 20 years. The library offered so many opportunities
to be engaged in both teaching and learning. The connection between the library
and CASTL is close because both engage in student learning and faculty development,
She is a certified trainer in learning styles and curriculum design and has
provided training for public schools and other post-secondary institutions in
New Mexico and regionally.
Because Civikly-Powell was so deeply involved in faculty and teaching assistant
development, CASTL has the progress of the past to build upon. CASTL during
its first year. Nancy Uscher, associate provost, Academic Affairs, appointed
Leslie Oakes, Anderson Schools of Management, outcomes assessment coordinator
with a CASTL assignment.
These are formal methods to assess student learning and teaching,
to a lesser degree. Accrediting agencies are calling for formal university assessment
projects, which is driving some schools and colleges to contact us, says
Deese-Roberts, adding that outcomes assessment is a natural extension of the
student learning process.
Looking at outcomes from a retention perspective, Deese-Roberts says theyre
focused on the question, What can we do at the undergraduate level to
insure that were providing a quality education and keeping the students
Outcomes assessment looks at how students progress through the university,
including what employers say about graduates, she adds.
The scholarship of teaching refers to the study of teaching practices and effectiveness
and incorporates the scholarship of discovery, application and teaching. Some
campuses have had CASTL-like programs for 30 years as university populations
became more diverse, says Deese-Roberts. Recent centers are reactions
to retention issues and national reform efforts to look at undergraduate education.
CASTL will help faculty learn more about and adapt to classroom needs,
Deese-Roberts says that the national trend at research universities is to look
at the teaching mission. The goal is not to reduce or be competitive with
research, but rather to place, or retain teaching on equal ground with universities
research mission, she says.
CASTL will take advantage of a Preparing Future Faculty grant won by C&J
that will allow them to expand orientation projects.
Deese-Roberts anticipates expanding the program by adding six to eight lunchtime
presentations during the academic year.
They will also be developing a website. It will be more than a web page.
It will offer faculty development information, says Deese-Roberts.
We have the full support of administration, especially through Associate
Provost Nancy Uscher, she says. CASTL is built into the strategic plan,
particularly with service learning and partnerships.
Deese-Roberts says she has faculty support. It will take two to four
years to establish as strong a program as we envision, she says. Since
she still has 1/3-time in the library she still will provide instructional sessions
and work on the reference desk.
Its the next best thing to being in the classroom, she says.
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
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