About the Academy of Excellence in Teaching & Learning


One of the major missions of the Health Sciences Center is education. There are huge demands on faculty in clinical departments to provide the best patient care. This takes large amounts of time. The research mission of this institution’s is also very critical to health sciences for creating new knowledge which can impact patient care, discover new possibilities and create a better future and remain competitive nationally for funding. These two missions compete for faculty’s time for education of health care professionals.

Unfortunately, many times education is seen as second rate to research and patient care. Faculty are also not recognized adequately or rewarded for their teaching activities. Our challenge is to provide excellent education to all our health profession students so they can serve their patients and communities in the best possible manner. Large group teaching is a very common method of education at the Health Sciences Center. This typically creates more passive learning. This “traditional” method alone many times has persisted in large part because of not having enough faculty time for small group and other more interactive teaching methods.

Use of interactivity in large group teaching by innovative educators has been improving. Experience of large group teaching can be improved by use of cases, streaming videos, audience response systems, PDAs to make sure that concepts are clear to learners. Adult learning requires more active forms of learning. Also, educators have realized the importance of multimodality teaching, to address the various learning styles of students. Use of problem-based learning and case-based learning has been increasing.

Major means of teaching during clinical years is in patient care settings. Simulation in education has been increasing because of many skill building exercises and it also enforces active and group learning, giving and receiving feedback. Use of information technology in education has been expanding rapidly with development of many interesting and interactive tools. All these exciting and innovative tools help address issues of multimodality teaching and learning for diverse groups of learners and also provide opportunities for faculty to teach in different and innovative ways.

At the same time this causes challenges because of large amount of time that is necessary to develop and introduce innovative methods and assess their impact. Faculty leadership is very important in making institutional changes in the educational mission and this also requires vision, time and ability to work with diverse groups or people. If our mission is to graduate the best health care professionals for the public good, it is very important that we “invest” in their education in a meaningful, consistent and deliberate way.

We should also be able to measure the impact on the learner and the outcomes of the learning by enhancing scholarship of teaching and learning and creating true learning communities at the Health Sciences Center. Even though we have various missions at the Health Sciences Center, we all realize the importance of interconnectedness of the various missions. In clinical disciplines, the best clinical teaching is accomplished in patient care settings while faculty are delivering clinical care. Some of the best research can be taught to the next generation of researchers by ongoing one on one mentoring of learners.

We have developed centers for excellence at the Health Sciences Center which emphasize research and clinical care. We need to develop parallel centers of excellence in education. One of the ways is to form an Academy of Excellence in Teaching and Learning. These Academies have been formed at various institutions and have resulted in positive impact on the educational mission.


Academy of Excellence in Teaching and Learning which could evolve into center for excellence in education and further enhance the mission of education at the Health Sciences Center and create opportunities for innovation, collaboration and scholarship to serve our learners, patients, and communities and help develop creative ways of recognizing and supporting faculty for enhancing the educational mission.


Academy of Excellence in Teaching and Learning will advance and support the educational mission through innovation, collaboration, scholarship and recognition of faculty for excellence in education by inducting them into the academy and learning from their contributions and collaborations.


  • To enhance the educational mission of the Health Sciences Center.
  • To foster and promote excellence in education.
  • To bring together distinguished teachers and expand their mentorship and their innovations, scholarship and ability to provide role modeling for other faculty.
  • To help with curricular innovations.
  • To enhance scholarship in education by creating collaborative networks and improving possibilities for funding.



  • Health Sciences Center wide program served by a faculty director. 
  • Executive committee will consist of some members of Faculty Development Advisory Committee and designated members from all schools of health sciences who are distinguished educators.
  • By-laws will be formed.
  • Various tasks forces, sub-committees and interest groups will be formed as necessary as we move forward.


  • Graduates of the longitudinal Teaching Scholars Program.
  • All faculty who have won distinguished teaching awards in their respective schools and departments.
  • Other membership under the direction of the Executive Committee.


  • Increase collaboration among distinguished educators
  • Enhance innovations in education
  • Forum for sharing of ideas
  • Monthly forum for reviewing journal articles in education, books
  • Input into new programs
    • Use of technology in education
    • Simulation in teaching and learning
  • Help recognize faculty for education excellence


  • Initial funding from Health Sciences Center “seed money”
  • Apply for external funding, development funds, eventually endowment


  • Measurements of outcomes for this academy will be long term outcomes.
    • Innovations in education o Scholarship in education
    • Promotion of faculty with more emphasis in education
    • Recognition of faculty for teaching o Improvement in learning outcomes and learning environment.