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Delta State’s Ford Center for Teaching and Learning welcomes new academic year with new initiatives

Located in Ewing Hall, the Gertrude C. Ford Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) is available to support Delta State faculty in supporting Delta State students

CLEVELAND, Miss.—A new academic year has arrived, and Delta State University’s Gertrude C. Ford Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) has announced some exciting new initiatives to ensure Delta State’s faculty is prepared.

The FCTL will kick-off the year with a two-part presentation during Faculty Development Day, slated for 3:30 Wednesday, Aug. 10, and 8:30 Thursday, Aug. 11.

The first presentation is titled “Conversations with Prosper” and will include a discussion with Prosper and Partners, LLC on student success. Day 2 will feature a day of events based on the theme, “Putting the Pieces Back Together for Student Success.”

Dr. Ouida McAfee

“We are beginning the new academic year with a spirit of continuous improvement to support faculty and provide resources they will need to be successful in supporting DSU students on through to graduation,” said Dr. Ouida McAfee, interim director of FCTL.

Aligning with FCTL’s mission to support faculty in supporting students, the Center offers a repository of resources online in the university’s learning management system for faculty to access, including updated training modules.

Located in Ewing Hall, the FCTL offers various workstations for faculty, including a Wellness Space.

“There are a host of opportunities that faculty can take advantage of by making reservations via the FCTL webpage,” said McAfee. “For instance, there’s the Wellness Space available for when they just need a break or would like to meditate to prepare for their classes.”

Also, starting during the Fall 2022 semester, Delta State faculty are invited to participate in the new DSU Faculty Speaker Series. As part of the series, faculty will present one-hour presentations on the topics of wellness, innovation or pedagogy that will be recorded in the FCTL Studio. The presentations will then be put into a repository for any DSU faculty member to view. After 10 hours of viewing in one of the three areas (pedagogy, wellness, or innovation), the faculty member will be eligible for continuing education units.

“The peer-to-peer knowledge that faculty will share with each other during this Speaker Series is essential in supporting DSU students,” said McAfee.

“We encourage faculty to come to the FCTL so that they can interact with one another and discuss academic preparation for classes. We have also hosted workshops that are recorded so that faculty can stay abreast with current technology and explore how they may want to use that technology to boost engagement in the classroom.”

Other resources at the Center include books that are available for check-out as well as a designated reading area for faculty. In addition, there’s also a “maker space” where faculty can bring in items and collaborate with other faculty members to repurpose them either to serve the community or to practice different teaching methodologies for student engagement.

The Center also offers a meeting space for faculty and their teams if they desire to come in and meet to plan and strategize for continuous improvement. Also, there’s a virtual reality section where faculty can take a look at various technologies and explore how they could be used in their courses.

“The Ford Center for Teaching and Learning collaborates with many offices on campus, such as the Student Affair’s counseling office where they offer many of the same resources for students as we have in the FCTL,” said McAfee. “We are hopeful that faculty will come to the FCTL and host their meetings as well as congregate and discuss methodologies to help our students learn and ultimately graduate.”

The FCTL provides resources and training to help Delta State faculty incorporate best practices and research-based pedagogical techniques into their teaching to reach at-risk students and create a learning environment that fosters academic success for all students.

To learn more about the FCTL, visit