Faculty Development

Faculty Development


The Faculty Development arm of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), led by Dr. Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens, offers resources and professional development opportunities for individuals and groups in two ways: 1) through direct services and 2) as a collaborative home for faculty colleagues who bring particular areas of experience, expertise, and perspective to the shared project of teaching and learning.  By serving directly and operating as an umbrella for coordinating and publicizing faculty-led activities, Faculty Development is able to foster a community of excellence among faculty in service and support of student learning. Much of the work of this unit of the CTL takes place through the following programs and opportunities, but it also manifests in a variety of more informal collaborations within and outside the CTL:

New Faculty Orientation

Just before the beginning of classes, new Berea faculty members attend an intensive, two-day orientation to:

  • Learn who our students are and how we can provide optimal challenges and support for them;
  • Explore and discuss Berea’s 8 Great Commitments with senior faculty and staff colleagues.
  • Consider how these values play out in the life of faculty, staff and students
  • Begin engaging in structured reflection on their identities and experiences as teachers and learners;
  • Think about course design and teaching goals by sharing syllabi and discussing first-day-of-class activities;
  • Lay the groundwork for a successful and healthy first year.

In addition, over lunches, the cohort is welcomed on day one by the entire staff and leadership of the Dean’s Office. On day two, newcomers are joined by a small panel of junior faculty members who field questions related to:

  • Expectations for first-year faculty
  • Impressions of Berea’s faculty and student cultures
  • Advice from experience about how to succeed by establishing good habits from the outset.

New Faculty Seminar

Designed to foster success for new faculty colleagues and their students, the New Faculty Seminar serves as an extended orientation to the College as well as a chance to explore effective teaching practices with a supportive cohort.  The year-long seminar meets for two hours, twice a month during fall and spring semesters.

  • Engage in readings and discussions about effective teaching and learning.
  • Gain a deep understanding of Berea’s academic and student culture via discussions with other faculty and staff.
  • Develop a network of cross-disciplinary support through meetings and other gatherings during the year.
  • Work to refine established teaching practices or develop new, effective strategies for a range of learners.
  • Learn and enhance abilities to see teaching through four critically reflective lenses (Brookfield, 1995):
    • Our own autobiographies
    • Students’ perceptions
    • Colleagues’ perspectives
    • Literature on teaching and learning
  • Increase comfort and skill levels with evidence-informed critical reflection through individual and group activities.

The seminar establishes meeting times once teaching schedules are firm.

Please note: All new, full-time faculty members are required to take part in the year-long New Faculty Seminar. New part-time faculty members are not required to join but are welcome and encouraged.


Dr. Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens

Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
Director of Faculty Development
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature

Hutchins Library, 206
CPO 2157
Email: ortquistahrensl@berea.edu
Phone: 859-985-3670