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FaCE (Faculty Career Enhancement) Project

ACM has received a generous $2 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a third phase of the Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) Program, one of the consortium's most successful grant-funded faculty development initiatives.

Throughout the program, FaCE has funded faculty-initiated projects – most of them collaborative – focused on teaching, learning, and scholarly research. In the first two phases, the program supported more than 150 faculty projects with over 1,700 participants. About one-third of the projects were workshops and conferences bringing together faculty and administrators from across the ACM.

The Mellon Foundation awarded initial funding for FaCE in 2004, followed by renewals in 2007 and 2013. The current third phase of the project, now in its planning stage, is scheduled to cover six years and to complete its activities in 2020.

Fostering sustained innovation and collaboration by ACM faculty

Read more about the new Mellon grant!
FaCEing the Future Together by ACM President Christopher Welna
$2 Million Grant Supports Faculty Innovation in Teaching, Learning, & Research

Liberal arts colleges and their faculty face new and rapidly changing challenges, but also new opportunities.

Student bodies are more diverse and students at ACM colleges arrive with new needs, interests, and skills, which pose challenges for teaching. At the same time, colleges are pressed by persistent cost pressures to make difficult economic choices that often have curricular implications.

Meanwhile, new technologies and understandings are dramatically changing the possibilities for teaching and research. In blended learning classrooms, for example, faculty can use technology to move activities that students can do on their own — such as acquiring information — out of the classroom. That shift can provide more time in the classroom for activities involving close student-faculty interaction and building a community of learners, which are hallmarks of the liberal arts college education.

The introduction of digital technologies in the humanities is generating new opportunities for research and dissemination by faculty and their students. New developments in cognitive science are deepening our understanding of how students learn and are yielding insights that can enhance teaching and course design.

FaCE 3 aims to foster a culture of innovation through collaboration on ACM campuses, through which faculty can explore and document new ways of teaching that can improve student learning.

In two funding cycles each year, FaCE will award grants on a competitive basis to ACM faculty to initiate and carry out projects to develop new expertise, models, and tools for teaching and research at liberal arts colleges.

Robust support for this faculty work is an integral part of the program, and will include:

  • Annual planning conferences for faculty organized around specific themes, such as blended learning or applying the findings of cognitive science in the classroom;
  • A new consortial instructional technologist, who will serve as a facilitator for collaborative projects engaged with emerging technologies;
  • Structures designed to enhance dissemination of the results of faculty projects to peers and to the larger higher education community; and
  • Creating an infrastructure to fund and sustain faculty projects, collaborations, and innovation beyond the period of the current grant.

Planning for FaCE 3, including an opening conference, will continue throughout the spring and summer, with a Call for Proposals for the first funding cycle expected during the 2014-15 academic year.

Key personnel from all of the ACM colleges, including the chief academic officer and a faculty development liaison on each campus, will be closely involved with FaCE communications and activities.

Read more about the new Mellon grant and FaCE 3:

Links to earlier phases of the FaCE Program:

  • FaCE - 1st phase supported ACM faculty in pursuing scholarly research, forging connections with peers on other campuses, and sharing ideas and knowledge at consortial workshops and conferences.
  • FaCE - 2nd phase sponsored collaborative events and collaborative research projects that brought together faculty from across disciplines and across campuses.