Professional Development

This web page is intended as a reference to assist Shippensburg University faculty in planning for their professional development. Activities and support for faculty professional development derive from various sources, including Shippensburg University, individual colleges, departments, and a variety of off-campus sources. A general overview of several sources of support for professional development are provided here, with links to other valuable internet resources. Included is information on:

SU Center for Faculty Excellence in Scholarship and Teaching 
University Research and Scholarship Program
Summer Academy for the Advancement of College Teaching
Institute for Public Service and Office of Sponsored Programs
Support for Distance Education 
Educational Leave of Absence
Sabbatical Leave
SU Colleges and Departments
Office of Accessibility Resources

Shippensburg University Center for Faculty Excellence in Scholarship and Teaching

The CFEST supports faculty professional development through competitive grants available for travel to professional meetings, intensive training (e.g. workshops, short courses, etc.), and small grants in the areas of research; public service; creative and performing arts; curriculum, instruction and assessment; completion of an advanced degree; and individual career enhancement. Tenured or tenure-track faculty members at Shippensburg University are eligible. In addition, opportunities are available for faculty to join Teaching Teams which are interdisciplinary teams of colleagues that discuss issues related to teaching and student learning. The CFEST Committee for Campus Support also plans new faculty orientation and mentoring, acquires and organizes resources for the enhancement of teaching, and supports teaching excellence through campus workshops, speakers, and other activities.


University Research and Scholarship Program

The University Research and Scholarship Program offers competitive grants designed to provide faculty with the time – including summer stipends or reassigned time – as well as support funds to complete substantial research / creative and performing arts projects that will result in significant publications, performance/artwork, or major extramural grant proposals.


Summer Academy for the Advancement of College Teaching

The Summer Academy for the Advancement of College Teaching began in 1989 under the sponsorship of the State System's Faculty Professional Development Council. Beginning with the 2000 Summer Academy, each university in the system has contributed money to supporting the continuation of the Academy. Participants arrive on a Sunday afternoon and depart the following Friday afternoon. During that interval they encounter a variety of ideas and strategies intended to support and enhance both their own teaching efforts and their advocacy for strengthening teaching and learning on their campuses.

As an outgrowth of the Summer Academy, the Annual Conference on Advancing Teaching in College Classrooms and Campus Cultures began in 1990. This March conference begins on a Thursday afternoon and continues until Saturday afternoon. There are presentations by noted experts, as well as by Summer Academy graduates.

A crucial aspect of both the Summer Academy and the March conference is the development of personal relationships among faculty from different campuses who share a commitment to teaching and learning. Participants in such relationships often benefit from both the similarities and differences among themselves, as well as from the fact that colleagues from different institutions are never required to evaluate each other with regard to promotion and tenure decisions.


Institute for Public Service and Office of Sponsored Programs

Public Service
The Institute for Public Service is responsible for developing and coordinating the university's public service mission. This mission includes assessing the needs of the citizens and communities of the region and coordinating the resources of the university to help address these needs. The Institute is an organization composed of outreach centers concerned with these issues. The goal of each center is to provide opportunities for education, training, and research to individuals and groups across the Commonwealth. These activities provide faculty an opportunity to consider current problems and to develop hands-on solutions. The new information gained from this endeavor is then available for classroom instruction.

Also, Institute staff developed and manage the Undergraduate Research Program and Graduate Research Program. These programs provide financial support for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in scholarly activities in an active learning environment. The success of these programs has generated a positive attitude among faculty and students concerning research and its use as an integral part of the educational experience at Shippensburg University.


Sponsored Programs
The Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible for managing all issues related to research grants and contracts awarded to faculty and staff. The Office is prepared to assist faculty in identifying potential funding sources, in preparing applications, in designing efficient budgets, and in mailing in the completed application. The Office has in place policies and procedures necessary to comply with all federal and state regulations including an Animal Care and Use Committee, and an Institutional Review Board for Research on Human Subjects. Faculty who receive external funds are also provided with assistance in the implementation of their projects, grant accounting procedures, and other issues related to the project including project close-out and record keeping.


Support for Distance Education

Since 1998 University faculty have developed and taught a number of distance education courses. The main objective of the program is to offer courses and "programs" in particular that are carefully chosen and developed to match our resources and the market demand.

For further information, see the Distance Education Web site.


Educational Leave of Absence

The University may provide full salary and benefits for one or two semesters for faculty and professional staff who pursue studies important for their professional growth, such as studies leading to the completion of a doctorate.


Sabbatical Leave

The Sabbatical Leave Committee solicits proposals each fall. Proposals are due the 2nd Friday of the Fall Semester. Awards are competitive and made on the basis of merit.


SU Colleges and Departments

The Deans of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education and Human Services have funds set aside for faculty professional travel and some research expenses. These funds must be applied for prior to the travel through the department chair, who will evaluate the proposal and forward it to the dean. In addition, departments have their own resources to support professional development, including in some cases either funds or released time for research. Please consult with your department chair about these possibilities.

Groups of faculty interested in bringing guest lectures, consultants, or other special programs to campus may request support for special faculty or program development projects. Please apply to the academic deans in the college or division.


Office of Accessibility Resources

The Office of Accessibility Resources provides accommodations to faculty, staff, and administration. The OAR website also contains information for faculty or students with disabilities. Contact the Office of Accessibility Resources at 717-477-1364 or oar@ship.edu.