The Office of Faculty Development

September 2017 Tuesday Tips

5 September 2017:

On my way to campus this morning, I walked down First Street admiring the banners hung on the lampposts that show our solidarity as a community. The message is both welcoming and decisive: “We Are Chico State” and “We Are One University.” These banners symbolize the culture of respect and caring that we embrace as a campus.

The announcement today that DACA will be rescinded is unfortunate but it’s also an opportunity to remind your students that you support them regardless of their legal status. In fact, all students need to know that we support them regardless of race, religion, body size, gender identity, socio-economic status, age, disability status, or anything else that makes them exceptional or distinctive. The attached PPT slides about DACA (thank you Hannah Burdette in ILLC) may be helpful to discuss in class and/or post to Bb so (a) undocumented students know what resources are available to them and (b) non-Dreamers can better understand the issue. Other helpful tips include avoiding the words “alien” or “illegal” when referring to undocumented students and acknowledging the anxiety they are likely experiencing right now.

As with most controversial issues, education is the key to greater understanding. You can learn more about how this decision impacts higher education in this article in the Chronicle published this morning. Regardless of your political views on immigration, We Are One University with an unwavering commitment to student learning.

19 September 2017:

Earlier this year, the American Council on Education published a white paper (PDF) that discussed how improvements in instruction lead to increased student retention, fewer failed courses, and more timely progress toward graduation in higher education. The authors point out the positive relationship between faculty development programs and outcomes such as student learning, motivation, persistence, and performance. One study cited found that the more a faculty member participated in development programs, the more student outcomes were improved.

In 16 days, you will have access to the most diverse and densely packed faculty development opportunity of the year: the CELT conference. In addition to the keynote address and workshop, you can choose from 19 oral presentations and panels on topics such as “The Truth Behind Student Success” (4pm on 10/5), “Information Literacy in the Age of Disinformation” (noon on 10/6), and “Identifying High and Low Impact Teaching Practices” (4pm on 10/6). Best of all, it’s free and requires no travel (plus you get a couple free meals).

As a sidenote, my colleagues with children say that they have to prioritize their own wellness in order to be the best parent possible. Similarly, educators have to prioritize their own professional development in order to be the best teacher possible.

I hope to see you at the conference!

Register here.

26 September 2017:

If I offered you a pill with decades of research showing it helped to increase energy, reduce bodyfat, increase muscle, improve sleep quality, increase flexibility, enhance overall quality of life, improve cognitive function, and reduce the chances of experiencing heart disease, stroke, and cancer, would you take it? What if I said that the pill was free and the main side effects were improved self-esteem and significant reductions in depression and anxiety, would you take it (sounds like an infomercial I know)?

There is something that does all this and more  - and the only investment required is a little bit of your time. The name of this medicine is “daily physical activity” and it is the most effective way to improve and/or maintain your health. If you’re more motivated by potential negative consequences, consider that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that physical inactivity (i.e. a sedentary lifestyle) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death for adults in the U.S.

Fortunately, Chico State has several low or no-cost opportunities for you to be physically active in a fun and safe environment:

  • 3WINS Fitness is a free exercise class run by Kinesiology students on MWF 8:30-9:30am on the Yolo field (see attached flier). It is open to students, faculty, staff, administrators, and the Chico community with no cost or obligation.
  • Noontime Fitness is a program for any campus employee (no students) interested in using the weight room or fitness area in Acker Mon-Fri 11:50-12:50 for $50/semester (includes summer and breaks). Contact Mitch Cox for more info or to sign up.
  • Free Qigong and Meditation at lunchtime Mon-Thurs for all campus employees and students.
  • Join the Wrec for $215/semester (includes summer and breaks).

If you’re motivated to be physically active and want to learn more about wellness, attend a free wellness workshop on October 11 from 11-1 with Dr. Dominique Gummelt (wellness coach and Chico State alumna). Details forthcoming.

Don’t forget to register for the CELT conference next week.