Academic Excellence Initiatives

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Campus Initiatives

The CAE is working intensely with many collaborators across campus to advance the University's strategic goals (Core Integration, Living & Learning, the Jesuit mission, and diversity) and enhance the quality of teaching & learning.

IDEA Student Rating System

The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) has been collaborating with the Faculty Development & Evaluation Committee (FDEC) on workshops to help faculty "get started with IDEA" and "unpack the IDEA reports: interpreting the data & closing the loop". In addition to these workshops, the CAE is available for consultations upon request.

For more information about IDEA implementation at Fairfield, visit the University's IDEA site.

The CAE offers consultations for faculty on "Getting Started with IDEA" and "Interpreting IDEA Diagnostic Reports"
Please contact the CAE to schedule an appointment.

Blackboard Learn - Learning Management System

For more information about Blackboard Learn, visit Academic Computing's Blackboard training and resources.

Questions? Contact Mary Kleps, Instructional Support Specialist, C&NS.

Cornerstone Course Program (formerly First-Year Residential Course Program)

Since Fall 2010, all first-year students have been enrolled in Cornerstone courses (formerly FRCs). This Living & Learning initiative provides faculty with opportunities to:

  • Bridge student learning inside and outside the classroom
  • Deepen / extend / reinforce student learning
  • Introduce new students to college skills and the values of the Core curriculum

The Cornerstone Guide: Resources for Faculty (PDF) provides faculty participating in the program with information about First-Year Living and Learning Communities at Fairfield, teaching and learning resources, and information about Cornerstone Course Enhancement funds available to support community-building activities.

The CAE offers consultations for faculty on Cornerstone course design or redesign, please contact the CAE to schedule an appointment.

Advising as Teaching

Academic advising is a teaching and learning process that includes a curriculum, pedagogy, and learning outcomes. This "Advising as Teaching" model, as outlined by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), is practiced at Fairfield University. Academic advising at Fairfield University is a key component of the teaching and learning relationship that is at the heart of educating the whole person.

Resources are available to assist faculty with their advising responsibilities including:

  • An Advising @ Fairfield Resource (PDF) listing includes referral information and key campus contacts
  • An Advising Syllabus which allows advisors to communicate to students the purpose and value of academic advising, expectations, and responsibilities for academic advising. View the sample advising syllabus (DOC) and customize it for use with your students.
  • my.Fairfield offers online interactive tools that can be used by students and faculty. Consult the Advising with Tools (PDF) to learn more about the tools and ways to use them.
  • NACADA hosts an online Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources on various topics including faculty advising.

For more information about Academic Advising at Fairfield, please visit the Office of Academic Engagement website.

The CAE offers consultations for faculty on Advising as Teaching, please contact the CAE to schedule an appointment.

Peer Review Of Teaching And Curriculum

With a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation, the CAE offers consultations and workshops on developing a peer review of teaching and curriculum system. Customized to departmental or program school needs, this work aims at both formative (for improvement) and summative (for personnel decisions) feedback on syllabi, assignments, activities, classroom observations, student ratings, etc.

  • To learn more about the Peer Review of Teaching, view our Nuts & Bolts of Peer Review handout (PDF) and consult Nancy Van Note Chism's book: 'Peer Review of Teaching. A Sourcebook' Second Edition (2007, Anker Publishing).
  • To schedule a Peer Review consultation for your department or program, e-mail the CAE.

In Fall 2011, the CAE and the Faculty Development & Evaluation Committee (FDEC) launched a collaboration on the Peer Review of Teaching (PRoT). Faculty teams across campus were invited to work on developing their department or school's peer review of teaching system.

Participating faculty teams include:

Academic Year 2011-2012

Academic Year 2012-2013

  • History & Religious Studies
  • Graduate School of Education & Allied Professions
  • School of Nursing
  • Visual & Performing Arts
  • Biology
  • English
  • Philosophy

The PRoT initiative (a Davis IV-funded CAE project) was co-facilitated by Dr. Larry Miners and Dr. Kathy Nantz.

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