To encourage teaching quality, UMGC Europe conducts an awards program to recognize faculty excellence. Each year the Stanley J. Drazek Teaching Excellence Awards will be given to two faculty members.
Nominations for teaching excellence awards are solicited each year from students enrolled in the current year undergraduate and graduate courses offered through UMGC Europe. Nominations are for courses taken by students during the current year and for faculty teaching during the current year. Nomination letters are sent to the Office of Faculty and Staff Development or submitted by students. Only letters or electronic postings from eligible individual students, not signed petitions, are considered valid nominations.
The cut-off date for nominations each year is 15 January. Nominations received after this date will be added to the pool of nominees for the following year. Faculty who are nominated are asked to submit two current course syllabi, a teaching data sheet giving information about their work with UMGC, a teaching philosophy statement, and a teaching portfolio.
The selection committee, comprised of one UMGC Europe administrator, one faculty member, and one student/alumnus, selects two faculty from among the nominees in the pool for that academic year. In determining the Teaching Excellence Awards, the committee looks for evidence of effective, innovative teaching and evidence of commitment to UMGC (as manifested by work in ongoing discipline-based or institutional initiatives or programs).
The decision is made in March to determine award recipients. The committee reviews not only the teaching portfolios submitted by nominees, but also considers grade distributions, student course evaluations, reports of class visits, evidence of participation in institutional and community activities related to teaching and professional development, and the initial information submitted to the selection committee. The committee recommends two faculty members to receive the Stanley J. Drazek Teaching Excellence Award. The final choices are also carefully reviewed by the director of UMGC Europe.
Students currently enrolled with UMGC Europe may nominate any current faculty member for the Teaching Excellence Awards. Preference is given to faculty who have taught three or more courses with UMGC Europe; however, exceptions can be made if the committee wishes to recognize a nominee with especially strong qualifications.
In considering nominees for Teaching Excellence Awards, the selection committee is guided by the following criteria:
Evidence of effective, innovative teaching methods
The committee obtains evidence of effective and innovative teaching through the nominee's teaching philosophy statement, course syllabi, student course evaluations, content of the student nomination letter, reports of class visits, and special achievements.
Evidence of commitment to UMGC
The committee considers evidence of working on discipline-specific programs or initiatives, submitting articles for faculty newsletters, participating in faculty development workshops and training sessions, and regularly attending general and discipline-specific faculty meetings.
Consistent record of teaching excellence and of maintaining high standards for students
The committee looks at years of service at UMGC, previous nominations for Teaching Excellence Awards, student course evaluations over time, and whether the nominee has received any prior Teaching Excellence Awards. The committee also considers reports of class visits.
For more information about the faculty awards program for UMGC Europe, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.