The Adams Academy Program
The Adams Academy is named in honor of former MSU President Walter Adams and his wife and MSU faculty member emerita, Pauline Adams, in recognition of their sustained commitments to promote instructional excellence. The program brings together a cross-disciplinary group of faculty and academic staff for a year-long fellowship focused on teaching and learning. Adams Academy participants explore the literature on effective university teaching and learning practices and consider how this robust body of research can be used to guide instructional decisions in the courses they teach. Participants learn from and contribute to a community of teacher-scholars committed to excellence in teaching and learning. Up to twelve Adams Academy members will be selected for the cohort. Criteria for selection include evidence of the applicant’s interest in and commitment to teaching and learning, potential to be an excellent teacher, and potential and willingness to serve as a mentor and advocate for excellent teaching among peers.
The program will begin at the start of the Fall semester 2021. The deadline for applications is April each year.
Each participant in the 2021-22 cohort will be provided with $3,000 to be used for professional development in teaching and learning. The Office of the Provost will provide $1,500 to each of up to 12 fellows in the first year of their Adams participation. Each Fellow’s home unit is expected to provide $1,500 in matching funds.
Program Activities and Expectations
Instructional Responsibilities: Academy applicants must plan to teach one or more courses or have other instructional responsibilities during their participation in the Academy.
Monthly discussions on scholarly teaching: Adams Academy members attend monthly, facilitated cohort seminars (September-April) that focus on teaching and learning topics. Members spend 3-5 hours on readings and preparatory activities prior to each seminar.
Engaging in the teaching and learning community: Adams Academy members are also encouraged to engage in seminars or workshops, or other campus instructional development activities of their choice throughout the academic year (including learning communities, Educator Professional Development Network, #ITeachMSU, or other learning-centered networks across MSU). Participation in these programs allows Adams Academy members to build upon the experiences and knowledge gained during monthly meetings and to learn from nationally recognized scholars. Attendance at these events also helps to foster community and support for quality teaching at MSU.
Additionally, participants are asked to submit a portfolio that shares their insights about teaching based on their experiences over the fellowship year. This will be shared with the institutional community and help to reinforce teaching excellence across campus.
Eligibility: All faculty and academic specialists who will have instructional responsibility as part of their appointments are invited to apply for the William and Pauline Adams Academy for Instructional Excellence & Innovation. All applicants must be in at least the third year as a tenure stream or fixed-term faculty member or academic specialist at MSU with significant teaching responsibilities.
The following documents must be submitted for consideration. Deadline is April each year.
- Completed application sheet
- Two letters of support.
- The primary letter must be from the applicant’s primary chair, director, or dean.
- The additional letter of support may come from an MSU faculty member, student, academic staff member, or an administrator.
- A Personal Statement clarifying why you wish to participate in the Adams Academy at this time and how participation will benefit you and/or your unit. The Personal Statement should be no more than one page (approximately 250-300 words).
- A current curriculum vitae (double-sided is preferred).
- A list of courses taught at MSU detailing size and type (graduate, undergraduate major, non-major) as well as annual course load and advising responsibilities.
Criteria for Selection of Adams Academy Fellows
- The applicant must plan to teach at least one course or provide library instruction as a part of a course during their participation in the Adams Academy.
- Quality of endorsement from unit supervisor and additional reference in letters of support.
- Evidence of interest in and commitment to improving student learning.
- Evidence of the potential for instructional excellence.
- Willingness to advocate for excellent teaching among peers.
- Willingness to commit the time needed to fully benefit from Adams Academy membership, including participating in ALL monthly meetings.