UMM policy has established the expected faculty workload at 20 credits per academic year, often five four-credit courses. The average credit load for full-time faculty is 20 credits per year. Student advising at UMM is another faculty responsibility with students assigned to faculty advisors charged with helping them navigate through UMM’s expectations, clarify goals, and explore opportunities. The average advising load for faculty is 15 advisees. Most faculty members serve on one of the assembly committees as required by a vigorous campus governance system. Though faculty service is limited to one assembly committee, it is not uncommon for faculty and staff to serve on other committees both ad hoc and ongoing. These include search, scholarship, discipline, and task force committees. Tenured and tenure-line faculty are also expected to have a pattern of service within their field and a record of scholarship worthy of tenure within the University of Minnesota system.
Faculty workload within the unit is guided by the same policies that guide that of the institution. Full-time faculty, tenured or tenure-line members teach the equivalent of 20 semester hours per year. Faculty members within the unit assume full responsibility for candidate advising and working with transfer students interested in education. Supervision of clinical experience is measured as approximately one credit per candidate. At UMM, clinical supervision involves multiple formal observations, conferencing with candidates and cooperating teachers, online or in-person seminars, and significant travel due to our rural location. Faculty members also divide and share responsibilities associated with candidate field placements, coordination of elementary and secondary programs, state and national accreditation, and Global Student Teaching.Teaching loads for full-time and part-time temporary faculty are determined by employment percentage. Part-time or full-time temporary faculty members are not obligated to serve on assembly committees and rarely choose to do so. Full-time adjuncts are expected to take an active role on program and unit committees. They do not have advisees and are not expected to demonstrate scholarship or service to their field.
The average full-time faculty member within the unit has a 20 credit teaching load (including student teaching supervision). Elementary faculty have an average of 35 advisees. This high number is due first to the departure of one of the four tenure-line faculty members, causing his advisees to be distributed among the three experienced faculty members. Because elementary education is a major, faculty members must also begin advising potential candidates in their freshman year. Secondary education faculty members, especially the coordinator of the program, advise all secondary candidates as they prepare for admittance and then complete program requirements. These candidates have an advisor in their content area and so much of secondary education advising effort is not reflected in advising statistics.
Unit tenured faculty are full participants in campus governance. Several assembly committees require divisional representation, and teacher education faculty must fill most of those required positions. Administrative duties (including chair, coordinator, and directorships) are distributed among the faculty.
As members of a small, active institution like UMM, unit faculty have full workloads. The unit has maintained its focus on providing personalized attention and instruction. Schedules are planned to include both “large-group” classes of 25-35 candidates and small classes of ten to 15. The tenure-line faculty are busy, but they ably fulfill the full range of responsibilities. A review of their vitae and course evaluations shows excellent teaching, extensive service, and meaningful scholarship appropriate to their field.
The majority of education courses are taught by full-time professional education faculty. Part-time colleagues are selected carefully with thought to how their skill sets and expertise will fill a need within the program. For example, part-time faculty members teach all of the secondary education methods courses. These instructors are either currently teaching or recently retired from the public school system and bring to the program important links to the schools, current subject-matter expectations and standards, and great skill in pedagogical content knowledge. The secondary education coordinator has created clear descriptions of requirements and has scheduled meetings to allow for clear exchange of information and ideas.
Support personnel are crucial to the success of the program. The two full-time staff members divide duties, with one tracking the progress of education students and the other providing office and technology support to faculty and division chair. Resources are sufficient to allow them to attend necessary training sessions. Work study students are trained and supervised by the administrative specialists. The work study students do many routine activities (e.g. photocopying) that allow the faculty and support staff to do their work.
Candidates also benefit from services provided by campus offices including Counseling Services, Disability Services, and the Career Center.
UMM TEP faculty members participate regularly in professional development activities. The teacher education budget supports faculty attendance (including full-time temporary faculty) at two annual meetings of the Minnesota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE). These meetings provide wonderful opportunities for UMM faculty to stay current in state and national standards, discuss key educational issues, learn about programs at other institutions, and establish meaningful relationships with peers in our areas of expertise.
Faculty development is also supported by many institution and system opportunities. UMM TEP faculty members are regular applicants for out-of-state travel funds which support travel to conferences. They have received research stipends as part of the Faculty Research Enhancement Fund program. They have received single-semester leaves and sabbaticals. Faculty members have also been successful in their requests for funded support from talented UMM students through the Morris Academic Partner Program and Morris Student Administrative Fellowships. Educational Development Program Grants also support faculty members working to develop new pedagogies or courses.
The UMM Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning also provides a range of services and opportunities that allow the faculty members to learn and also to share knowledge and expertise with others.