The Faculty Center for Professional Development opened last week.

The Faculty Center for Professional Development was home to a virtual ribbon cutting on Wednesday, September 14 during its inaugural Celebration and Open House.

Located in Room 202 of the CSI Library, the event was hosted by Dr. Susan L. Holak, Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, and was attended by nearly 90 members of the faculty and staff.

CSI President Dr. Tomás D. Morales noted that “The Faculty Center for Professional Development represents a major element of our 2011-2016 Strategic Plan, entitled Many Voices, One Vision, in that several Strategic Directions identified the need for this type of resource on campus.  I am pleased to say that we have now made considerable strides in our Implementation Plan by opening the Center.”

President Morales described the Center as a resource for all full-time, part-time, and retired faculty that will soon be home to multifaceted programs focused on such topics as faculty career stages, teaching-related issues, technology and pedagogy, and others.

CSI Provost Dr. William Fritz called the Center “a work in progress” or “phase one” of a many-layered plan to provide the faculty with high-tech resources, such as the built-in SmartBoard for presentations.  The facility will be open from 10:00am to 10:00pm on most weekdays and 11:00am to 7:00pm on weekends.

“Almost every college has a center for teaching and learning,” said Professor William Bernhardt, Director of the Faculty Center, adding that at CSI, “We have built something beautiful and unique.”

The Faculty Center has an active Fall 2011 schedule planned, including a full array of technology workshops on using Blackboard, teaching with ePortfolios, developing hybrid courses, exploring Web 2.0, and other topics.  The Center is requesting that faculty provide input through its Website.

Louise Levine, a CSI adjunct for ten years, added “this Center gives part-time faculty a chance to feel connected.”  Levine, who participates with the “ePortfolio Project,” has also taken part in the “Hybrid Initiative,” which gives students the opportunity to attend class both physically and through a virtual space. He believes that the space will be the perfect venue for faculty to share new ideas and mentor each other as the campus becomes more technologically savvy.