Academic Professional Development Program

Academic professional development programs designed to enhance students learning through enhancing the quality of teaching and learning are a common feature of higher education institutions. A faculty member wishing to achieve a successful career faces a multitude of challenges resulting from his various responsibilities. A freshly appointed faculty member needs to quickly develop to cope and adapt to effective teaching, evolving instructional technologies, and advances in his field of interest. However, all faculty members need to develop to attain their highest expectations.

Academic success requires a faculty to strike a critical balance between these different areas. Successful faculty members achieve this balance by experience and often times after tremendous effort that could be overwhelming, and frustrating. While nothing substitutes hard work, there is a general understanding that university academic development programs have a positive impact on faculty members and students; even though the extent of their impact on faculty members and the teaching and learning culture at the universities are less well evidenced. Such programs can accelerate the process of flourishing a junior faculty and may very well reduce frustration. Experience gathered from implementing junior faculty career development programs indicates that faculty members whom their institution actively contributes for their career development are more likely to stay longer and give back to that institution in scholarly productivity and creativity.

Hence, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), recognizing the importance of such development programs in improving the quality of teaching and learning has developed a structured academic professional development program (APDP) for its faculty members. The program is mandatory for Assistant Professors with less than 3 years of teaching experience and optional for others

1. Mission

To enhance students learning through enabling faculty members to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at KFUPM.

2. Objectives

The overall objective is to support faculty members in developing knowledge and skills for fulfilling their different roles efficiently and effectively towards enhancing student learning. The specific objectives include:

  • Fostering an environment of continuous development through well-structured development program
  • Enhancing the value of the educational role of faculty
  • Enabling faculty members to attain their highest potential in their role towards enhancing students learning

3. Outcomes

The expected outcomes of the program are to:

  • Raise the awareness about quality teaching and learning
  • Use principles and theories related to students learning, and motivation
  • Enhance faculty engagement with students
  • Embed good practices in teaching and learning such as:
    • Apply current effective instructional pedagogies to enhance students engagement and learning
    • Use instructional technologies for enhancing students learning
  • Integrate well-designed assessment tools into course design to foster in depth learning such as:
    • Aligning assessment with learning outcomes and teaching strategies
    • Using assessment as feedback for learning
    • Adopting methods and practices for ensuring the quality of assessment

4. Duration

The duration of the Academic Professional Development Program, APDP is one academic year.

5. Eligibility

The program is open to all faculty members with professorial rank but compulsory for Assistant Professors with less than 3 years of teaching experience at a University level.

6. Characteristics of the Program

The main characteristics of APDP are:

  • Program activities: This provides the organization of the program activities to be covered in order to achieve the objectives of the program.
  • Criteria of Program Achievement: This involve the expected achievement of the participants through the preparation of a teaching portfolio. Participants submit the portfolio at the end of the one-year period for review, which is reviewed based on a rubric for providing feedback.
  • Program Evaluation: Provide how the program is evaluated to ensure program effectiveness.
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