The Eleanor Mann School of Nursing received this year’s Daniel E. Ferritor Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching at the University of Arkansas, in recognition of the school’s commitment to faculty development, student success and innovative teaching and learning.
The award recognizes a department or unit on campus that best displays excellence in teaching for that academic year. For winning the award, the School of Nursing will receive $10,000 and a trophy, as well as having the unit name placed on a university plaque housed in that department for a year.
The winner is based on how well the department or unit demonstrates sustained commitment to teaching excellence, faculty development and student success, in addition to how well it measures excellence in teaching and learning.
In its application, the school cited its faculty mentorship programs, efforts at continuous improvement and the school’s shared governance model. The school also pointed to the excellent pass rates of students taking nursing certifications and exams, stellar graduate employment rates and regular faculty development activities coordinated by the school’s Faculty Affairs Committee.
“At the EMSON, a commitment to teaching excellence is realized through a shared vision, desire and energy to raise the reality toward the vision, and systematic collection of data about current reality,” said School of Nursing chair Susan Patton.
She said they use a faculty driven decision-making process.
“This shared governance structure includes student representation and a Program Evaluation Committee, which continuously utilizes data to assess and promote ongoing program improvement,” she said.
Patton said the award money will be spent on faculty development geared toward advancing student success.
“A faculty committee will be looking at proposals to bring in a national expert or consultant on nursing education so that all full and part-time faculty can benefit,” she said.
The accolade, which is given by the Office of the Provost and the Teaching Academy, was voted upon by a committee comprised of four members of the academy and three faculty appointed by the provost. The award is funded by the Chancellor’s Office.
Dr. Brian Primack, dean of the College of Education and Health Professions, said, “I couldn’t be prouder of EMSON for winning this prestigious award. It’s more critical than ever that nurses in our society receive truly outstanding education — on everything from pathophysiology to bedside manner — and our dedicated faculty and staff at EMSON do it all with rigor, innovation and compassion.”
“While it was a hard decision to choose just one department out of the many deserving applicants, the School of Nursing stood out due to its commitment to student success, professional development and innovative teaching and learning,” said Kathryn Sloan, vice provost for faculty affairs. “These are the cornerstones of the Ferritor Award, and we’re honored to be able to recognize their hard work for our university, its faculty and its students.”
The award is named in honor of former U of A Chancellor Daniel E. Ferritor in recognition of his longstanding commitment to students and faculty and his consistent support for excellence in teaching and learning at the University of Arkansas.
The Teaching Academy, which was organized by Ferritor in 1988 and co-sponsors the award with the Provost’s Office, seeks to advocate and represent teaching interests, promote and stimulate an environment of teaching and learning excellence, and encourage recognition and reward for exceptional teaching.