Conestoga news

September 13, 2019 3:56 PM

New development and leadership program fosters teaching excellence

Conestoga’s newest full-time faculty members gathered at the college’s Doon campus for a three-day development and leadership program in preparation of the start of the 2019-20 academic year. Hosted by the college’s Teaching & Learning and Employee Engagement & Development teams, the program was designed to establish a learning community, foster teaching excellence and build a framework for continuous professional growth. 

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Conestoga’s newest full-time faculty members participated in workshops that combined presentations, interactive sessions and facilitated discussions as part of the college’s new development and leadership program.

More than 80 new full-time educators were in attendance from August 26-28 to participate in workshops that combined presentations, interactive sessions and facilitated discussions to help faculty members lay a foundation for student success. 

“Our faculty define and shape the learning experience within -- and even beyond -- the classroom,” said Dr. Barbara Kelly, vice-president, Academic, Student Affairs and Human Resources. “We want to ensure that, as the newest members of our college community transition into their role as educators, we’ve laid the groundwork for them to not only meet the needs of our highly diverse student body, but also for the continuous development of their own skills to help prepare students for successful careers.”

As the college continues to invest in both personnel and facilities to serve the workforce needs of local communities, the full-time faculty development and leadership program replaces Conestoga’s participation in the College Educator Development Program -- a collaborative undertaking by western region colleges in Ontario aimed at preparing newly-hired faculty for the classroom.  

“Conestoga continues to see significant growth in full-time faculty as the college makes substantial investments to address the growing demand for career-ready graduates,” said Kelly. “Bringing the development program in-house allows us to build on community values that were introduced through other onboarding activities at the college and with training specific to Conestoga by our own team of experts.”

In addition to workshops, the program served to introduce faculty members to their colleagues across Conestoga’s network of campuses, as well as to the systems and resources in place to ensure they are supported throughout their teaching career at the college -- both of which, according to Kelly, are important when setting conditions for success. It is part of the cycle of ongoing support and engagement, along with networking and professional learning opportunities, that extend beyond the initial onboarding process.  

With close to 1,300 full-time employees focused on quality programming and services, Conestoga is a leader in the delivery of career-focused education, responding to changing workforce needs and empowering learners from all backgrounds and circumstances to achieve their highest potential.

Conestoga’s Teaching & Learning team promotes and supports educational leadership while building capacity to support students’ learning experience. Using evidence-based approaches, the group works with faculty and academic areas across the college to achieve continuous quality improvements in the classroom.