Albion Joins Select Group to Help Faculty Prepare Students for Careers

Grant from Strada Education Network creates Consortium for Instructional Excellence and Career Guidance

May 25, 2018

For Jocelyn McWhirter, Stanley S. Kresge Professor of Religious Studies and director of The Newell Center for Teaching and Learning, this could not have come at a better time.

“This program is right up our alley,” she said. “It involves training teachers in the science of teaching and its best practices. According to Albion’s Purpose Statement, the faculty’s primary commitment is to teaching. This is a great opportunity to deepen that commitment.”

It is this new opportunity that intrigues McWhirter.

Albion is joining 25 other colleges in the inaugural national Consortium for Instructional Excellence and Career Guidance, thanks to a $1.2 million grant from Strada Education Network and in partnership with the Council of Independent Colleges and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE).

It’s a new initiative that will prepare up to 500 faculty members across these 26 institutions to use evidence-based teaching practices shown to promote student success while embedding career guidance into their existing courses.

“This new course prepares faculty members to develop students’ critical thinking, leadership, interpersonal, professional skills, and more, which are all crucial to success in obtaining and keeping a job,” said Dr. Penny MacCormack, ACUE’s chief academic officer. “These new modules go a step further to guide faculty members in providing specific career examples and skills assessment throughout their coursework.”

Albion was selected from among 70 colleges and universities that applied to the program. Beginning this fall, McWhirter will facilitate the participation of some 20 to 25 Albion faculty in ACUE’s 22 online learning modules and mentor them in using new skills in their classes.

Two of those modules will specifically address career readiness for students: “Embedding Career Guidance,” in which faculty members can learn how to provide frequent, course-embedded information on specific careers; and “Preparing Students with 21st Century Career-Ready Skills.”

McWhirter said she will be running a series of workshops on the various modules, adding that each faculty member will independently complete one module per week.

“We’re continuing to hone our craft as teachers,” she said. “I’m excited about the quality of the program. This fall, we’ll celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Newell Center for Teaching and Learning. By participating in the ACUE Course in Effective Teaching Practices, we’ll be starting the next 10 years with a splash.”