Maryville Invests in Professional Development for Faculty


[St. Louis, Mo.] — As part of an ongoing commitment to embrace emerging technologies and new ways of student learning, Maryville University will provide faculty with two weeks of paid professional development, beginning this academic year. The training is organized by Maryville’s Finch Center for Teaching and Learning.

One week of interactive learning sessions will be held in August, and a second week will be held in May. Maryville faculty members from across academic disciplines facilitate the program.

“This is a significant investment in faculty teaching and student learning. Our commitment to innovative pedagogy and facilitating multiple student learning styles is a strategic priority at Maryville University,” said President Mark Lombardi, PhD. “The initial cost of the commitment is $450,000 and it will grow over time.”

Along with a focus on integrating technology in the classroom, sessions will include an emphasis on teaching innovation and creating engaging learning environments. Beginning this year, all incoming traditional freshman will receive a fully loaded, customizable iPad through Maryville’s Digital World program, designed to align students and teachers technologically.

“We are no longer keepers of content in our classrooms,” Lombardi said. “Our role is to facilitate the student’s journey and their application of the knowledge they gain. Our commitment to professional development means our faculty are well prepared to meet the challenge of this shifting role and provide students with exactly what they need in order to achieve academic and ultimately professional success.”

Jesse Kavadlo, PhD, professor of English and director of the Finch Center for Teaching and Learning, developed the professional development program with Laura Ross, assistant director of the Center and adjunct music instructor.

“This is an opportunity for faculty to refresh their teaching strategies, build community and be inspired by each other’s work,” Kavadlo said.

“For educators, these two weeks of development each academic year provide the opportunity for a constant dialogue about teaching strategies, application techniques and what’s new in education,” Ross said.