Ball Foundation Helps Associate Faculty Development Institute Grow
Part-time faculty members are critical to Ivy Tech's mission. They bring invaluable experience to the classes they teach, with recent, relevant lessons to share. It's not unusual, in fact, for faculty to discuss topics in class that they were working on the same day.
There are some challenges, however, that come with being an adjunct faculty member. Since many are employed elsewhere, they don't have the same opportunities to develop their teaching skills as full-time faculty. They also are likely to have less contact with their students since most don't keep office hours or spend a great deal of time on campus.
That's why Ivy Tech developed the Associate Faculty Development Institute. The Institute is designed to allow adjunct faculty to hone skills in a way that will help increase student degree completion and learning outcomes, which is a key initiative in the College's Accelerating Greatness Strategic Plan.
The Institute is made possible in part by support from the George and Frances Ball Foundation. In 2011, the Foundation pledged $1 million toward expanding the Institute in Ivy Tech's East Central region, which serves Anderson, Marion, Muncie, and New Castle. The Foundation's leadership says that the Institute, and Ivy Tech as a whole, has proven a worthy contributor to higher education in the region.
"The Foundation's recent gift to support the Muncie Campus of the Ivy Tech Community College System is intended to enhance the quality of postsecondary educational programs that are available to residents of Muncie and east central Indiana," said Norman Beck, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Foundation. "With the educational programs offered by Ivy Tech and Ball State University, the range of classes and programs available locally will include everything from a class in welding to graduate programs leading to a doctorate degree."
Dr. Beck adds that the Foundation's investment benefits not just faculty and their students, but everyone who depends upon the region's economic vitality.
"The Foundation's Board of Directors fully supports efforts to promote economic development within east central Indiana," he states, "and believes that having such a wide array of postsecondary experiences available locally will assist in attracting prospective employers to consider this region as the place to start a new, or to expand a current, business."
Part-time faculty participating in the Institute can earn the designation of associate faculty and additional compensation for completing faculty development hours. These hours include seminars, workshops, and courses related to their fields. Faculty must keep their professional development up to date annually in order to maintain their associate faculty designation.
The Foundation has been a longtime supporter of Ivy Tech, and is among the most generous benefactors in the state. Founded in 1937 as a private foundation focused on promoting charitable, scientific and educational purposes, it has made $3.9 million in contributions to organizations and causes in the Muncie and east central Indiana area in 2011 alone.
"The Foundation is both pleased and excited to be part of an effort to support the continued development of Ivy Tech Community College," said Beck. "The economic future of Muncie will be greatly enhanced because of the educational programs and opportunities Ivy Tech offers."