Workshops & Webinars

The Academy for Teaching Excellence provides professional development opportunities, programs, and workshops for faculty every semester. Below are descriptions for upcoming workshops and webinars.

Questions? Please contact the Academy at 847.925.6174,


Step-Back Consulting

Have you ever been part of a meeting in which someone asks for help solving a complex problem or challenge in their work? What often happens is that the person spends a great amount of time explaining the problem in significant detail and telling you why your ideas for solving the problem won’t work. Step-back consulting is a creative method to develop solutions to challenges and dilemmas we face in our work. The technique, developed in 2002 by Robert Kegan at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, promotes focused group discussion of complex problems. Through a structured and facilitated process, “consultants” brainstorm creative solution using an outsider’s lens while taking ownership of the “consultee’s” problem on an emotional level. In this one-hour session, you will participate in two rounds of step-back consulting as either a consultant or consultee. You will also learn to facilitate these sessions and explore ways to incorporate step-back consulting into your work with peers and students.

  • Facilitator: Mike Bates, Dean, Teaching, Learning & Distance Education
  • Two sessions to choose from:
    • Wednesday, October 3, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m., F317
    • Wednesday, October 10, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., F317

Mental Health First Aid: Higher Education Edition

Have you ever encountered a person experiencing psychological distress and wondered what to do? Research has shown that 1 in 4 adults, including college students, has a diagnosable mental illness, so chances are good that you will have this experience. If you are a faculty member, perhaps this encounter will be with one of your students in a classroom. If you are a staff member, perhaps this encounter might take place in a hallway or in an office. Would you like to learn how you can support Harper’s culture of care? Mental Health First Aid: Higher Education is a standardized eight-hour training designed to teach lay persons a supportive destigmatizing skill set. You will learn to identify and de-escalate a person in distress, and connect that person with professional help, including campus resources. Learning the skill set is similar to learning CPR. The training is enjoyable, interactive, and designed around the types of situations encountered in colleges and universities. This training is an investment in making a difference on and off campus. Learn how to put your compassion into action.

  • Facilitator: Charla Waxman, Director of Prevention Services, Nicasa Behavioral Health Services
  • Dates: Friday, October 5 and Friday, October 19
  • Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Location: Building D, Room D156
  • CEUs: 0.8 (must complete both sessions and pass the exam)

Making Your Course Materials Accessible

Accessible course materials benefit all students, and can often be done with minimal time investment. Learn how to make your PowerPoint, Word, and other documents accessible to students, and leave the workshop with tools and techniques to review a variety of materials.

  • Facilitator: Chris Dobson, Curriculum Content Graphic Illustrator
  • Three sessions to choose from:
    • Tuesday, October 9, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., F317
    • Thursday, October 11, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., F317
    • Friday, October 12, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., F317

Harry Potter: Harper Mystery

A powerful magic, called Critical Thinking, has been spotted on the grounds of Hogwarts Harper! Critical Thinking is a skill that can be cultivated in all of our students, and can cause extraordinary things to happen. However, there is a mystery surrounding this powerful skill. What, exactly, is Critical Thinking? How will you know it when you see it, and how will you assist Harper students in wielding it? Join your fellow wizards on a series of magical quests to better understand, measure, and draw out Critical Thinking. Muggles welcome.

  • Facilitators:
    • Faon Grandinetti, Associate Director of Outcomes Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness
    • Julia Lamping, Institutional Effectiveness Analyst
    • Melissa Baysingar, Instructional Design Specialist
  • Two sessions to choose from:
    • Friday, October 26, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m., F317
    • Tuesday, October 30, 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., F317

Blackboard Drop-in Sessions

Graduate Equivalency Courses (GECs)


There are no upcoming webinars scheduled at this time. Please browse the Webinar Archives below to watch previous webinar recordings.


Adjunct Faculty Teaching & Learning Conference

The Adjunct Faculty Teaching & Learning Conference is a great way for all adjunct faculty to connect with Harper College, colleagues, and the Academy for Teaching Excellence. This year’s conference will include presentations and activities related to the student experience and student success at Harper as well as networking opportunities, food, giveaways, resources, and more. We hope you’ll join us for an engaging, supportive, and fun way to start the Fall 2018 semester!

  • Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2018
  • Time: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Location: Wojcik Conference Center

Assessment Conference & Share Fair

The 10th Annual Conference will feature Dr. Saundra McGuire, Director Emerita of the Center for Academic Success and retired Assistant Vice Chancellor and Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University. View agenda and learn more about the conference.

  • Date: Friday, September 21, 2018
  • Time: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Location: Wojcik Conference Center
  • CEUs: 0.2 CEUs will be awarded for attendance of the Poster Session and Keynote address, 0.1 CEUs for Session 1, and 0.1 CEUs for Session 2. Up to 0.4 CEUs can be awarded.

Workshop Archives

Webinar Archives


Individuals with disabilities who would like to request an accommodation or who have questions about physical access may contact the event host or Access and Disability Services at, 847.925.6266, at least two weeks in advance of the event date.

Academy for Teaching Excellence Workshop Cancellation Policy

Occasionally, the Academy for Teaching Excellence may have to cancel a workshop due to circumstances beyond our control. With the exception of instructor illness and inclement weather, the decision to cancel a workshop will be made 48 hours prior to the scheduled date of the workshop. In the event of a cancellation, the Academy will make every effort to notify registered participants via their Harper College email account. If you have a concern about a workshop you have registered for being cancelled, please contact or call 847.925.6174.