Enhancing Faculty Performance through Coaching: The Walden University Model
Originally Published In
Paper to be presented at the United States Distance Learning Association 2014 National Conference Connecting Pathways to Learning, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Coaching in higher education is a relatively new field; although, it has been taking place in educational institutions for some time, even if it was not labeled as such. This essay describes the faculty development philosophies of a US-based higher education institution with a strong culture of supporting faculty and promoting social change. A coaching model was implemented as a means for professional development. It was designed to be facilitated through a peer relationship and it offers problem-focused, contextualized opportunities for faculty to collaborate, thus making the experience and outcome more meaningful. The coaching model is individualized, confidential, non evaluative, and incorporates three pathways to support the professional development needs of faculty: self- assigned, a request from college leadership as a means to support faculty in an identified area of need, or the New Faculty Orientation (NFO) instructor may recommend a faculty member for coaching as a way to further engage in topics not discussed in-depth in NFO.