Strengths of the present faculty development system at Rosemount University
Dr. Manuela Lopez is director and professor of Meadowvale University School of Nursing. Enrollment is 550 undergraduate and 85 graduate students. The teaching staff comprises 26 full-time faculty (19 doctorally-prepared, 7 masters-prepared) and 40 part-time faculty (22 masters-prepared, 18 baccalaureate). Approximately 30% of faculty members were hired in the previous 3 years. Dr. Lopez is an active member of the university administrators group, the community health administrators association, and nursing professional organizations. She keeps abreast of changes in nursing, nursing education, and health care. She has excellent relationships with faculty members, university administrators, and clinical and professional colleagues. The undergraduate curriculum was first implemented 15 years ago. Since then, there have been minor curriculum revisions, but the philosophical approaches, goals, and basic structure of the largely behaviorist curriculum have remained unchanged. Although faculty have attended workshops and conferences on new and evolving educational paradigms, some are generally comfortable with the present curriculum. Some act more in accordance with a caring, humanistic-educative approach, and others are strong feminists. Some advance ideas of social justice in the courses they teach. Members of the School of Nursing were shocked when, for the first time, nearly 20% of graduates failed the NCLEX. Those graduates were public in voicing their displeasure with the School. Along with this, there has been informal feedback from a few employers that Meadowvale graduates are having difficulties beyond those experienced by new graduates of other schools. Further, there has been increasing pressure from the university’s central administration to increase the number and size of research grants and the publication rate of faculty. The school is 3 years away from an accreditation review and Dr. Lopez thinks that the time might be right for discussion about curriculum development. She calls a special meeting to discuss the possibility of curriculum development. 1. What factors or influences would propel Meadowvale nursing faculty toward curriculum development? What might be the objections and responses to these? 2. What could be the sources of support for curriculum development? Sources of resistance? 3. How would Dr. Lopez’s initiation of the idea of curriculum development influence faculty members’ decision about whether or not to proceed? 4. What is a suitable timeframe for curriculum revision in light of the reasons for curriculum development and the upcoming accreditation review? 5. How would Dr. Lopez assess faculty members’ acceptance of the need for curriculum development and their readiness to support the process? Case Study # 2: Rosemount University School of Nursing Rosemount University School of Nursing has offered baccalaureate and masters programs in nursing for 40 years. Most faculty have kept abreast of current curriculum paradigms and teaching-learning methods in order to deliver the “best” nursing program to qualified students. Faculty development through attendance at occasional in-house meetings or attendance at local, national, or international conferences has been considered important to most of the faculty. However, an ongoing faculty development program was not implemented due to resistance from a few “senior” faculty members. Recently, Dr. Angela Fabatini, director of the school, attended a national meeting of baccalaureate nursing program deans and directors. One recommendation, among many others developed by the group, was that faculty development include activities intended to facilitate participation in curriculum development. On returning from the conference, Dr. Fabatini called a faculty meeting. A review of faculty development activities was undertaken. The results revealed a fragmented approach to faculty development, sporadic faculty attendance, and very little attention to the specifics of the curriculum process. Inexperienced faculty members wanted an ongoing faculty development program to assist them in revising the present baccalaureate-nursing program. Two “senior” experienced faculty members voiced their resistance to this activity, claiming that the past practice of ad hoc meetings was satisfactory and that there was no necessity for change, since the program is accredited.
1. What are the strengths and limitations in the present faculty development system?
2. What strategies might be instituted to encourage participation in faculty development?
3. When agreement is reached to undertake faculty development for curriculum change, what would be the goals of this activity? What development activities could be instituted?
4. What responses might be appropriate for those faculty members resisting change?
5. If the Rosemount University faculty decide to proceed with curriculum development, which change theory would be useful, and how could it be used?
Strengths of the present faculty development system at Rosemount University School of Nursing include:
Faculty members’ willingness to attend occasional in-house meetings and external conferences to stay updated on current curriculum paradigms and teaching-learning methods.
Some faculty members recognize the importance of faculty development and have actively sought opportunities for professional growth.
The existence of faculty members who are interested in revising the present baccalaureate-nursing program.
Limitations of the present faculty development system include:
A fragmented approach to faculty development, indicating a lack of a comprehensive and cohesive plan for ongoing development.
Sporadic faculty attendance at development activities, suggesting a lack of engagement or priority given to professional growth.
Little attention to the specifics of the curriculum process, indicating a need for more focused development activities.
Strategies that could be instituted to encourage participation in faculty development include:
Developing a structured and comprehensive faculty development program that outlines the goals, objectives, and activities related to curriculum development.
Providing incentives for faculty members to participate, such as offering financial support for attending conferences or workshops, recognizing and rewarding active engagement in professional development, and creating a culture that values and promotes continuous learning.
Addressing the concerns of resistant faculty members by providing clear explanations of the benefits of faculty development and how it can enhance teaching effectiveness, student outcomes, and overall program quality.
Incorporating technology-enabled solutions, such as online resources, webinars, or virtual conferences, to make professional development more accessible and flexible for faculty members with varying schedules or preferences.
When agreement is reached to undertake faculty development for curriculum change, the goals of this activity would be:
To enhance faculty members’ understanding of contemporary curriculum paradigms and teaching-learning methods.
To equip faculty members with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively participate in the curriculum development process.
To foster a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to curriculum development, encouraging faculty members to work together to create a cohesive and student-centered program.
To ensure that faculty members are familiar with the accreditation requirements and standards relevant to curriculum design and implementation.
To promote a culture of continuous improvement and innovation within the School of Nursing.
Development activities that could be instituted include:
Workshops or seminars on curriculum design, pedagogical strategies, and assessment methods.
Collaborative discussions or task forces to review the existing curriculum, identify areas for improvement, and propose changes.
Faculty mentoring or peer observation programs to encourage knowledge sharing and learning from experienced faculty members.
Engagement with external experts or consultants in nursing education to provide guidance and support during the curriculum development process.
Encouraging faculty members to conduct scholarly research or projects related to curriculum development and disseminate their findings through publications or presentations.
Appropriate responses for faculty members resisting change may include:
Open and respectful dialogue to understand their concerns and perspectives.
Providing evidence-based information and examples that demonstrate the potential benefits of curriculum development.
Highlighting the accreditation requirements and the importance of staying current with evolving nursing education standards.
Addressing misconceptions or fears associated with change and offering support or resources to mitigate potential challenges.
Engaging resistant faculty members in smaller, incremental changes or pilot projects to demonstrate the positive outcomes of curriculum development.
Seeking input and feedback from resistant faculty members throughout the process to ensure their voices are heard and valued.
If the Rosemount University faculty decide to proceed with curriculum development, a change theory that could be useful is the “Diffusion of Innovations” theory by Everett Rogers. This theory explains how new ideas or innovations are adopted and spread within a social system. The following steps could be taken to apply this theory:
Conduct an assessment of faculty members’ readiness for change by identifying innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.