Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1998


The purpose of this study was to investigate the activities, funding, accountability, and evaluation of selected teaching and learning centers relative to the professional development of faculty in four-year public institutions of higher education. Using a qualitative research design, in-depth interviews were conducted with directors of four teaching and learning centers. In accordance with the concept of purposeful sampling, the centers chosen for study were located in Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The following research questions were investigated: (1) What is the primary mission or purpose of teaching and learning centers relative to faculty development? (2) What types of activities are offered for professional development of faculty? (3) How is the center funded? (4) How are the center activities evaluated? Conclusions reached in this study included: (a) a variety of opportunities for professional development must be given to meet individual faculty member's needs; (b) topics offered by these centers included teaching and presentation techniques as well as special interest and discipline related topics; (c) a variety of programs should be offered to faculty; (d) all four centers studied were funded by institutional funds; (e) center directors produced annual reports following no guidelines or specifications from their supervisors; (f) research and publication are still the primary avenues for promotion; and (g) center directors should continue to teach at least one course to keep abreast of the trials and tribulations of faculty. Based on the findings of this study, six recommendations are offered: (a) teaching and learning centers should be assessed by moth internal and external evaluators; (b) formative evaluation procedures as well as summative should be used in the evaluation of faculty; (c) evaluations should be shared cutside the organization; (d) centers should assist faculty only on a voluntary basis; (e) directors off teaching and centers should previously have been full-time findings faculty; and (f) the reward structures of universities need to be changed to include a stronger emphasis upon classroom teaching.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access