New Faculty Orientation & Seminar
New Faculty Orientation
Just before the beginning of classes, faculty members who are new to Berea attend an intensive two-day off-campus orientation at the College’s beautiful retreat facility, Windswept, to:
- learn more deeply about who our students are and how we can provide optimal challenges and support for them;
- explore and discuss Berea’s 8 Great Commitments with senior faculty and staff colleagues, and consider how these values play out in the life of faculty, staff, and students;
- begin engaging in structured reflection on their identities and experiences as teachers and learners;
- think about course design and teaching goals by sharing syllabi and discussing first-day-of-class activities;
- lay the groundwork for a successful and healthy first year.
In addition, over lunches, the cohort is welcomed on day one by the entire staff and leadership of the Dean’s Office; and, on day two, newcomers are joined by a small panel of junior faculty members who field questions related to expectations for first-year faculty, impressions of Berea’s faculty and student cultures, and advice from experience about how to succeed by establishing good habits from the outset.
New Faculty Seminar
Designed to foster success for new faculty colleagues and their students, the year-long New Faculty Seminar meets for two hours twice a month during fall and spring semesters and serves as an extended orientation to the College as well as a chance to explore effective teaching practices with a supportive cohort. As a result of participation, faculty members new to Berea
- engage in readings and discussions about effective teaching and learning;
- gain a deeper understanding of Berea’s academic and student culture, in part through discussions with other members of the faculty and staff;
- develop a network of cross-disciplinary support through bi-weekly meetings and other gatherings throughout the year;
- work to refine established teaching practices or to develop new teaching strategies that are effective for a full range of learners;
- learn and enhance their ability to see teaching through four critically reflective lenses (Brookfield, 1995): our own autobiographies, students’ perceptions, colleagues’ perspectives, and the literature on teaching and learning.
- increase comfort and skill levels with evidence-informed critical reflection through individual and group reflection activities.
Meeting times are established once teaching schedules are firm.
Please note: ALL full-time faculty members who are new to Berea College are required to participate in the year-long New Faculty Seminar. Part-time new faculty members are encouraged but not required to join the group.