Support for New Hire Faculty in an Online School, with Remote Employees

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Brief Abstract

American College of Education is a 100% online college employing faculty in remote positions. This unique situation has caused us to evaluate our onboarding process for our faculty to set them up for success, including exposure to the culture and ways to help students be successful in the virtual classroom.

Presenters

Jennifer Linch is the Assistant Director of Training and Development with the American College of Education. She has earned her bachelor of arts in organizational management and her masters in teaching, with an emphasis on learning and technology. She is a lifelong learner, currently pursuing her Ed.D. in instructional technology, with her research focused on faculty onboarding and professional development in a fully online college with nearly all employees in a remote setting. Jennifer is passionate about helping adult learners find their own passions and seeking out opportunities for growth. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family doing water sports such as scuba diving and kayaking.

Extended Abstract

American College of Education is a 100% online college employing faculty in remote positions. This unique situation has caused us to evaluate our onboarding process for our faculty to set them up for success, including exposure to the culture and ways to help students be successful in the virtual classroom. Over the last nine months, the professional development team has worked with new faculty to improve the onboarding process. One of the goals through this is to increase retention and the support faculty receive once they leave the onboarding process. 

Through surveying recent faculty new hires, and leveraging their feedback, the new hire onboarding process for faculty members has been revamped to fully support new hires in their learning process. This approach gives new hires exposure to our unique culture, increased support throughout the first several terms of teaching, and eased new hires into the process without overwhelming them. The Professional Development team has designed a new hire workshop, beginning with the orientation, that has our faculty prepared for leading students in our virtual campus. Ultimately the success of students is our priority, and if faculty are not prepared to help our students be successful, then we are not doing our job in onboarding the faculty new hires correctly. 

The goal of the Professional Development team is to retain high-quality faculty. To do this, faculty must feel supported not only through their onboarding process but beyond.