Grants and Awards
The CFC coordinates the monthly awarding of the Professional Development Grant program for providing funds for faculty and instructional staff to pursue professional development opportunities.
The Commons also coordinates the process for the selection of awards connected with teaching excellence: Board of Governors' Award, Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award, Last Lecture, SoTL Scholar, O. Max Gardner, and the Jay M. Robinson Teaching Award for eLearning.
Professional Development Grants
Established in 2012, the grants support the strategic mission of WCU by providing funds for faculty and instructional staff to pursue professional development opportunities in areas such as teaching and learning, scholarship, leadership, certification, accreditation, assessment, and other related areas. This program replaces and expands upon two former grant programs: Microgrants and Provost Instructional Improvement Grants.
Maximum Award: $1,200.
Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching
The Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Teaching at Western Carolina University includes earned tenure and employment at Western Carolina for at least seven years; demonstrated excellence in teaching for a sustained period; teaching in the academic year selected; and can only recieve the Board of Governors' Award once in his/her lifetime. Award Amount: $7,500 per year.
Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award
The Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award encourages, recognizes, and rewards superior teaching and meritorious performance. Teaching faculty in their third year of service at WCU are eligible for nomination if they have not recieved this award in the preceding five years. The award amount is $2,000 per year and is given out annually.
Excellence in Teaching Liberal Studies Award
This award recognizes a faculty member for excellence in promoting significant student learning in teaching liberal studies courses on a regular basis. This award is coordinated by the office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies at ext.7495.
This award honors outstanding work in e-learning. The Jay M. Robinson Teaching Award for E-learning was awarded for the first time in the 2006-2007 academic year, and will be supported annually for five academic years at a level of $1000 from the Jay M. Robinson (JMR) endowment. This award is given each academic year to one WCU instructor who teaches a 100% computer-networked online course. Courses distributed primarily via ITV are not eligible for this award. Tenured, untenured, full-time, part-time, tenure track and adjunct instructors are eligible, provided that any nominee has taught at least two three-credit graduate and/or undergraduate courses fully online during the year of the award and/or the year immediately preceding, and provided that s/he neither serves nor has served as an e-learning faculty fellow.
Last Lecture Award
The Coulter Faculty Commons sponsors WCU's annual Last Lecture Award and Lecture Series which recognizes professors who teach with passion and enthusiasm. The Last Lecture Award is the only WCU award for which the winner is chosen by solely by students.
Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Award
This award encourages and recognizes a faculty member engaging in scholarship that focuses upon teaching and learning (SoTL) and then applying the results of that scholarship to courses taught so that students experience significant learning in those courses. The award emphasizes the integration of research about teaching and learning and the practical application of that research to teaching itself. Evidence of the learning outcomes with students of the applications of SoTL findings is needed.
O. Max Gardner Award
This annual award is given to a UNC system faculty member who has "made the greatest contributions to the welfare of the human race." It is considered the UNC system's highest faculty award and includes a $10,000 cash prize.