Workshops, Conferences, & Webinars

The Academy for Teaching Excellence provides professional development opportunities for faculty every semester. Below are descriptions for upcoming workshops, webinars, conferences, and special events. Scroll to the bottom of the page for archives with links to more information about previous opportunities.

The Academy also offers Graduate Equivalency Courses (GECs). Learn more.

Questions? Please contact the Academy at 847.925.6174,


Small Group Instructional Feedback (SGIF)

Pioneered at the University of Washington, Small Group Instructional Feedback (SGIF) is a voluntary, non-evaluative process for collecting feedback from your students on their experiences and perceptions of your course mid-way through the semester. In SGIF, a faculty peer conducts a 30-minute session in your classroom in which they ask your students to respond individually, in small groups, and as a whole class, to four questions about your course: 1) What helps your learning? 2) What hinders your learning? 3) What can the instructor do to improve your learning? and 4) What can you to do improve your learning? The faculty peer provides you with a confidential, written report shortly following the feedback session, allowing you and your students an opportunity to make positive changes. Learn more.

  • Two sessions to choose from:
    • Friday, September 13, 2019, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
    • Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Location: Building F, Room F315
  • Facilitators: 
    • Michael Bates, Dean, Teaching, Learning, and Distance Education
    • Melissa Baysingar, Instructional Design Specialist
    • Stephanie Whalen, Academy Chair
  • CEUs: 0.4 (awarded for completing the workshop plus all post-workshop activities)

Conducting Peer Observations of Teaching for Professional Development

When designed as a professional development experience, peer observation of teaching can be a beneficial experience for both faculty members involved. In this workshop, participants will learn to use a structured protocol for conducting a formative classroom observation using a peer review model in which goals for the observation are established, an in-class observation is performed, and data from the observation is reviewed during a follow-up feedback session. Multiple observation instruments will be introduced so that faculty can select the instrument that they feel aligns best with their classroom characteristics, instructional approach, and goals for the observation. Each faculty participant in the workshop will partner with a peer to experience the process both as a teacher and observer.

  • Two sessions to choose from:
    • Thursday, October 10, 2019, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    • Friday, October 11, 2019, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Location: Building F, Room F315
  • Facilitators:
    • Michael Bates, Dean, Teaching, Learning, and Distance Education
    • Stephanie Whalen, Academy Chair
  • CEUs: 0.5 (awarded after workshop attendance and completion of observations as both observer and teacher)

SAFEzone Training

A SAFEzone is a confidential place (or person) where all people can bring their authentic selves and feel safe, welcomed, and included. The SAFEzone Training at Harper College aims to increase the awareness, knowledge, and skills for individuals to address the challenges that exist when one wants to advocate for their LGBTQIA+, inclusive of gender identity and gender expression, peers, family members, friends, coworkers, and for themselves. At the completion of the training, each attendee will receive a certificate with a SAFEzone ally logo that identifies you as a trained advocate. You will also receive exclusive Harper branding SAFEzone pins and a magnet. Refreshments will be served.

  • Date: Thursday, October 17, 2019
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Location: Building M, Room M2008
  • Facilitator: SAFE @ Harper Employee Resource Group
  • CEUs: 0.4

Teaching While Black/Responding While White: Growing our Capacity Around Cultural Integrity

Please join us for “Teaching While Black/Responding While White” in which Monica Shirley shares the story of her first year as a Diverse Faculty Fellow at Harper and the lessons we can all learn as we grow our capacity around destigmatizing, supporting, and valuing difference. Stephanie Whalen, Academy Chair, will also briefly share her growth around microaggressions and cultural integrity based on her experiences and doctoral research. Refreshments and an opportunity for a discussion will be provided.

  • Date: Thursday, October, 17, 2019
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: Building F, Room F315
  • Facilitators: 
    • Monica Shirley, Diverse Faculty Fellow
    • Stephanie Whalen, Academy Chair
  • CEUs: 0.15

An Introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Trauma and Resilience in Post-Secondary Education

Several national studies (Frazier, 2016; Smyth, 2008; Winterman, 2017) reveal that the majority of college students have exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (66%) and exposure to at least one major traumatic event (89%). Increasingly, students report struggles with anxiety (61%) and depression (41%). In this session, participants will learn the brain science behind ACEs and ways toxic stress makes it difficult for students to learn. Participants will learn concrete ways to bring trauma-aware approaches to bear on their own practices with the goal of increasing students’ academic resilience.

  • Date: Friday, October, 18, 2019
  • Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Location: Building F, Room F315
  • Facilitator: Dr. Andrew Anastasia, English
  • CEUs: 0.3

Best Practices for Accessible Video and Captioning

To provide a truly inclusive learning experience for your students, it has been proven that captioning and transcripts benefit all learners. This workshop will provide best practices, methods, and tools for accessible video and captioning.

  • Two sessions to choose from:
    • Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    • Friday, October 25, 2019, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Location: Building F, Room F319
  • Facilitator: Christopher Dobson, Instructional Multimedia Developer
  • CEUs: 0.15

Sustaining The Professional Self for Deep Work

Education professionals often divide their attention and energy among many competing needs. Join us for a workshop on addressing stressors, creating a framework for self-care, and engaging in deep work based on the work in sustaining the professional self by Boye and Smith at Texas A&M peppered with some light commentary on work-life balance from Shonda Rhimes.

  • Two sessions to choose from:
    • Thursday, October 24, 2019, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Friday, November 22, 2019, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Location: Building F, Room F315
  • Facilitator: Stephanie Whalen, Academy Chair
  • CEUs: 0.2

GIFTS: Great Ideas for Teaching Speech

As we end the fall semester and begin our preparations for the spring, consider attending the “Communication Arts Holiday GIFTS Session” and share your favorite idea, exercise, rubric, or teaching-technique. This will also be a great opportunity for us to celebrate the holidays and a great semester. Each participant should come prepared to present their “GIFT” in 10 minutes or less. Handouts are always appreciated.

  • Date: Thursday, December 12, 2019
  • Time: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: Building F, Room F325
  • Facilitator: Jeff Przybylo, Chairperson for Communication Arts & Director of Forensics
  • CEUs: 0.2

Conferences & Special Events

11th Annual Assessment Conference & Share Fair

This professional development event will feature an engaging poster session; a keynote session – Preserving Students’ “Mental Bandwidth” to Increase Equity in Success; additional breakout sessions; and more. Attendees will have several chances to win raffle prizes and earn up to 0.4 CEUs. Learn more.

  • Date: Friday, September 27, 2019
  • Time: 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Wojcik Conference Center
  • CEUs: up to 0.4 (0.2 for poster session & keynote address, 0.1 for Session 1, 0.1 for Session 2)

6th Annual Adjunct Faculty Teaching & Learning Conference

This year’s conference will focus on mental bandwidth and feature keynote speaker Dr. Tina Bhargava, Associate Professor, Kent State University. Learn more and view a detailed agenda of the conference including keynote and breakout session descriptions.

  • Date: Friday, September 27, 2019
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Location: Wojcik Conference Center

2019 Diversity Symposium

The Diversity & Inclusion Shared Governance Committee is pleased to announce there will be two guest speakers at this year’s Diversity Symposium! Everyone will have the opportunity to attend both presentations, each focusing on various aspects of diverse indigeneity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Date: Friday, October 4, 2019
  • Time: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Location: Wojcik Conference Center

Faculty Retreat Spring 2020

Registration information and details will be announced at a later date, but for now, please save the date on your calendar!

  • Dates: Friday, March 13 – Saturday, March 14, 2020


There are no upcoming webinars scheduled at this time.

Workshop Archives

Conference & Special Event 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.