Compass Agenda


The Compass Program now is an interprofessional, online experience. You will learn essential skills beyond teaching, specifically how to conduct educational research, write grant applications, publish articles and reports, and develop your academic career. The Compass Program provides expert training in these areas via four comprehensive distance learning modules, one each week for four weeks, each addressing a critical component necessary for academic advancement. Whether tenure or non-tenure track, part-time or full-time appointment, this program will guide you toward career success.


Each module consists of a series of readings; a live, online session of 90 minutes that is recorded and saved on AAL's learning management system for downloading; and a follow-up exercise where you will post your assignment on a discussion board and receive feedback from a Compass instructor and fellow participants.


Course Orientation: September 10, 2015, from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern

Course Modules: September 17, 24 & October 1, 8, 2015, from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern


The weekly modules are described below:


Career planning & Development

Thriving in higher education is all about pursuing your goals and ambitions within the realities of the institution--structural, social, and political--and knowing when to make adjustments and larger changes. Developing a career involves recognizing the emphasis placed on three critical activities: service, teaching, and research. Receive an online critique of your CV from the instructor and fellow participants.


During the Career Planning & Development Module, you will engage in exercises and discussions related to:


• Understanding the culture of higher education
• Work-life balance and coping with academic pressures
• Function, structure, and content of an academic portfolio
• Ways to improve your CV content and style



Conducting Educational Research

In many institutions, a record of research is critical for promotion and tenure. This module will show you how to design qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods educational research projects. You will critique actual educational research designs
and receive online feedback about plans for your own project.

During the Conducting Educational Research Module, you will engage in exercises and discussions related to:

• Creating a research niche
• Formulating hypotheses
• Characteristics of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods educational research projects
• Data and statistical analysis



Grant Writing

Bringing in new sources of funding is a key component for academic career success and
institutional growth. Learn the art and science behind writing successful grant applications from professionals with a record of funding success. Receive online feedback about a grant application abstract you will draft.

During the Grant Writing Module, you will engage in exercises and discussions related to:

• Strategies for finding sources of funding
• Key components of grant applications
• Writing techniques that enhance readability and persuasiveness
• Strategies to maximize scores with grant reviewers



Writing for Publication

Publishing scholarly reports and articles is a chief concern for most academicians. While the keys to publcation are straightforward, the details of the process can be difficult to navigate. You will discover the tips and tricks for getting a reviewer on your side. Receive online feedback about a section of a journal article or report you will draft.

During the Writing for Publication Module, you will engage in exercises and discussions related to:

• Characteristics of writing clear and compelling manuscripts
• Writing strategies for each section of an educational research manuscript
• Reasons for rejection of manuscripts
• Use of text editing techniques to enhance clarity of manuscripts

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