2005 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award Winner : Wagner College 

January 2005


The Wagner College First-Year Program

Wagner College was chosen as the 2005 TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Award winner for the Wagner College First-Year Program. This is an exceptional faculty development program designed to enhance undergraduate teaching and learning. The program takes an innovative learning community approach to education that integrates traditional learning with experiential field-based learning, and reflective learning, inside and outside the classroom. The program is coordinated and taught by full-time faculty, who plan their courses and shape the experiences with overlapping assignments, common readings and joint problems linked to the learning community theme.

The purpose of the First-Year Program is to make higher education relevant to students - to give them a personal reason to learn - by involving them in community-based experiences linked to the lecture topics, as well as providing venues for discussion, reflection, connection-making, and critical thinking. The major educational goal stemming from this relevance-based approach is to begin college-level development of critical thinking and civic thinking skills, together with communication skills and exposure to diversity issues that are necessary for responsible citizenry and civic engagement in the local and global community. Five years of assessment measures of student survey responses to the program have been positive and show improvement since the program was implemented in 1998.

The First-Year Program involves a large percentage of the faculty. All faculty in the program attend monthly meetings, workshops, and an annual First-Year Program faculty retreat - venues to sustain and improve the program through best practice exchange with collective reflection and discussion.

For additional information, contact:
Donald E. Stearns, Ph.D.
Associate Provost and Registrar
Wagner College
1 718-390-3477

For complete information and details on all 2005 TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Award winning programs, read the 2005 brochure.

2005 TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Certificates of Excellence Winners
Three institutions were selected to receive TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Certificates of Excellence for their faculty development programs:

United States Military Academy
West Point, NY
Master Teacher Program -
a program established to provide a process for faculty members to develop pedagogical content knowledge to better meet the challenges of teaching tomorrow's leaders. The focus of the program is a series of monthly seminar meetings to relate the pedagogical theory and principles under discussion to participants' classroom experience. There are three areas of focus: theory, improved practice and assessment.
For additional information, contact:
Dr. Anita Gandolfo
Director, Center for Teaching Excellence
United States Military Academy
1 845 938-6155

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE
The Peer Review of Teaching Project: Making Visible The Intellectual Work of Teaching -
a program that engages faculty in investigating how course structures, teaching techniques, and assessment strategies enhance or detract from student learning. This project is an initiative that provides faculty with a structured and practical model for documenting and reflecting on both the quantity and quality of student learning in their courses.
For additional information, contact:
Dr. Paul Savory
Co-Coordinator, Peer Review Teaching Project
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
1 402 472-0657

University of Wisconsin System
Madison, WI
Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars Program -
a program that targets and connects two groups: early career/nontenured faculty and later career faculty leaders. Each participant completes a yearlong teaching/learning project. They then serve as a model and mentor in their discipline and on their campus, leading efforts to design further scholarship to increase the understanding of undergraduate teaching and learning.
For additional information, contact:
Lisa Kornetsky
Office of Professional and Instructional Development
University of Wisconsin Systems Administration
1 608 263-2722

For complete information and details on all 2005 TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Award winning programs, read the 2005 brochure.

2005 TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Panel of Distinguished Judges

Dr. David Alexander
President Emeritus
Pomona College

Dr. K. Patricia Cross
Professor of Higher Education, Emerita
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Vera K. Farris
President Emerita and Distinguished Professor
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Dr. Margaret A. Miller
Curry School of Education
University of Virginia

Dr. Terry O'Banion
President Emeritus and Senior League Fellow
League for Innovation in the Community College

Dr. Kenneth A. Shaw
Chancellor Emeritus
Syracuse University

H. Patrick Swygert
Howard University

© 2014 and prior years, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), New York, NY 10017