By Ariel C. Emberton, staff writer/photographer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – When Campbellsville University faculty have questions about tools for teaching students, they have a place to go for answers.
“The Cheatham Center for Teaching and Learning is a resource for Campbellsville University faculty,” Steve Skaggs, director of the Cheatham Center for Teaching and Learning, said.
“The center seeks to enable faculty effectiveness in teaching that fosters student learning and student success by providing training, support/consultation and other resources,” he said.
The center is located on the bottom floor of the university’s Montgomery Library and, according to Skaggs, is a place where faculty can meet, learn, collaborate and create. Faculty have access to a range of support services, resources and professional development activities within the center.
The center is named for Dr. Frank Cheatham, former vice president for academic affairs and professor of math, and is available to all full-time and adjunct faculty across all the university campuses and centers.
“Dr. Cheatham is highly regarded for his support for CU faculty during his years of leadership, and it was his initiative in seeking a Title III grant that brought the funding needed to establish the center,” Skaggs said.
At the Cheatham Center for Teaching and Learning dedication on Aug. 8, 2017, Cheatham thanked the Title III grant committee for thinking of him when it came to developing a name for the newly established center. “Campbellsville College and now CU has been a very important part of the Cheatham family since I came here as a freshman in 1961. Thank you for the honor,” Cheatham said.
The need for a center devoted to faculty support and development came from the Title III grant application committee as part of an overall plan to increase teaching effectiveness, improve student learning outcomes and increase retention and graduation rates at Campbellsville University.
The Title III grant lasts for five years and Campbellsville University has been the recipient of two, the second of which funded the development of the center. According to Dr. Jeanette Parker, associate vice president for academic affairs and professor of psychology, the grant is awarded to institutions with the need for additional funding in certain areas and who can prove for what they would use the money.
The facility began in 2017 and includes meeting facilities, a casual seating area, the director’s office, a media lab and a collection of books related to higher education pedagogy.
Within the media lab, faculty can create videos and audio content for their online and face-to-face courses. Access to a OneButton Video Recording Studio, an editing studio with two editing and audio recording stations and a technology lending library for faculty, is available.
Skaggs has been director of the center since it opened, and he plays a key part in leading center initiatives which include an array of activities that focus on faculty resources, training and support.
“The center has several ongoing activities, events and services for faculty including faculty workshops, faculty reading groups, faculty meetings/collaboration, a weekly e-newsletter, consultation for faculty regarding technology and pedagogy and assistance with creating video and audio content for courses,” Skaggs said.
The center’s media lab also plays a part in helping faculty create videos and audio for online, hybrid and face-to-face courses. Faculty projects have included introduction videos, lecture videos, PowerPoints, screen capture, other lecture voice overs and podcast recordings.
While the center itself does not work directory with students, it is intended to support faculty in their role of investing in CU’s students. “Just as CU encourages students to adopt a growth mindset and become life-long learners, we encourage faculty to model this in their role as teachers and advisors,” Skaggs said.
During the upcoming semester, the center will continue to provide faculty with training and support for video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams and an array of other tools faculty can use to enhance their courses for students.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 11,900 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.
Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.