The Mission: To innovate higher education with practical, relevant classroom solutions. To inspire faculty to create exemplary learning environments for today’s students, where the ultimate goal isn’t only points, but critical thinking and profound learning experiences. To challenge other thought leaders to utilize their unique platform to go beyond course content, to open minds that are closed, and to teach in a way that truly changes lives.
Two Profs: Sara and Chris first connected in Fort Lauderdale at the 27th annual Teaching Academic Survival and Success Conference in 2016. Both were presenting on strategies to
engage college students in and out of the classroom and quickly realized how much love, enthusiasm, and dedication they bring to their respective classrooms.
With Chris teaching at a 4 year private research university and Sara teaching at a 2 year public community college, they were both blown away by the similarities in their classroom leadership styles, student engagement strategies, and fundamental classroom culture.
With immensely different educational institutions and students who are on opposite ends of the socio-economic spectrum, Sara and Chris began an unlikely collaboration to further develop learning tools that transcend age, demographics, and content area, allowing them to be implemented across disciplines.
They presented this research together at the Lilly Conference on Teaching and Learning in Traverse City, Michigan. In their session, Meaningful Engagement: Keys to Creating a Culture to Maximize Student Success and Enhance Retention, they discussed engagement strategies that work at both the community college and four year levels; showcasing that through active, meaningful engagement, educators can boost student’s resilience and increase their willingness and desire to learn, which will maximize work effort and lead to academic success.
The session was packed with professors from diverse colleges and universities and across disciplines, yet their feedback was clear. The participants wanted more: more time for the presentation, more ideas, more insight. At that moment, with no hesitation, Sara and Chris knew there was more work to be done.
With the an ache in their souls to empower their own student’s success, they began to feel the same passion toward empowering other thought leaders to truly innovate higher education…and ProfTalk was born.