Academy vision, mission, and goals

The vision of the Teaching Academy is to foster a learning-centered culture that values and supports excellence in teaching, educational scholarship, and lifelong learning.

Academy Mission

Academy faculty are committed to being a catalyst for engaging faculty around this vision. The Academy fulfills its mission through focused dialogue including forums, debates, discussions, seminars, and workshops.

This mission falls into the following three categories:

  • teaching and learning
  • research
  • service

Teaching and learning

We strive to advance teaching and learning practices that support meaningful engagement and deep understanding by learners.

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To accomplish this task, we have:

  • continued the Century Group, a series of monthly conversations for faculty who teach large enrollment classes (of 100 or more) and are led by President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellows
  • formalized recommendations about ways to achieve the university goal of increasing student success through support for teaching and research
  • initiated and conducted monthly teaching conversations within the Academy during fall semester
  • developed podcasts on teaching topics and made these available through the Academy webpage
  • led roundtable conversations about teaching with new university faculty members
  • engaged in program redesign projects
  • initiated a writing project aimed at using members’ insights in a collection of brief essays that will be available to campus
  • revised individual courses and piloted new teaching strategies
  • reported on teaching innovations to Academy members and to departmental and college colleagues


We value and understand the importance of integrating teaching and research including the scholarship of teaching and learning.

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To further this goal, we have:

  • contributed newsletter articles to the campus Graduate College Newsletter and to the new faculty handbook, “Teaching at NAU”
  • published articles on teaching in professional journals and developed book proposals and manuscripts
  • attended conferences on teaching, presented at these conferences, and reported back to Academy members on conference proceedings
  • analyzed and discussed the implications of a survey of first and second year faculty on their Northern Arizona University experiences, specifically related to teaching and their additional needs for support
  • undertook classroom-based research projects on the impact of teaching practices


We foster teaching that enhances student learning and stewardship through community involvement (campus, local, national, and global).

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In addressing this goal, we:

  • initiated a college-wide learning community on teaching
  • represented the Academy on key university committees addressing pedagogy and student success
  • took leadership positions in community organizations that influence learning and teaching
  • contributed to planning the new faculty orientation and the development of the “Teaching at NAU” notebook
  • developed a list of proposed Academy projects for the upcoming year, each with a focus on campus impact