The Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFE) uses a colleague-to-colleague model to promote excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. Through one-time and multi-part workshops, professional development events, and special opportunities, we help faculty network with others in collegial settings to develop strategies that promote student success and cross-disciplinary understanding. CAFE is a resource that serves and supports all faculty (part-time, term, tenure track) on all five UAA campuses.

Learn more about CAFE


  • Teaching Tips
  • Difficult Dialogues
    Difficult Dialogues is a national program designed to promote and protect academic freedom and religious, cultural, and political pluralism on university campuses. Originally launched by two UAA/APU Ford Foundation grants, this project equips UAA faculty with the skills, knowledge and support to proactively and effectively introduce controversial topics into the classroom and, where necessary, field unanticipated controversy that arises.
  • SoTL/Making Learning Visible
    SoTL is scholarly inquiry into student learning which advances the practice of teaching by making research findings public and open to critique and evaluation. The intent is to create a community of “scholarly teachers” who add to the body of knowledge about teaching and learning as well as benefiting from the SoTL research of others. Check out UAA's version of SoTL - Making Learning Visible.
  • Team-Based Learning TBL
    Team-Based Learning™ (TBL) is a highly interactive, results-based educational strategy developed in the business school environment which has spread to other academic disciplines over the last decade. TBL can be used in classes as large as 200 and as small as 12. It transforms instruction into active learning and promotes the development of professional competencies in interpersonal skills, teamwork and peer feedback.  

Career Support


CAFE shares announcements and brief items of interest on best practices in teaching and learning via FACEBOOK.  We'd love to see you there.  




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 CAFE Events

  • Faculty Development Intensive on High Impact Practices | Review Materials       

    Faculty Development May Intensive The Role of High Impact Practices in Teaching and Supporting First Year Students


    Reading Materials

    Guest Speaker, David Hubert suggested pre-reading 
    Guest Speaker, Patty Clayton
    Clayton & colleagues blog posts – Please read at least this subset:
    #1 (intro to SLCE)
    #2 (why SLCE)
    #3 (civic learning)
    #4 (SLCE scholarship)
    #7 (students as co-creators)
    #8 (community as co-creators) 
  • Advice to New Faculty | August 17, 24 & 31

    9 - 10:30 AM | GHH 105

    Register Here

    Please join us for CAFE's New Faculty Book Group to discuss Robert Boice's book! The book, 'Advice for New Faculty Members,' introduces the "most reliable research differentiating between new faculty who thrive and those who struggle. By following its practical, easy-to-use rules, new faculty can learn to teach with the highest levels of student approval, involvement and comprehension time -- with only modest preparation time." The book offers similar suggestions for writing and quickly integrating into academic culture. We'll talk about the book and share ideas and support for navigating your first few months at UAA.

  • Fall Teaching Academy | August 20 - 22

    8:30 AM - 4 PM | PSB 166

    Our Teaching Academy events offer busy faculty members opportunities to improve teaching skills, explore academic technologies, learn about student support resources, and develop colleagial connections across disciplines. Sessions are open to full- and part-time faculty, as well as interested Post-docs and Graduate Teaching Assistants. Wondering if a session is right for you?! 

    Register Here

    View Schedule 

  • Adjunct Orientation & Teaching Academy |  August 22

    5:30 - 8:30 PM | PSB 166

    Register Here

    PSB 166
    PSB 109
    5:00 PM Check In - Refreshments Available  
    5:30 PM Welcoming Remarks  
      Presenter: Shawnalee Whitney, Director, Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence  
    5:45 PM Plenary: The Faculty Role in Student Success: Lessons from Care Team Reports  
      Presenters: Michael Votava & Lisa Terwilliger, Dean of Students Office  
    6:30 PM Plenary: Support for Teaching and Learning  
      Presenters: Shawnalee Whitney, CAFE, and Heather Nash, AI&e  
    7:00 PM Blackboard Overview (may be divided into two groups depending on experience level of those in the room?) Great Ideas for Teaching Students (GIFTS): Active Learning Techniques
      Presenters: AI&e Presenter: Stasia Straley
    8:15 PM Consultations available  
    8:30 PM Sessions End  
  • Build Exito: A Successful Research Pathway | August 22 & 23
    August 22 | 8-9 AM BMH 228 | 9-5 AM GHH 103 
    August 23 | 8:30 AM -430 PM | GHH 103 
    Have you completed National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) level I training? 
    Faculty who have completed level I training are eligible for the new level II Culturally Aware Mentor (CAM) training, something that is very consistent with UAA's emphasis on student success. Tracey Burke is bringing two NRMN Master Trainers to UAA August 22-23.
    On the 22nd, trainers will offer a 1-day version of the level I training, and on the 23rd, the level II CAM, for which level I is a pre-requisite. 
    Both trainings have limited seats available. 
    Priority registration (available here), open until 7/20, is limited to those faculty already trained at the first level.  Remaining seats will be made available to those registered for the August level I training after 7/20.
    For the basic:
    Passsword: alaska2018
    For the CAM:
    Password: alaskaCAM2018
    Additional details forthcoming. Questions? Connect with Tracey Burke at 786-6905.
  • Stop Talking: Alaska Native Ways of Teaching &Learning  - August  24, September 21 & 28
    11:30 AM - 1 PM | August 24, September 21 & 28 | GHH 105 | Register Here


    Over 10,000 years, seven major Alaska Native nations have developed teaching and learning practices that ensure the survival of their communities under often harsh conditions. These ancient approaches offer fresh insights into our place in the world and strategies to make education more engaging to a wider range of students and more relevant to the pressing challenge of global survival.  As UAA faculty, we want to ensure that our Alaska Native students receive culturally responsive teaching, and that our non-Native students are introduced to the richness of Alaska’s many indigenous cultures.


    Join us for a three-session faculty learning community based on the book Stop Talking:  Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education.  This series will introduce faculty to traditional Alaska Native ways of teaching and learning, and offer an opportunity to reflect on current teaching practices and the possibilities for broadening them to include these approaches. Together we will explore how pedagogies from Alaska’s Native cultures can enliven our teaching practices and help prepare students for the daunting challenges of the 21st century.  We will also discuss key difficult dialogues between Alaska’s Native communities and academia, and tie our work to the student learning outcomes for the new Alaska Native-themed GER launching this fall.
                          Co-sponsored by CAFE and the Faculty Senate Diversity Committee.
                                    For information, contact



Books of the year logo

  • New Books of the Year Theme! Building 'Community Resilience.' The UAA/APU Books of the Year program offers faculty a chance to use shared texts to engage students in conversations around critical themes. Common intellectual experiences -- like Books of the Year programs – are a recognized, evidence-based High Impact Practice that supports student success. The question of how to build community resilience is a hot topic now in communities around the world, including Anchorage. These books will help us help students talk about these critical issues and tie them to our disciplines and contributions to our community. Learn more about the new books of the year.



The Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence
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