Earlier this year, the American Council on Education published a white paper (PDF) that discussed how improvements in instruction lead to increased student retention, fewer failed courses, and more timely progress toward graduation in higher education. The authors point out the positive relationship between faculty development programs and outcomes such as student learning, motivation, persistence, and performance. One study cited found that the more a faculty member participated in development programs, the more student outcomes were improved.
In 16 days, you will have access to the most diverse and densely packed faculty development opportunity of the year: the CELT conference. In addition to the keynote address and workshop, you can choose from 19 oral presentations and panels on topics such as “The Truth Behind Student Success” (4pm on 10/5), “Information Literacy in the Age of Disinformation” (noon on 10/6), and “Identifying High and Low Impact Teaching Practices” (4pm on 10/6). Best of all, it’s free and requires no travel (plus you get a couple free meals).
As a sidenote, my colleagues with children say that they have to prioritize their own wellness in order to be the best parent possible. Similarly, educators have to prioritize their own professional development in order to be the best teacher possible.
I hope to see you at the conference!