March 24-25, 1999

ITEM 102-1004-R0399  Approval of Proposal to Establish an Institute for Teaching Excellence; The University of Montana-Missoula

THAT:  The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes The University of Montana to establish an Institute for Teaching Excellence.

EXPLANATION:  This program will aid in The University of Montana's accreditation effort, assist in student retention, and train faculty in current instructional technology.

As part of The University of Montana-Missoula's upcoming accreditation in the year 2000 by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, all departments and faculty on this campus must document the outcomes assessment used to determine student learning and teaching effectiveness. To that end, an Institute for Teaching Excellence (ITE) will assist faculty in gathering the above documentation. Institute personnel will act as consultants to departments wishing to undertake instructional improvement and assessment efforts. The ITE will provide services, conduct research projects (in conjunction with departments) on teaching and learning, conduct training workshops, and publish materials on instructional improvement. Moreover, the Institute will continue to provide such services long after the completion of the accreditation process.

Second, the ITE will assist faculty in student retention. Faculty will receive training in mentoring, teaching pedagogy for all learning styles, the special needs of disabled and international students, and promoting and improving professor/student communication.

Third, the ITE will train faculty who wish to use technology in their teaching. In collaboration with the Information Technology Resource Center (ITRC), faculty will learn to improve delivery of on-campus and distance learning courses.

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