Skip to main content

OFDS Faculty Development Needs Assessment

The year 2020 brought unprecedented challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice movements, a mental health crisis, and an increased demand to equip engineering students with a diverse set of skills. In response, universities established dedicated centers and offices for faculty development needs. While these initiatives offer professional development opportunities, there is a noticeable gap in understanding how they have adapted to the obstacles emerging since 2020 and their impact on faculty development and success.

In our College of Engineering, Engineering Faculty Development and Success is evolving its focus beyond traditional areas such as New Faculty Orientation and promotion and tenure. We are now actively considering faculty mentorship, student engagement, leadership development, and overall well-being. With new support programs, changes in leadership, shifts in staff, and a surge in enrollment, we recognize the importance of establishing a baseline for faculty development needs and experiences.

Comprehensive Needs Assessment

To address these challenges, we are conducting a comprehensive needs assessment that goes beyond the typical focus on faculty development needs. Our approach encompasses broader experiences, documenting faculty participation in different initiatives, current job-related well-being, and personal commitments. This holistic perspective aims to identify the most beneficial faculty development experiences for career advancement, evaluate challenges faced by faculty members, and develop targeted programs and initiatives to meet the identified needs.

Three-Phase Data Collection

The data collection process involves conducting a survey and focus groups. We are initiating a pilot study in the Civil, Construction, Environmental Engineering (CCEE) department to assess feasibility, gather preliminary data, and identify potential challenges before expanding to other departments.

  • Survey: We will distribute a survey to all CCEE faculty, gathering demographic information, identifying crucial faculty development activities, and determining skills of interest.
  • Focus Groups: Faculty will be invited to express willingness to participate in focus groups, providing deeper insights into their experiences, career development needs, and disciplinary focus.

Pilot Study

The pilot study presents an opportunity to refine tools used to identify valuable faculty development experiences, challenges, and potential program areas. These tools will then be deployed across the entire College of Engineering.

Ongoing Evaluation

In addition to benefiting our office, the initiative will contribute to the broader field of faculty development. We are developing an evaluation method for faculty needs, providing a foundation for continual measurement using a developmental evaluation approach. These methods and tools will benefit not only our office but also other faculty development centers and offices.

Your participation is vital to the success of this initiative. Together, we are shaping the future of faculty development and success within the College of Engineering.

For further questions, contact Associate Director, Megan Morin, at