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The Pioneer Teaching and Learning Academy is sponsored by Academic Affairs, the Office of Teaching and Learning with Technology, the Office of Undergraduate Studies & Academic Partnerships, the Graduate School, and the Center for Faculty Excellence. 

Purpose of the Academy

The purpose of the Pioneer Teaching and Learning Academy (PTLA) is to provide expert peer support and a forum for growth/enhancement in teaching and learning. The Academy will provide education and development activities for face-to-face (F2F), hybrid, and online teaching and learning practices. The PTLA experience includes introductory activities in teaching development, learning theory, and curricular innovation. The activities will then be supported by meetings over the course of the academic year. Participants, known as the PTLA Scholars will each be paired with a Mentor. This dyad, will also be supported by personnel from the Office of Teaching and Learning with Technology for the duration of the Academy experience. The team will collaborate to transform teaching and learning practices of the Scholars and disseminate their projects to colleagues.

The Academy will offer faculty the opportunity to:

  • Explore current trends and research on teaching and learning
  • Meet and network with TWU units dedicated to teaching and learning
  • Transform personal teaching practice
  • Meet and interact with others passionate about teaching
  • Design and conduct research on personal teaching and learning
  • Discuss issues of teaching and learning in a supportive environment
  • Provide additional support to help other participants improve teaching and learning

This program will help create a culture supportive of the scholarship of teaching and learning at TWU and will enhance the teaching skills of individual faculty members.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

PTLA Scholar

All full-time tenured, tenure-track, or clinical faculty members are eligible to apply. Successful applicants will be selected with the expectation that the faculty members will continue in service at the University for at least one academic year after the conclusion of the program.

PTLA Scholar Selection Criteria

  • Interest in teaching enhancement
  • Interest in sharing teaching and learning strategies with others and developing a sense of community
  • Analysis of strengths and weaknesses related to teaching and learning
  • Description of how PTLA can support improvements in teaching and learning practices
  • Participation in TWU faculty development offerings
  • Record reflecting success in research publication and presentation
  • Other scholarly work

PTLA Mentor

PTLA Mentors will be selected from a pool of tenured, tenure-track, or clinical faculty members. Application for membership in the pool requires completion of the application materials plus submission of at least TWO of the following:

  • Evidence of primary instructor of record of a discipline-specific course on university teaching
  • Recipient of a TWU award for distinction in teaching
  • Letter of recommendation from the current Department Chair/Dean
  • Written explanation about teaching effectiveness and interests

PTLA Mentor Selection Criteria

  • Evidence of scholarly record of publications and presentations about teaching and learning
  • Description of interest(s) in teaching and learning
  • Interest in teaching enhancement
  • Analysis of strengths and weaknesses related to teaching and learning
  • Specific expertise that will contribute to the successful mentoring of a Scholar
  • Interest in sharing teaching and learning strategies with others and developing a sense of community
  • Inclusion of additional information as detailed in eligibility requirements
  • Other scholarly work 

Time Commitment

Applicants who are chosen to participate will be required to do the following:

PTLA Scholar

Requirements during the PTLA year

Tier 1 (August – December)

  • Attend kickoff Academy activities (TBD) in Denton
  • Attend at least two regular PTLA meetings during Fall 2016 (schedule TBD)
  • Attend two regular dyad meetings (documented by Mentor) during Fall 2016 (schedule determined with Mentor)
  • Permit access for one observation of teaching practices or online course by assigned Mentor

Tier 2 (January – August)

  • Submit a reflection on teaching outlining perceived strengths, weaknesses, and goals to your Mentor
  • Attend at least two regular PTLA meetings during Spring 2017 (schedule TBD)
  • Attend two regular dyad meetings (documented by Mentor) during Spring 2017 (schedule determined with Mentor)
  • Permit access for one observation of teaching practices or online course by assigned Mentor
  • Present at the Teaching and Learning Symposium in August (solo or with Mentor)
  • Submit a written report to the Office of Teaching and Learning with Technology

PTLA Mentor

Requirements during the PTLA year

Tier 1 (August – December)

  • Attend kickoff Academy activities (TBD) in Denton
  • Attend at least two regular PTLA meetings during Fall 2016 (schedule TBD)
  • Attend two regular dyad meetings (documented by Mentor) during Fall 2016 (schedule determined with Scholar)
  • Conduct one observation of PTLA Scholar's teaching

Tier 2 (January – August)

  • Attend at least two regular PTLA meetings during Spring 2017 (schedule TBD)
  • Attend two regular dyad meetings (documented by Mentor) during Spring 2017 (schedule determined with Mentor)
  • Conduct one observation of PTLA Scholar's teaching
  • Submit a written report to the Office of Teaching and Learning with Technology

Development for PTLA Scholars and Mentors

Funding will be released based on completion of Tier 1 and 2 activities. One half of total will be made available after completion of Tier 1. The remainder will be made available after completion of Tier 2 activities. Note: The written report is not considered in the funding process for Scholars or Mentors. Submission of a proposal to present satisfies the Scholar’s commitment to present at the Teaching and Learning Symposium.

PTLA Scholar ($2,000)

  • Registration and travel to teaching and learning conferences
  • Specialized certifications related to teaching
  • Third-party courses to improve teaching skills and techniques

PTLA Mentor ($1,200)

  • Registration and travel to teaching and learning conferences
  • Specialized certifications related to teaching
  • Third-party courses to improve teaching skills and techniques

How to Apply/Questions

Applications should be in the form of a proposal as described on each respective application form. Each applicant may submit only one application (PTLA Scholar or Mentor).

The application must include the following (in this order):

1. Cover sheet with contact information

2. Responses to proposal requirements

3. Current curriculum vitae (Use the format required by TWU for annual review, promotion, and tenure applications.

The application should be electronically submitted to the Office of Teaching and Learning with Technology [TLT@twu.edu; 940-898-2771 (fax)] no later than May 20, 2016 by 5 p.m. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

Download PTLA Application [pdf]

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Teaching and Learning with Technology at TLT@twu.edu or 940.898.3409.

page last updated 5/2/2016 9:54 AM