Center will increase student engagement, enhance faculty development
OWENSBORO, Ky. (Jan. 6, 2016) — Brescia University has named Dr. Thomas Sabetta director of the Ursuline Center for Teaching and Learning, a program that will seek to help support retention and graduation rates through improved student achievement and enhanced faculty development.
The program will consolidate services, reinvent academic advising practices and foster continuing education for faculty in the areas of pedagogy and instructional technology.
Sabetta will also serve as the Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant director. He will be responsible for establishing and directing the center, as well as serving as project manager for the SIP grant that Brescia received earlier this year.
Brescia received a $2.3 million grant from the Department of Education, the largest grant in the school’s history.
“This grant will allow Brescia to move forward with our 2020 plan in a critical, meaningful and vital way for both our students and faculty, by providing a more engaging student experience and a more fruitful enjoyable teaching experience through enhanced faculty development,” said Sabetta.
Sabetta has a Ph.D. in organizational dommunication from Wayne State University in Detroit. He also has a background in teaching, serving as full-time faculty lcturer in the Division of Instructional Communication and Research at the University of Kentucky, division chair of Humanities and associate professor at Jefferson Community and Technical College and a past adjunct faculty member at Brescia. He has also taught at other Catholic institutions including Bellarmine University, Spalding University and University of Detroit Mercy.
In his position at Brescia, Sabetta will be responsible for hiring and supervising the staff that will offer expanded university services in student advising and tutoring, faculty development and mentoring. He will also oversee the establishment of math and writing labs and online developmental course modules.
The SIP Grant funds will support two major objectives of the proposed Title III project, Brescia 2020, that seeks to contribute to long-term viability and sustainability of Brescia by cultivating and nurturing an academic culture that blends the tradition and heritage of a liberal arts education with modern and innovative modes of delivery in an effort to prepare students to achieve their desired career goals. The project will also foster growth and increased enrollment as well as increase retention, achievement and graduation rates through enhanced academic support services, professional development and space and technology upgrades.
The SIP Grant will allow the Ursuline Center of Teaching and Learning to provide professional academic advising for all students; provide formal math and writing labs; facilitate the availability of more high-impact educational experiences; expand the Office for Instructional Technology that will make upgraded software and hardware possible; provide a formal faculty mentoring and professional development program and provide more access to conferences and trainings; provide equipment to offer an innovative, digital learning studio in the new Signature Building slated to be constructed in 2018 that will serve as a training facility for faculty, staff and students and support pedagogical and curricular advances.
Funds from the grant have also been allocated to upgrade science laboratories in an effort to provide students with quality, high-impact experiences through the use of adaptable and modern equipment and effective classroom design. Furnishings and technological equipment to create state-of-the-art classrooms and labs for the Schools of Business, Education and Social Work will also be included.