Pioneer Teaching and Learning Academy

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. 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
  • 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 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 publication and presentation

PTLA Mentor

PTLA Mentors will be selected from a pool of tenured and tenure-track faculty members. Membership in the pool is for one PTLA cycle. Mentors interested in remaining in the pool must notify PTLA membership in writing no later than June 1. Membership in the pool is not a guarantee of selection. Application for initial 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
  • 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

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 2017 (schedule TBD)
  • Attend two regular dyad meetings (documented by Mentor) during Fall 2017 (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 2018 (schedule TBD)
  • Attend two regular dyad meetings (documented by Mentor) during Spring 2018 (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 2017 (schedule TBD)
  • Attend two regular dyad meetings (documented by Mentor) during Fall 2017 (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 2018 (schedule TBD)
  • Attend two regular dyad meetings (documented by Mentor) during Spring 2018 (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 PLTA 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

The 2017-2018 application is closed.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Teaching and Learning with Technology at TLT@twu.edu or 940-898-3409.