HomeFaculty & StaffAcademic RegulationsChapter 6: Faculty Development

Faculty Development


  1. Purpose.  This chapter provides guidance on the orientation and continued professional development of MCU faculty members. For the purpose of this chapter, the term faculty member refers to full-time faculty, unless otherwise specified.

  2. Background.  A professional, well-educated faculty is key to the vitality of any educational institution.  Therefore, MCU is committed to providing its faculty with high quality professional development experiences, made possible through learning opportunities created by the University administration and individual schools and colleges.

  3. Initial Faculty Development.  Newly assigned MCU faculty must understand the organization, policies, and procedures of both the University and the individual school prior to assuming educational responsibilities with students.  MCU, individual schools and colleges, and new faculty members have responsibilities in preparation for classroom duties.

    a.University Responsibilities.  Prior to the beginning of the academic year, and in coordination with individual schools, the Faculty Development and Outreach Coordinator (FDOC) will organize faculty orientation sessions for newly assigned personnel.  Topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

    i.University organization and points of contact.

    ii.Resources available to staff and students such as the National Museum of the Marine Corps, History Division, Language and Culture Programs, Academic Chairs and Scholars, the Library of the Marine Corps, Marine Corps University Foundation, Lejeune Leadership Institute, the Leadership Communications Skill Center, and the Brute Krulak Center for Applied Creativity (BKCAC).

    iii.Institutional Effectiveness/Institutional Research programs and policies, including the MCU Four Column Matrix.   

    iv.Adult Learning Theory.

    v.Creative Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

    vi.Innovations in Instructional Strategies and Techniques.

    b.Individual School and College Responsibilities.  Directors and deans will ensure that all faculty members, including adjunct faculty members, are well-prepared to execute all duties and responsibilities.  New faculty orientation sessions, training courses, and teaching practicums at the school level will center on educational philosophy, techniques, policies, and procedures for that school/college.  Directors will document the completion of all new faculty development requirements and will provide that information in an annual report to the FDOC for tracking.  General topics for this development may include, but are not limited to the following:

    i.School organization, policies, procedures, and programs.

    ii.Curriculum development, delivery, assessment, and revision.

    iii.Conference group and student organization techniques and procedures.

    iv.Teaching styles and adult learning techniques.

    c.Individual Faculty Member Responsibilities.  Faculty members have the responsibility to familiarize themselves with topics as prescribed for the developmental sessions at the University and school level.  In doing so, new faculty members will participate in all formal, University-level faculty orientation sessions and school-specific new faculty orientation sessions, training courses, and teaching practicums. All individual faculty members are also responsible for developing and mastering the required teaching skills and techniques utilized at the individual colleges and schools, and fully leveraging the resources available to them. 

  4. Sustained Faculty Development.  The continued development of faculty, both in their professional discipline and in general educational theory, is in the best interest of the faculty member and the University.  The University, the colleges/schools, and the individual faculty member all share in this lifelong learning responsibility.  Colleges and schools are directed to conduct faculty development focused on the needs of their faculty and are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities for customized faculty development sessions conducted by MCU.

    a.University Responsibilities.  The University’s FDOC is responsible for developing an annual program designed to enhance the teaching prowess of the University’s faculty. Additionally, the FDOC will develop opportunities for professional growth through coordinated efforts targeting faculty participation in various course-content specific conferences, workshops, public forums, and online faculty learning communities.  The University will sponsor faculty development sessions on educational topics applicable to all colleges and schools each calendar year. The dates and times will be coordinated to maximize faculty participation. In addition to these sessions, the Erskine Lecture Series, Lord Lectures, MCU Lecture Series, and Constitution Day are recurring MCU developmental opportunities available to all faculty members.  In addition, after five years of continuous service, the President, MCU may, on a case-by-case basis, grant faculty members time for professional enrichment through the University’s Professional Development Off-site (PDO) Program.

    b.Individual School and College Responsibilities.  Individual schools or colleges will maintain the quality of their faculty by devising tailored faculty development opportunities for their faculty members based on faculty needs, as well as the needs of the college or school.  Typically, these opportunities will be specified in a developmental plan, agreed to by the faculty member and the supervisor, appropriately documented, and provided to the FDOC for tracking.  Examples of sustainment-related activities include faculty participation in the following:

    i.Battle Staff rides

    ii.Professional conferences, seminars, and symposia

    iii.Dedicated research time

    iv.Peer developed “brown-bag” lunch seminars dedicated to current University research topics, faculty publications, and faculty areas of interest.

    c.Individual Faculty Responsibilities.  Individual faculty members, including adjunct faculty members, have the primary responsibility to stay current with the requisite knowledge in their discipline and to become proficient in relevant and effective teaching techniques and activities.  University and school faculty development programs are designed to assist faculty members in this endeavor.  Faculty members, other than adjuncts, are required to attend selected faculty development sessions, Erskine Lecture Series events, and Constitution Day, and are expected to participate in other faculty development events as they are offered.  Additionally, faculty members are encouraged to conduct research and publish in their areas of expertise as means of professional development and promoting the University.

    d.Service and Outreach

    i.A faculty member shapes his or her academic discipline(s) by participating in service activities with other PME institutions, civilian universities, and academic and scholarly organizations.  Service activities include, but are not limited to, service on joint accreditation teams, editorial boards, boards of governors and trustees, subject matter expert advisory boards, and as external dissertation examiners, etc.

    ii.A faculty member’s participation in outreach activities is essential to his or her professional development. Through these activities, a faculty member gains insight and knowledge in relevant issues and topics. Outreach activities include, but are not limited to, MCU Speakers Bureau membership and other speaking engagements, research, conferences, etc.

    Documentation.  The FDOC is responsible for maintaining a master file on all formal, University-level faculty development sessions for each academic year.  Schools will maintain a record of their specific faculty development efforts and forward a copy to the FDOC annually for University consolidation.  The FDOC will summarize the annual efforts as part of the command chronology for VPAA.