Faculty Learning Communities
The two-year renewal grant enabled us to continue introducing the lessons learned through the faculty development intensives and other learning communities using the Start Talking handbook. Two faculty from the original intensives conducted a six-session faculty learning community on Engaging Difficult Dialogues based on Start Talking. Faculty who attended five of the six sessions received modest stipends for the purchase of materials at the UAA/APU Consortium Library. This model has now been replicated in successive years and attended by faculty from a wide array of disciplines, spawning extremely valuable discussions not only of how to best introduce and conduct difficult dialogues in class, but also about best practices in teaching and learning in general.
Alaska Native Ways of Teaching and Learning
In fall 2011, UAA is launching a new faculty learning community oriented around Alaska Native Issues and Student Success in the Classroom. Faculty who participated in the Ford Foundation faculty development intensive, as well as those who have participated in a cultural immersion program (a partnership between UAA and the Alaska Humanities Forum) and a Native Cases Summer Institute at Evergreen State College, will meet regularly to discuss ways to integrate Alaska Native perspectives into the classroom and support Alaska Native students. A book created largely by Alaska Native faculty as part of the UAA/APU Books of the Year program entitled Alaska Native Cultures and Issues: Responding to Frequently Asked Questions (Roderick, ed. 2008) will serve as one of the texts.