The Teaching Academy
of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine

In 2011, the deans of five west region colleges of veterinary medicine came together to discuss ways in which their colleges might effectively collaborate to address important issues faced by the profession and the colleges. The result was formation of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. Recognizing that improving educational practices was a primary shared concern, the deans and their representatives chose establishment and support of a Regional Teaching Academy as the first initiative of the new consortium.

The Academy has 55 members from five west region colleges of veterinary medicine, these include: Colorado State University, Oregon State University, University of California – Davis, Washington State University, and Western University of Health Sciences. Academy members represent several unique areas –Pathology, Neuroscience, Communication, Anatomy, Pharmacology, Physiology, Surgery, Immunology, Epidemiology, Toxicology, and Molecular Biosciences. The membership ranges from assistant to full professor, and includes department chairs, associate deans, directors, and clinical faculty.

The mission of the Regional Teaching Academy is to ensure that the members of the consortium collaborate to develop, implement, and sustain the best practices in veterinary medical and biomedical education in our colleges, and to establish veterinary medical educator/biomedical educator as a valued career track. Through these efforts we hope to meet the needs of society and the profession.

Regional Teaching Academy Bylaws

Initiatives

External Review of Teaching

The goal of this initiative is to address 2 major obstacles to recognizing and rewarding teaching in our colleges:

  1. The lack of defined and ready-to-use tools to assess teaching, teaching-related professional activities, and the scholarship of teaching.
  2. The lack of a respected and rigorous external review process.

Faculty Development

The goal of this initiative is to design and implement a faculty development program for new-to-teaching faculty.

Local Peer Observation

The primary goal of this initiative is to enhance teaching. To address this, we initially developed two outputs:

  1. A straightforward instrument designed to facilitate the peer observation process
  2. A set of guiding principles, or best practices, to facilitate implementation of local peer observation