Faculty Professional Development Council
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Faculty Professional Development Council was established by a 1985 Board of Governors’ policy “to encourage continuous attention to the professional growth and development of System faculty as teaching scholars.” The Council has addressed a wide range of faculty interests, needs, and talents and provides professional development opportunities for faculty at all levels and in all disciplines and professional fields. The Annual Grants Program is generally intended to provide professional growth opportunities for individual faculty (although some RFPs call for teams or groups of faculty). A general definition of “faculty professional development,” as the Council interprets it is:
"Professional development involves the acquisition of knowledge and/or development of skills related to some aspect of the faculty member’s professional responsibilities. The learning may involve increasing knowledge in one’s discipline or a related discipline or of the inter-relationships among disciplines – or knowledge about how students learn, about issues facing colleagues in business or basic education or another professional field, or about national trends and issues in higher education. A faculty member may develop artistic skills, hone research skills, improve skills in organizing and integrating knowledge, develop pedagogical skills, sharpen performance skills, gain experience in using administrative skills, or learn how to use technology to enhance teaching and learning.
The professional development lies in the learning that occurs in carrying out the project and the relevance of that learning to the faculty member’s ongoing growth and development as a professional teacher-scholar."
The Council establishes an annual schedule for solicitation of proposals from faculty at the 14 member PASSHE universities. Proposals are submitted to the university which narrows the field, if necessary, and then forwards the proposals to the PASSHE office for review by the Council.