Letter to Students: Building a Faculty

by Gordon Drummond | November 3, 2010

Dear Students,

I’m Gordon Drummond, Chief Academic Officer at Sessions CollegeĀ® for Professional Design. This letter is the second in a series on issues relevant to prospective students.

This week’s topic is kind of a broad question about our faculty: “Who teaches at Sessions College?” The question about faculty is one of the first questions a student should ask when evaluating any art or design school. And why? Because your instructors are responsible for your education. They develop the curriculum, determining what subjects you study. They develop the projects that will put you through your paces and critique each piece of work you create.

So how do we as a school develop a strong faculty? First, we make sure that our instructors are not only qualified, but also working professionals immersed in the field.

Second, since it takes a village to teach a designer, we look for different kinds of talent. We look for industry thought leaders who help are in touch with changes in design technology. We look for experts who don’t just use books – they wrote the book on their subjects. We look for instructors with a unique skill in a specific area or simply an outstanding portfolio. We look for experienced art directors who have worked with major clients – and who can tell at a glance what needs improved in a work. We look for veteran trainers who have taught thousands of students in the “real world” and are interested in reaching students online.

Third, we understand that even the most dynamic instructor needs training and support to be effective in delivering education online. And so every faculty member undergoes through a rigorous training to ensure they prepared for the challenges of online instruction and to help them channel their expertise in effective and constructive critiques. Course developers have access to a talented education team to help them develop (and keep updated) some of the most fun and creatively challenging curriculum available anywhere.

Finally, we know that building a great faculty is an ongoing process. And so Sessions College uses a biannual instructor evaluation to monitor and maintain the highest teaching standards. Everything from student evaluations to a teaching audit to timeliness ratings is factored into an evaluation process that results an annual honors list of the best instructors. As Sessions College has grown, we’ve paid a lot of attention to student evaluations to find out how our faculty are doing; there’s even an instructor-of-the-month award based on student feedback!

To sum up, I believe the quality of our faculty is the result of talent, training, support, and evaluation. And I would recommend that you look for those attributes in any school you are considering in your college search. To find out more about who teaches at Sessions College, visit our faculty area.

Best,

Gordon Drummond
Chief Academic Officer
Sessions College

Gordon Drummond is the President and Academic Director at Sessions College. He's passionate about education and the arts and likes to surround himself with more talented people.

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