College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty Development for Integrative Pedagogy and Assessment Practices

Initiative Goal: Core Curriculum Enhancement (CCE)

The College of Arts and Sciences' initiative for faculty development in the areas of integrative pedagogy and assessment practices offers support for faculty training in high-impact teaching and learning and in the assessment of such approaches.  The initiative encompasses a number of experiences that will assist faculty in developing new courses and revising existing ones to incorporate interdisciplinary approaches, e-portfolios, writing intensive courses, and digital humanities projects that can serve as focal points in a new core curriculum. Preparation for faculty development of the new core includes activities to increase facility with assessing learning outcomes.  This work is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

A conversation with Kim Vaz-Deville of Xavier's College of Arts & Sciences on enhancing the core curriculum. More


The New Core Pyramid

Areas of Concentration:

Interdisciplinary Course Development:  To achieve the goal of increasing the depth and breadth of interdisciplinary course offerings, Xavier faculty will read, discuss, and utilize scholarship and infuse this knowledge into a core curriculum course in which two or more disciplines are represented and require assignments that synthesize and integrate key content. More

E-portfolios: To achieve the goal of equipping students to connect the core learning outcomes and those of their major(s), Xavier faculty will acquire skills in creating and evaluating e-portfolios through reading, discussing, and utilizing scholarship and infusing this knowledge to develop an e-portfolio structure for a core course. More

Intensifying the Focus on Writing To achieve the goal of greater focus on writing and rigor in the amount of writing required of students, Xavier faculty will create writing intensive assignments and courses.  These will have an emphasis on writing and devote significant class time to the teaching and practice of writing.  Faculty will read, discuss, and utilize scholarship about the expressive or the transaction model of “Writing across the Curriculum” and receive training in pedagogy that fosters “Writing to Learn” in entry-level courses and writing for their specific discipline in higher level courses. More

Digital Humanities: To achieve the goal of incorporating projects in core courses that require students to use electronic methodologies to demonstrate what they know in applied and collaborative contexts, Xavier faculty will read, discuss, and utilize scholarship and travel to conferences, workshops and labs for training in the digital humanities.  They will receive support for planning, implementing, and assessing a digitally-based project into a core curriculum course. More

Assessment: To achieve the goal of building faculty capacity in core curriculum assessment Xavier’s faculty will participate in assessment training and will implement assessment strategies into their core curriculum classes that reflect the newly adopted faculty-approved core learning outcomes. More

Schedule of Activities (Fall 2018):

Coming Soon



PI: Kim Vaz-Deville is associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of Education at Xavier University of Louisiana.  She is a 2018 recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Humanities Connections Planning grant for the design of an undergraduate minor in humanities, data science, and digital justice.  Her book, The ‘Baby Dolls’: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition (LSU Press, 2013) was the basis for The Louisiana State Museum Presbytere’s 2013 exhibition “They Call Me Baby Doll: A Mardi Gras Tradition”. The ‘Baby Dolls’ was the 2016 selection of the Young Leadership Council’s program, One Book One New Orleans.  Her anthology, Walking Raddy: The Baby Dolls of New Orleans has just been published by the University Press of Mississippi.


Faculty Director of the Core Curriculum: Dr. Richard Peters was born and raised on the island of Trinidad, where he earned a Bsc. (Hons) in Chemistry and Management. He left Trinidad for the United States, in 2001 where he attained in MBA, specializing in Organizational Behavior from Pace University. He then received his Ph.D. in Business Administration, from Florida Atlantic University. His research interests are in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability (CSRS) with a recent emphasis on social innovation and the role of institutions in CSRS evolution and implementation. He has published articles in business related journals and has presented at numerous international, national and regional conferences. He is also a reviewer for academic journals and an associate editor of Business and Society Review. He is passionate about bringing impactful change to communities and environments, and is dedicated to helping Xavier’s core curriculum realize its fullest potential, and contribute sustainably to the educational and professional value of a XULA degree. He is a husband and also a father of three young boys.


Program Manager: Franziska Pirkl is a Xavier University of Louisiana alumna. She graduated with a B.A. in Mass Communication with Public Relations concentration and a minor in Sales and Marketing. While being a student-athlete on the Xavier Volleyball team, she also served as a staff writer, photographer and co-editor of The Xavier Herald. In 2013, she served as the secretary of Xavier's PRSSA student chapter. Her research interests include media effects, women's studies, and cross-cultural communication.


Faculty Coordinators:

Interdisciplinary Approaches: Dr. Robin Runia is Associate Professor of English. She teaches courses in Restoration and Eighteenth Century, Romantic, and World Literature as well as Composition. Her publications explore spirituality, sexuality, and race in women's writing from 1660-1830. With her colleagues in the Biology and History departments, she has developed and co-taught  two interdisciplinary courses: Biology in Literature and Writing, Women, and Race.


Assessment: Associate Professor Amy Bellone-Hite is the Clarence Jupiter Professor of Sociology.  In addition to teaching in the areas of comparative sociology, demography, and gender, she is Head of the Department of Sociology and Chairperson of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences.  Bellone-Hite holds interdisciplinary B.A., M.A., and Ph.D degrees in Latin American Studies.  Since joining Xavier’s faculty in 2004, she has served as an academic assessment coordinator since 2005 and on the Core Curriculum Assessment Committee since 2016.


E-Portfolios and Writing Intensive Courses: Jason Todd studied fiction writing at the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. His work has appeared in a variety of literary journals. Since 2007, he has been a member of the Department of English at Xavier University of Louisiana, where he teaches writing and American literature. He has served as Writing Center Director and QEP Director. In 2015, he became the first Associate Director for Programming at the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development.



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