Troy University officials on Tuesday welcomed 26 visiting faculty members from partner institution Chongqing Normal University (CNU), who are beginning a 13-week intensive course to enhance their teaching skills and increase their understanding of higher education in the United States.
The visiting faculty members from CNU, the partner university to TROY’s Confucius Institute, will take part in the Teaching Excellence Fellows Program led by TROY’s College of Education. The program will include coursework, training and observation in teaching methodologies, curriculum development and education technology.
The program will also share strategies that can be utilized in teaching subjects such as math, science, social studies, education and English as a foreign or second language, and the faculty members will have numerous opportunities to apply their learning to courses and programs at CNU.
“It has been our belief at Troy University that understanding must come first, and from understanding comes appreciation,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. “Once you have appreciation, you can build relationships. Those of you from Chongqing Normal University and those of us from Troy University have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students. We believe that the more we understand the people of the world, the better we can serve our students and the more we will appreciate each other.”
The program will include modules on Survival English; Active Learning; Inclusive Teaching; Instructional Design; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Curricula; Instructional Technology; Assessment and Learning.
As a part of the program, the visiting faculty members will experience language and cultural immersion and be paired with mentors from the TROY faculty.
“I hope our scholars will leave this program with a renewed understanding and exposure to the way in which we teach and hopefully utilize some of what they learn in their classrooms,” said Dr. Dionne Rosser-Mims, program coordinator and associate dean of academics in TROY’s College of Education. “We hope that this partnership will result in more students and faculty coming from Chongqing Normal University to study here with us at TROY, and we look forward to taking students from TROY to China in the spring.”
Zhi Zha, deputy director of TROY’s Confucius Institute, said the program represents tremendous opportunity for cooperation between TROY and CNU.
“This program represents a milestone for the relationship between Troy University and Chongqing Normal University,” he said. “Today, more and more students from other countries want to study in China and Chinese students also want to study abroad. Programs such as this Teaching Excellence Fellows Program help teachers from CNU to become more familiar with Western culture and they can better prepare their students to be comfortable in these settings. This program also serves as an opportunity to build greater cooperation between Troy University and Chongqing Normal University in the future.”