Monday, February 27, 2012

Professional Development Meeting Notes from February 21-22

1. Announcements

--Although we have lost FA 742 as a meeting place, there is now space available for adjunct faculty to meet with students. You may use the two designated carrels between the GT and CS building.

--If you have requested to teach in the Summer, the Summer Schedules should be going out in the next day or two.

--The WPAs will continue to observe classes in February and March. New adjunct faculty have a higher chance of receiving a class visit from a WPA.

--If you would like to have a particular topic addressed in our March Professional Development meeting, please let one of the WPAs or Alyssa know.

--The General Education Committee may hold an e-portfolio workshop during the Summer Attendees would be paid a stipend for attending. Which month would be the most convenient for you? (Most people present at the meeting said that May would be the best month.)

--There will be three new lectureship positions opening for the Fall semester. These are composition teaching positions and will require teaching 4 classes a semester. These positions have been officially opened on the Human Resources website. Please see the email that Grant Moss sent out about this position.

--The English and Literature department is planning to sponsor a Writing for Social Change conference at UVU during the Fall semester. If your students are interested in conducting research on a Utah issue or other social change issue, you may want to work with them and encourage them to prepare for this conference. More details about the conference will be forthcoming.

--A question was raised about whether adjunct faculty will have to re-apply for their positions on an annual basis. It is our understanding that this will be a yearly requirement. Gae Lyn will confirm this with Human Resources and let all of us know.

2. Edward Martinelli from the Accessibility Services Department

We were pleased to welcome Dr. Martinelli from the Accessibility Services Department (ASD). Dr. Martinelli spoke to us about the policies and procedures for granting academic accommodations to students with disabilities. Here are some highlights from the meeting:

--The main responsibility of the ASD is to review documentation of learning disabilities provided by students and then determine what academic accommodations should be given to each student. These accommodations are written up in a letter and are delivered to the teacher by the student.

--The letter will never tell you what the specific disability is. It is up to the student’s discretion whether he or she wants to disclose the nature of the disability to you. It is not appropriate to ask the student about the specific disability because that is a violation of the student’s privacy. You can call the ASD if you have a question about their accommodations.

--It is also inappropriate to suggest to a student that they have a learning disability. However, if you can see that a student is struggling, you can point out that there are many resources on campus for students who are struggling such as the Student Health Center, the Writing Center (for individual tutoring) and the ASD. If a student suspects they have a disability that has not been diagnosed, they can see the Student Health Center for testing. Other centers may be able to give them a diagnosis more quickly, but it usually costs more money.

--As a faculty member, you do not need to apply the accommodations retroactively. You only need to begin giving the accommodations from the time that you receive the letter. If you ever have a question about the accommodations or if you feel that the student is abusing the accommodations in some way, you are welcome to call the ASD and discuss your concerns with a member of the department. You can also call if you feel that the specific accommodations will be too difficult for you to provide.

--Students are strongly encouraged to visit the ASD at the beginning of the semester so that accommodations can be given as soon as possible. You should include something in your syllabus that encourages students to visit the ASD if they are eligible.

--The official law governing disabilities for college campuses is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please be aware that speaking English as a Second Language is not considered a disability under the ADA.

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