Faculty members are at or above average in all areas of standard 5. Quality of teaching and modeling best practices does appear to be a very special strength of the unit. Evidence of excellence in teaching can be seen in the very high Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness scores presented earlier and in the wide variety of instructional practices implemented by faculty that promote student engagement, critical thinking and inclusive learning environments. In addition, in the last year, three faculty were nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award.
The unit has identified the following areas that need further elaboration: (1) an articulated adjunct review policy for the unit, and (2) An articulated post tenure review policy for the unit, (3) an articulated policy for evaluation of clinical faculty.
At present each department in the unit conducts systematic evaluations of adjunct faculty in varying degrees, which is guided by SSU’s policy and by the Collective Bargaining Agreement of the California Faculty Association (CFA). Mentoring by colleagues, consultation with other faculty members, and workshops, are some of the strategies employed to further the quality of teaching. Peer observations are not always conducted in a systematic way, partly due to the increased workload. This is an area in which departments are working. The plan is to come up with an articulated policy for the unit, in which these procedures and evaluation criteria are defined. Department meetings and school wide meetings are venues where this work has been initiated. The final product will be the School policy for the evaluation of adjunct faculty and a calendar for its implementation.
Post-tenure review: Periodic review of tenured faculty takes place on a yearly basis through the Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion process. According to the SSU, CFA policies, faculty who have been promoted to Full Professor should undergo periodic post-tenure review. This is an identified area of improvement. Some full professors in the unit went through this review, but this is a process that needs to be streamlined, and departments need to formulate their post-tenure review policy. This is a topic that will be addressed in the department and school wide meetings. After that each department will assign a committee to draft a policy to be discussed and approved by faculty members in each department.
Clinical faculty: At present the LEEE and CSSE Departments have created a handbook for mentors, where the selection criteria for mentor teachers are presented. In addition, candidates evaluate their student teaching experience in the exit survey, providing information about the quality of their clinical experience. The other Departments in the unit also evaluate their mentor teachers, and they are working on a mentor teacher handbook. During the coming semesters Departments will prepare these handbooks and write a unified evaluation policy for clinical faculty.