Faculty Affairs

Dean's Excellence in Teaching Award Guideline


The opportunity to teach, to empower and inspire others to surpass us in professional success, is a very precious gift.  Those of us in the academy cherish this gift and respect and accept the responsibility that comes with it.  Despite the critical importance of learning to the academic mission, research achievements tend to garner greater accolades.  It has been said that good teachers inspire hope, ignite the imagination and instill a life-long love of learning. (attributed to Brad Henry).  Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.” This award is established to honor those among us who reach deep within and far beyond to provide extraordinary learning moments for our students.    

The Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award will be given annually to one faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching during the previous academic year (Summer, Fall and Spring) as defined in the teaching excellence criteria provided below. Faculty selected for this award will receive a one-time bonus of $3,000.


This award is open to any COPH faculty member who has been with COPH for at least five years as an Instructor or professorial ranked faculty regardless of pathway (tenure-earning, teaching, research, or practice) and who has taught in the College for at least five years. 

Nominations will be accepted from individual faculty, their peers, students or supervisor. 

Individuals may not receive this award more than once every five years.

Required Materials for Application Packet

Once nominated, the Office of Faculty and Academic Affairs will notify the nominees and assist them in assembling the required materials, where appropriate.

  • A brief statement describing how you believe you meet the criteria for this award.
  • A copy of the Teaching Portfolio developed in accordance with the COPH Teaching Portfolio Guideline (see attached Guideline).
  • A list of courses taught during the previous two academic years.
  • Copies of syllabi and other relevant course materials from courses the nominee has taught and samples of materials from other teaching and learning activities, as applicable, for the previous two academic years.
  • Copies of nominee’s student course feedback summaries with comments for all courses taught during the previous two academic years.
  • Copies of Review of Teaching Effectiveness Feedback Forms (if available).
  • Current CV.

Nomination and Review Process

  • In June of each year, a call for nominations for this award will be issued to the College community.
  • Nominations must be received by the third week of June.
  • Nominees will be notified and asked to assemble a packet, if they wish to be considered.
  • Each nominee will organize materials and submit electronically to the Office of Faculty Affairs by the last week in July who will review for completeness and adherence to guidelines. Faculty Affairs will forward complete nomination packets to the Dean.
  • The Dean will review nomination packets and determine the awardee for that year.
  • The award will be presented during the annual State of the College address in September.

Teaching Excellence Criteria

This section, which describes teaching excellence, is taken from the COPH process - Review of Teaching Effectiveness. 

In order to evaluate teaching effectiveness, COPH has identified the eight domains below that exemplify excellence in teaching.  An excellent teacher:

  • Demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the subject: (examples including, but not limited to, those listed below)
    • goes further than the standard textbook materials
    • develops original thoughts on the subject
    • maintains up-to-date knowledge of the subject
    • refers to recent developments in the field in the classroom
  • Demonstrates student-centered mentorship: (examples including, but not limited to, those listed below)
    • helps students learn outside of class, is accessible in and out of class
    • promotes cooperation among students
    • gives prompt and timely feedback that fits the context of the task
  • Demonstrates effective active learning strategies: (examples including, but not limited to, those listed below)
    • encourages students to be self-directed, independent, lifelong learners
    • encourages higher-order thinking
    • provides mechanisms for facilitating participation and engagement of all students
  • Communicates achievable, yet high expectations: (examples including, but not limited to, those listed below)
    • acknowledges student expectations
    • clarifies what students can expect from the teacher
    • creates a safe, yet challenging, learning environment
  • Promotes a community of learners: (examples including, but not limited to, those listed below)
    • demonstrates respect for students
    • respects diverse talents and ways of learning
    • develops learning skills by practicing in the classroom/or virtual classroom
    • encourages students to reflect on what they are learning and how they are learning
  • Demonstrates effective communication skills: (examples including, but not limited to, those listed below)
    • helps students learn to use effective communication skills
    • listens attentively
    • is available and approachable
    • simplifies and clarifies complex subjects
    • bridges language and cultural barriers
  • Assesses teaching continuously and systematically: (examples including, but not limited to, those listed below)
    • Creates an environment that invites constructive student feedback to the instructor
    • Recognizes own limitations and shortcomings, confronts and learns from them
    • Conducts mid-course reviews for purposes of course enhancements
  • Demonstrates a strong commitment to teaching quality: (examples including, but not limited to, those listed below)
    • engages in activities to continue to develop teaching
    • invites and accepts feedback to improve
    • tries new techniques to promote learning
    • uses results of course assessments to improve courses