Faculty Research Community at Elgin Community College

Program Description

The Faculty Research Community is a program at Elgin Community College designed to foster a spirit of inquiry among the faculty. Each participant will submit a proposal for new research to be performed at ECC as part of the Research Community. The participants then work collectively with support from the institution and their cohorts in the Faculty Research Community throughout the course of a year to perform background research on their topic, implement their project, and summarize their results for sharing with the ECC community.

Participant Expectations

Faculty who participate in the Faculty Research Community are expected to perform some type of research into their practice as an educator, to increase student success at Elgin Community College. Proposals can cover a wide range of research, including (but not limited to):

· Researching methods to increase student success of at-risk students

· Researching best practices for a particular unit of material

· Investigating the use of a new technology

· Practicing a new teaching or learning strategy

· Investigating the effectiveness of current practice

While full-time faculty are expected to keep current with research and technologies in their assigned areas (as detailed in the job descriptions in the ECCFA-BOT faculty contract), and most faculty do this routinely already, the Faculty Research Community expects more than simply reading about research independently and incorporating best practices into the classroom.

Research proposals may not include:

· Research as part of an individual’s doctoral dissertation or other graduate coursework.

· Research directly related to formal course assessment.

· Research already being funded from another source (sabbatical or other).

Do you need help developing a research proposal? This HANDOUT is here for you

As part of the Faculty Research Community, participants are expected to share their knowledge with the wider education community. At a minimum, each cohort of faculty will share their results at the annual Assessment Diaries at ECC. Presentations at this session will be relatively brief, typically lasting only 10-15 minutes each, or longer if preferred. Participants are also expected to share their results in an electronic format that will be shared with the ECC community.

Participants are strongly encouraged to share their results with the greater academic community. In particular, the following professional development opportunities are strongly encouraged:

· Present at the annual Illinois Community College Faculty Association conference

· Create a training session through CETL

· Present at the faculty member’s state or national subject-specific conference

In addition, participants are expected to reflect on their experiences as part of their Annual Self-Assessment document.

Attendance at 3 meetings per semester is also expected of all participants. A significant aspect of the Faculty Research Community is the community of faculty supporting each other in this project. Should participants not be able to attend a particular meeting, a written report on the current state of their research must be submitted to the director in advance of the meeting.

Participant Selection

Participation in the Faculty Research Community will be cross-divisional, with no more than two faculty members from the same department in each cohort. Ideally, each division within the college will be represented in each cohort, though this is not required. Each cohort will contain at least five, but not more than 10 faculty members.

Each applicant will complete an application to be included in the Faculty Research Community, including details of the research the faculty member is proposing, as well as his or her motivation for participation.

Any faculty member at the college may apply to participate in the program. The deadline to apply to the program is October 15th. Participants will be selected by December 1st.

Selections will be made by a committee of prior Faculty Research Community participants. Prior participants are eligible to apply for join the Faculty Research Community one year after being part of a previous cohort.

Note: All faculty, including non-unit adjunct faculty, are invited to apply. Should a particular proposal require access to an assigned course, and the participant not receive an assignment for part of the research cycle, he or she may need to withdraw from the Research Community. If the proposal does not require a course assignment, the project may continue as scheduled. In that case, the faculty member would still be considered an employee of the college, but would not accrue semesters toward unit status qualification.


In recognition of the time spent doing active research and sharing that research with the college, participants will receive a $1,120 stipend*. The stipend is split into two payments – one at the conclusion of the spring semester, the other after the research project has been completed and shared with the college at the Assessment Diaries, early spring semester.

Student Associates (optional)

Each faculty member participating in the cohort has the option to work with one or more Student Associates (SA). The SA should not be a student currently enrolled in one of the faculty member’s courses, but could be a former student. The purpose is to get the student perspective on the faculty member’s research.

If you are interested in pursuing involving students in your research some possibilities are:

• ECC Foundation Scholars

• ECC Student Leaders

• Phi Theta Kappa members

• Education majors

Student Associates are expected to attend an orientation meeting at the outset of their participation, and to meet at least monthly with their faculty member. The student might visit the faculty member’s class to observe a particular teaching method or technology, interview fellow students for feedback, or simply discuss the research with the faculty member and share the student perspective. Exact participation details will be determined by the faculty member. There are no provisions to compensate Student Associates at this time.

Hourly expectation: @10 hours per semester

Compensation: None.

Program Timeline

· October 15 – Faculty participant application deadline

· December 1 – Faculty participants selected

· By the end of the second week of Spring semester – Orientation of the faculty research community

· Spring semester – Monthly meetings in February, March, April; members research topic faculty research is ongoing

· End of Spring semester – Mid-year progress reports from participants due to the Program Director; first half of stipend awarded, if applicable

· Fall semester – Monthly meetings in September, October, November; faculty research is ongoing

· End of Fall semester – Faculty research completed; participants work on summarizing results.; progress report due to the Program Director; survey completed by participants

· Early Spring Semester – Faculty participants share results at Assessment Diaries session, second half of stipend awarded