Your faculty members are the cornerstone of your higher education institution. Their dedication and professional skills help maintain a good reputation for your school. However, today's fast-paced business environment requires institutions and their faculty members to rapidly adapt to ever-changing circumstances as well as keep learning. For this reason, your institution's faculty should be on top of the industry's latest trends and new teaching strategies. 

That way, you empower instructors to educate students in the best possible mediums, which boils down to faculty training and development. While this intervention is vitally important, it's often overlooked at the collegiate level. Below, we explore the biggest advantages of faculty training and development in higher education institutions. 

Why are faculty training and development important? 

Our world is evolving fast. The pace of change, specifically regarding new technologies, means the half-life of skills in industries is shrinking exponentially. The higher education sector, specifically, has to adapt to this change and reflect the fact that the future in-demand skills will be significantly different from what was taught in the past. 

In short, what higher education institutions teach should equip students with the skills to thrive in our evolving world. Moreover, how we teach needs to change to reflect the fast-paced digitization that's transforming every industry, not just education. 

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Faculty training and development ensures you upskill and reskill employees (professors) as quickly and effectively as possible. In return, your institution remains resilient as skill needs shift rapidly because of digitization and organizational changes. 

Eventually, you avoid employees possessing skills you no longer need and lacking expertise that your organization requires at a particular point. 

Despite organizations across industries spending billions globally on training staff, research says that 70% of employees haven't mastered the skills necessary for their jobs. In the same research, over 50% of employees reported needing better upskilling. 

Ensure your faculty training and development program fosters learning the right skills for the right reasons and at the right time. It should also help educators retain what they've learned. 

That said, what are the perks of adequate investment in faculty training and development? 

Top 6 benefits of investing in faculty training and development

Institutions are beginning to recognize the significance of investing in faculty training in today's ever-changing higher education ecosystem. Offering educators high-quality training and development opportunities have a widespread impact on the institution. Here are some of the notable benefits: 

1. Reduced likelihood of burnout

Faculty burnout has been a prevalent issue in higher education. However, the threat is even bigger in today's environment thanks to stressors like increased work expectations from colleagues. Offering high-quality training and development opportunities can reduce burnout-causing factors.

How? 

Upskilling and reskilling initiatives can equip educators with efficient strategies to teach more effectively, reducing the stress involved with planning and teaching in a new way. Besides improving professors' primary responsibilities, educators feel appreciated and valued when institutions prioritize their professional growth. According to TalentLMS, training and job satisfaction are strongly related. 

2. Equip educators with modern teaching techniques

Remote learning became the default during the pandemic. While higher education institutions have opened their doors post-pandemic, the lesson learned in the COVID period forces them to adopt new technologies for modern teaching techniques. After all, no one wants to be caught unaware in case of another crisis. 

Investing in faculty training and development prepares educators to teach students efficiently in an innovative environment. 

3. Training nurtures leaders in your faculty

Offering continuous professional training and development opportunities for faculty gradually nurtures talented leaders. You equip them with the necessary skills to confidently take on new roles and responsibilities. 

In other words, faculty training and development naturally advance educators into leadership roles as they upskill. You will have an internal pool of talent when looking for a new dean or a qualified person to lead a committee in the institution. 

4. Improved student performance

Students are the biggest winners in training faculty members. Research reveals that faculty training and development can improve students' grades. Think of this fact as a football manager hungry for new, effective strategies to elicit the best performance from his team. Similarly, taking a professor's teaching ability to the next level can improve students' performance. 

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5. Faculty training and development bolster engagement and foster mentoring

On top of institution-wide training, it's best to offer personalized development opportunities to specific faculty members. That way, you develop specialists in particular subjects who can adequately and meaningfully share their knowledge with peers. This may help influence other professors and motivate them to advance their skills to the next level. 

6. It promotes consistent student experiences

Faculty training and development enhance consistency that bolsters the institution's brand and streamline student experiences. For example, a school's diverse faculty may greatly benefit students. 

However, students may get confused if an institution lacks a standard teaching and learning method. Faculty training and development can help blend diversity with consistent interventions that students will appreciate.  

Placing the student experience at the heart of the operation

Human-centered approaches are a top priority for many brands in the business world. It's a strategy that can skyrocket sales, increase loyalty, and improve customer retention in the marketing landscape. The same applies in the education sector. 

Think about it. Great learning experiences and excellent educational outcomes are the biggest offerings your institution can offer students. So streamlining learning experiences should be an area of constant development. The best way to achieve this? 

Heavily invest in the people who get the job done—educators. The professional training and development program should equip educators with human-centered approaches that focus on students and other stakeholders in the institution. 

Current trends in faculty professional development

Here are the current trends in faculty professional development: 

  • Personalized development programs focus on individual growth on top of institution-wide training. Faculty members can easily upskill their teaching methods to the next level. 
  • Technology skills for digital and hybrid classrooms enable educators to teach in different innovative environments. 
  • Facilitation skills enable educators to collaborate, identify and solve problems, handle conflict, and make well-thought-out decisions. Key facilitation skills include active listening, maintaining objectivity, and effective communication. 
  • Digital networking allows faculty members to interact with peers and promote collaborative innovation.
  • Digital PR for visibility.

Invest in your faculty

Investing in faculty training and development is a win-win situation. When faculty members teach more effectively, students in your school get better results in the classroom. When students excel, your institution thrives in the industry. 

Do you want an effective faculty development plan? EHL Advisory Services have what you need. Our institution-centric insights and tailored recommendations will help you select the right training program that equips faculty members with appropriate skills.

 
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