Faculty Performance Enhancement Program: CSU-Global’s Model for Managing Faculty for Instructional Excellence
Concurrent Session 8
To align faculty performance and ensure continuity of instructional excellence across all degree programs and courses, peer mentors provide faculty with guidance on best-practices in online instruction and conduct monthly faculty reviews against institutional expectations. Reviews are captured and used across systems to assist in scheduling, compensation, promotion, and remediation.
The online environment can pose some unique challenges for students. Perhaps the most frequent challenge for students in the online platform is a sense of isolation or disconnect from the learning environment, which can lead to a lack of motivation, low success rates, and low levels of satisfaction. One of the ways to avoid isolation is to engage students with an interactive, supportive, student-centered environment. This is one of the most important roles of a faculty member. Because CSU-Global is deeply committed to the success of each student, a set of faculty expectations have been developed that are focused on interaction, responsiveness, meaningful feedback, and effective classroom management.
Performance management is a part of the overall faculty enhancement process and is the basis for decisions in areas of faculty development and faculty retention. Performance is focused on interaction, responsiveness, meaningful feedback, and integrating effective online classroom practices. The program integrates processes for candidate on-boarding, the monthly monitoring of university faculty by cohort peers against institutional expectations, a progressive approach to performance enhancement in instances where faculty do not meet expectations, comprehensive professional training and development, and ongoing guidance and resources for all faculty. Faculty performance is monitored through quantitative and qualitative means using analytic tools, mentor reviews and reports, student course ratings, and other feedback sources to help faculty meet and exceed expectations. Faculty members collaborate with peers and mentors to address and resolve issues and ensure that faculty are supported and given the opportunity to be successful in a collegial manner.
- Candidate Onboarding Process
- Part One
The first part of the three-phase faculty hiring process is the application and credential review, writing sample submission, and candidate interview by staff and program coordinators. After successful completion of this screening process and applicant approval, the candidate is moved to the second phase of the process; FCC100.
- Part Two
CSU-Global requires all candidate faculty members to successfully complete Faculty Certification Course 100 (FCC100); the initial Applicant Onboarding course. FCC100 is a three week course specifically designed to further the candidate’s understanding of CSU-Global’s mission and faculty expectations as outlined in the CSU-Global Faculty Handbook, introduce the candidate to the learning management system, and provide an opportunity to evaluate the candidate as an instructor.
- Part Three
Upon successful completion of this course and the recommendation of the Facilitator, the candidate faculty member is moved to the third phase of the process and enrolled as an instructor in a mentored first-course. The first course assignment and successful completion of the mentoring period is the last phase in the application process. First courses are considered probationary. During this time, first-course mentors provide weekly support and guidance, and are available to answer questions, provide explanations, and support new instructors in meeting expectations. The candidate faculty will be evaluated throughout the eight week term based on faculty expectations as outlined in the Faculty Handbook. First-course mentors submit the candidate’s final review at the end of the eight weeks with their determination and recommendation for employment. The checklist and review form is the instrument that is used for all faculty reviews across the institution. Candidates approved to become CSU-Global Faculty will receive a letter of congratulations and information about Faculty Cohort Mentors. Candidates not approved will be placed on inactive status.
- CSU-Global Monthly Faculty Performance Monitoring
CSU-Global faculty members are monitored and reviewed on a monthly basis, have regular ongoing support from peer mentors, and are provided convenient resources that can be accessed at any time to help them be successful in their programs.
- Monthly Cohort Mentor Checklist and Review
The purpose of the monthly mentor checklist and review is to ensure that CSU-Global students experience high quality, consistent, and supportive interactions with faculty throughout their program. Faculty Cohort Mentors observe and review courses for each faculty member on a monthly basis and work to support the instructor’s efforts in meeting or exceeding faculty expectations as outlined in the CSU-Global Faculty Handbook and communicate effective practices for areas of concern or needing attention by the instructor. Reviews are evaluated and used as a component of faculty rating for scheduling, promotion evaluations, and other faculty opportunities. Faculty members identified as not meeting minimum performance expectations as outlined in the Faculty Handbook may be placed on a performance enhancement plan.
- A Progressive Approach to Faculty Performance Enhancement
Paramount to the mission of CSU-Global is the academic success of our students and our faculty members are the foundation of instructional excellence and a cornerstone of student success. Faculty identified as not meeting minimum expectations are contacted by their Cohort Mentor who works with them and provides them resources to support their professional growth and adherence to expectations. After a period of three months of consistently not meeting expectations and/or poor student feedback or complaints, the Associate Director of Faculty Development works with the faculty member towards resolution and to address any corrective action needed in order to be successful.
- Faculty Performance Deficiency Notices
The Faculty Performance Enhancement Plan outlines the steps and progressive plan of corrective and remedial actions which CSU-Global can institute as a result of faculty performance not meeting expectations as outlined in the CSU-Global Faculty Handbook. The plan is designed to address and resolve performance issues and give faculty the opportunity to be successful in a clearly delineated and collaborative manner. Typically, the steps include a temporary reduction in teaching load and/or participation in a faculty development course.
- Faculty Performance Enhancement Plan (PEP)
The purpose of the Performance Enhancement Plan (PEP) is to identify and document serious areas of concern or gaps in instructional performance of faculty expectations and allow faculty the opportunity to demonstrate improvement and commitment through a documented and mutually agreed upon plan of action. These areas may be identified through student complaints or feedback, Cohort Mentor monthly reviews, or other means. Faculty may be placed on probationary status until successful completion of the Performance Enhancement Plan which will include mentoring, monitoring, and successful completion of professional development courses.
- Comprehensive Training and Development
As part of our mission to employ, develop, and retain high quality faculty, CSU-Global provides faculty training and professional development programs designed to strengthen instructional quality and to cultivate a community of faculty who are regionally and nationally recognized as experts in the field of online education.
- Faculty Training
CSU-Global offers faculty certification courses to further develop online teaching and facilitation skills, technology skills, and media development skills. There are currently 10 courses that faculty can chose from and are paid a stipend for to participate in once a year. The courses cover a range of areas with new courses being developed as interest and needs arise.
In addition, there are progressive courses that faculty can take to further their knowledge and skills in different areas of participation within the institution. These courses prepare faculty to take on leadership roles in various capacities and move into new areas of academic administration.
- Professional Development
Outstanding faculty is a core component of a mission to advance student success and academic excellence. To ensure that we uphold the highest standards, we work in conjunction with our faculty members to promote and encourage their professional growth and discovery of new knowledge and currency in the field through seminars, conferences, and presentations. Faculty can apply for grants and honorariums that support their efforts in these areas.
- Ongoing Guidance and Resources
- Cohort Peer Mentors
Mentors work with their peers to guide, support, and serve as a primary resources for their faculty. They are available to answer questions, provide additional resources, and be a sounding board of experience in the online classroom. Mentors introduce themselves to faculty when they first come on board and work with them through reviews and with program meetings to fully support faculty members in being successful.
- The Faculty Portal
It is important in an online environment to have all of the resources that faculty need available to them at all times. The CSU-Global faculty portal has been developed with this in mind. Faculty are able to indicate their availability and teaching preferences, as well as access all resources needed to be successful in their courses through the portal. All instructional resources and forms, university policies and meetings, training and development schedules and applications, and the student career center can all be accessed with the click of a mouse in addition to 24/7 technical support.
2016. CSU-Global Faculty Handbook: A Guide to Faculty Expectations and Performance for Online Teaching. CSU-Global.edu.