Professional Development

Professional Development Opportunities

Durham Tech fosters educational and service excellence through continuous improvement of the college’s most valuable resource – employees. All full-time employees will participate in professional development annually as identified within the employee’s performance review and evaluation. Review the Professional Development policy and procedure.

The college also provides a wide range of professional development opportunities on campus as described in the following sections. Visit the College’s Professional Development section for further information about professional development opportunities.

Computer Instruction

The college’s Instructional Computing Department offers short-term computer courses free of charge to full-time faculty and staff throughout the academic year. Addressing such professional development needs as learning new software and basic maintenance of hardware are on-going efforts of the college. Technology training is emphasized for all college personnel.

Effective Innovation Awards

The Effective Innovation Award may be made twice a year in the areas of administration and instruction. The purpose of this recognition and cash award is to recognize innovative approaches or solutions which generate new and creative ways to serve students more fully, and/or support instruction more effectively, and/or serve or reach the community more extensively. The Effective Innovation form is used in this award process.

Excellence in Support Services Award

The Excellence in Support Services Award at Durham Tech is an award presented to non-faculty, full-time employees. The award is designed to promote excellence and innovation and to encourage employee dedication in the service to the college and to the students. It seeks to acknowledge those employees whose contributions are of sufficient magnitude to be recognized by fellow college employees. Information is sent out to the college with a stated deadline for submitting nominees. A task force comprised of former Excellence in Support Services Award recipients makes the selection. A cash award is presented to the award recipient during the Convocation held the following May.

Faculty Recognition Award Program

The objective of the Faculty Recognition Award Program is to identify and recognize Durham Tech instructors who have consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching. Any full-time faculty member is eligible for award consideration. The award recipient receives a cash award, and each semi-finalist receives a certificate. Faculty members are asked to nominate candidates on an annual basis. Nominations are received during the fall semester, and awards are presented during Convocation held the following May. Contact the Instructional Services Office for nomination forms and additional information about the recognition criteria and selection process.

Faculty Challenge Coin

The Durham Tech Academic Guided Career Pathways Faculty Challenge Coin recognizes instructors who go above and beyond for their students and make a significant impact at the College.

The challenge coin concept was introduced by Dr. Susan Paris, Vice President of Academics and Guided Career Pathways, and stems from her military background.

A faculty member must make a significant impact in one or more of the following areas to qualify:

  • Academics
  • Student Success
  • Innovations in Pathways
  • Equity and Inclusion

Employee Meetings and College Convocations

Communication among Durham Tech employees is recognized as critical to the functioning of the college and important in developing employees’ knowledge about the college. Several methods are used to help facilitate communication of information throughout the college. Activities that help create an understanding of and an appreciation for each employee’s contribution to the college's mission are also important.

To help facilitate communication and increase understanding, a full employee convocation as well as two faculty-staff meetings are scheduled each term. The President’s Office in conjunction with the Human Resources Department organizes these meetings to exchange information, enhance the feeling of a college community, and recognize individual efforts. Employees are encouraged to submit requests for agenda items or announcements to the vice president, institutional advancement for consideration. In addition to these meetings, all employees are invited to participate in informal conversations with the president, which are scheduled quarterly.

Financial Support for Employee Tuition and Fees

As of August 2011, legislators no longer allow full-time community college employees to take one community college course each semester at no charge. Durham Tech’s President responded to this change by identifying funds to enable Durham Tech's full-time employees to continue receiving this benefit, with the exception that tuition and fees up to the amount of a five-credit-hour course will be paid only for community college courses taken at Durham Tech. With this change, Durham Tech courses offered as “self-support” are also now paid for by the college up to the cost limit, which is an added benefit to the College’s eligible employees.

Full-time employees are allowed to take at no charge one Durham Tech curriculum or continuing education course per term, with the cost limited to the amount of tuition and fees for a five-credit-hour course. The cost for this free course benefit at Durham Tech is limited to $434.

Eligible employees must complete the Part-Time Educational Leave form (available in the Business Office and Human Resources), obtain all approvals required on the form, and ensure that the Director of Human Resources receives the completed form no fewer than 10 working days prior to the last registration date for the course request being made.

If the completed form with all necessary approvals is not received in Human Resources at least 10 working days prior to the last registration date for the course, the college will not pay for the course at that time and the employee will have to wait for a future offering of the course and submit the completed form by the required deadline in order for the college to provide this benefit of paying for the course.

Institutional Membership in Professional Organizations

Requests for institutional membership in appropriate professional organizations may be submitted as part of local budget requests. Individual memberships are not provided from institutional funds.

Teaching-Learning Center

The Durham Tech Teaching-Learning Center (TLC) carries out its mission to enhance teaching and learning excellence for faculty, students, and staff at the college. The TLC conducts orientations for new faculty members and coordinates on-campus professional development for college faculty. Administrative and support staff members are welcome to attend TLC workshops. In addition, the TLC also publishes a professional journal entitled Learning Matters, which focuses on various aspects of teaching and learning. View the TLC blog.