MISSOULA – Sara Schroeder, an instructor with the University of Montana English Language Institute, recently was named a 2019 Montana University System Teaching Scholar.
Schroeder is one of 12 faculty members across Montana selected for the program’s inaugural class by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education and the MUS Board of Regents. Those selected for this new honor develop high-impact teaching practices for student success and serve as exemplary models for others in higher education.
“I’m surprised and very pleased and honored to receive this recognition,” Schroeder said. “I’m fortunate to work as part of a team that’s dedicated to attracting international students to our campus from all over the world. Once international students arrive here, we work to provide them with engaging classes and meaningful cultural experiences.”
Schroeder will receive a $1,500 award, as well as a $500 stipend to design and facilitate a faculty learning community at UM.
“My learning community will focus on promoting intercultural exchange between domestic and international students in classrooms all across campus,” she said. “The fact that the Montana University System has chosen to support this learning community shows that they see the great value in creating more global learning on our campuses, and that’s very exciting.”
Based in UM’s Global Engagement Office, the English Language Institute serves non-native speakers of English who wish to improve their English language and academic skills in order to pursue their academic goals in higher learning, as well as personal and professional goals.
Faculty groups established by the MUS Teaching Scholar Program will work together to learn about and develop practices focused on this year’s scholars theme, “High-Impact Practices for Student Success.” The theme builds on a larger MUS project regarding high-impact practices funded through the Lumina Foundation.
High-impact practices proven to positively affect student success include freshman seminars on financial literacy, campus resources, study habit improvement, service learning, undergraduate research, internships and senior-year “capstone” research projects.
“Our talented and dedicated faculty are in many ways the lifeblood of the Montana University System,” said Dr. Brock Tessman, an OCHE deputy commissioner. “This is particularly true when it comes to providing a high-quality academic experience for our students. This new MUS program is one way our office can celebrate and support outstanding faculty who are committed to making student learning more innovative, exciting and meaningful.”