PD & Resources



Faculty observations are regularly done by the Program Chairs and Deans.  New faculty are observed within their first course. The forms for these observations can be found here.

Faculty can request an observation conducted by the LITE Center to get more feedback on their technology use, pedagogical styles, teaching online, or increasing student engagement. This can be requested 2 times per year (unless otherwise approved)

Faculty can also request to take part in Peer Observations, with opportunity to observe a colleague’s course.  This can be requested 3 times per year.


Writing center

The Writing Center offers support in academic writing for students enrolled in the University. Students can find tutorials to gain insight on the writing process, request live sessions with a writing specialist, and submit assignments to receive detailed written and oral feedback. All students have access to the Writing Center through their GAP portal. Submissions are returned to students within a 48 hour period.

Faculty can request editing for a WIJAR publication. This type of editing requires a one week turn around period and will focus on grammar, spelling, and APA format.

Faculty can request specialized help for a specific student in one of two ways.

  1. Faculty can identify a specific issue a student is facing (plagiarism, APA format, etc.). The Writing Center can assign a series of tutorials for the student to complete regarding this issue. Once the student has completed the tutorial sessions, a one-on-one follow-up session can be had with the Writing Specialist. The student will be given a confirmation form to submit to the faculty once the series and follow-up session has been completed.
  2. Faculty can require a student to submit their assignment(s) to the Writing Center prior to submission for the course. The Writing Center will provide the student with a confirmation of submission form to provide to faculty as proof of review. This form will only be sent to the student if they meet the basic requirements of the assignment in terms of content and originality of their work. This request can be made here
  3. Faculty may make a request for tutorials.  If a there is a need for a tutorial not offered on the Writing Center GAP page, a screencast tutorial can be made and tailored to your course.  There is a one to two week turnaround time for this service



Professional Development Funding Request Process

Westcliff University recognizes the value of professional development in order to assure quality development for all faculty and continued excellence for all students.

Professional development opportunities consist of specialized training, continued education, and advanced professional learning intended to help faculty improve their professional skills and competence. Examples of professional development include conferences, webinars, and workshops, and research grants. A comprehensive list of professional development activities can be accessed by contacting the Professional Development Coordinator directly.

To apply for funds, a faculty member must submit a Professional Development Funding Request Form. The form, below, gathers details about the professional development opportunities that faculty are interested in participating in.  

Professional Development Funding Request Form


The submitted form will be sent to the Professional Development Approval Committee, a joint committee which has been made up of administration and faculty for the review and approval of all submitted Professional Development Funding Request Forms.


Professional Development Approval Committee:


Dean, College of Education

Dean, College of Business

Faculty Senate President

Chair, Faculty Affairs Standing Committee

Professional Development Coordinator


The Professional Development Approval Committee will hold three review dates annually:

April 15

August 15

December 15


Should the professional development request be time time sensitive in nature, faculty can still bring forth special requests even if they have missed the review date. Funding decisions will be made within 10 to 14 business days of the above dates. The Committee will contact the faculty member directly with their decision to approve/deny the request, and any next steps required to begin the process for funding. Authorized funds will be disbursed in the first payment period following receipt of the Reflection Summary and Action Plan.


Reflection and Action Plan

To encourage the dissemination of knowledge gained from experiences and research, applicants are also required to agree upon a plan for reflection and action.


Upon returning from a professional development activity, the faculty member is expected to provide a reflection summary of his or her experience for the benefit of colleagues and other interested parties, as well as an plan for how the faculty member will communicate this information to their peers.


Guidelines which determine how and when the reflection summary is to be presented are set forth by the faculty member’s department or college. Faculty should submit this summary to their college dean and the Professional Development Coordinator no later than 15 days after the end date of the event.


The faculty member should create a plan of action for sharing information acquired during the funded professional development activity, and should include, at minimum the following components:

  1. Proposed action item(s)
  2. Person responsible for implementation of the action item(s)
  3. Timeline for implementation of item(s)
  4. Estimated hours of work needed to complete this action plan
  5. Any expected additional costs


NOTE: The time utilized to elaborate the Reflection Summary and Action Plan should not be submitted for compensation on a timesheet. If the Action Plan is approved, a designated number of hours to execute the plan may be compensated.  


Active Faculty Member Annual Funding Allowance:

Assistant Professor- Up to $250

Associate Professor- Up to $400

Professor- Up to $500


Special Funding Budget set at $2000 annually, which is reserved for faculty members who may have gone over their annual faculty budget. The Professional Development Approval Committee has the ability to grant additional funding to faculty members from this budget, provided that there is a direct link between the professional development opportunity and the university mission.


Committee Evaluation Criteria for Professional Development Funding Requests

  1. Opportunity is relevant to the courses taught/role of the applicant Y/N
  2. Price of the registration is listed Y/N
  3. Date of the opportunity is within four months of the funding request submission Y/N
  4. Applicant is an active faculty member Y/N
  5. Opportunity will enhance teaching/learning environment Y/N
  6. Opportunity helps achieve the University mission Y/N


All documents supporting funding requests must be submitted to Rebecacervantes@westcliff.edu within 2 weeks of the completion of the event.


What is Calibration and why do it?


Grading calibration is a process that helps bring awareness to grading consistency.  This ensures alignment with a scoring rubric, as well as being confident that learning outcomes are being met. Overall, the calibration process increases the reliability of the assessment data.  Calibration helps instructors to better interpret the rubric and work together to discuss the discrepancies and rationales within the scoring. While using a rubric for grading can help keep up some grading consistency, rubrics still have areas that are open for interpretation. Through the calibration process, instructors become more familiar with the grading expectations and can focus on how the rubric applies to different examples of work.  This reflective practice helps increase accuracy, reliability and consistency.


There are two types of calibration activities we do at WU:

  1. College/program wide calibration
  2. Calibration checks


College/Program wide calibration

In this college/program wide calibration activity, you are asked to complete the following 3 steps (using GAP and Zoom):

  1. Familiarize yourself with the rubric and its descriptors – you may want to take 3-4 minutes to review it to increase your awareness for the upcoming calibration activity.
  2. Read a sample student assignment and use the rubric to grade it.  
  3. Attend our live follow up session. This session will go over the results of the calibration activity, allow for some discussion on individual grading rationales, and clear up any inconsistencies or discrepancies.  Some of the debriefing topics for your consideration are:
    1. Debrief: Discuss the following questions after the calibration:
      1. What did we notice about scoring student work and using the rubric?
      2. What would be the next steps for instructing this student?
      3. What revisions should be made to the task and instructions?
      4. What are the implications for our instructional practice?


    1. We will have a zoom link with the date and time of the follow up session.  It will last about 20 minutes and will be recorded if you are unable to attend. Please note- if you are unable to attend, please watch the recording and write a summary including your own grading rationales.

Calibration Checks

In this service, you can request a colleague to grade student assignments in your course. After you each grade the assignments using the course rubric, you will meet (in person or via Zoom). This is a useful tool for new faculty who would like to be be in line with the university’s expectations.  It is also helpful for experienced faculty who would like to do periodic checks or maintain a united grading front.

You will discuss the following points in your 15-minute live session:

      1. What did we notice about scoring student work and using the rubric?
      2. How similar were your results? What areas differed?  Why?
      3. What are the implications for our instructional practice?

Deans and Program Chairs can request calibration services for programs. Faculty may request calibration checks.