The ultimate vision of the Rice Center is to serve as a helpful resource for faculty to develop their craft of teaching.
As part of its core values, the Rice Center:
- Serves faculty in all ranks, divisions, and units
- Appreciates a wide range of teaching practices and philosophies
- Supports inclusive and accessible teaching practices that serve all of our students
- Recognizes teaching as both a science and an art
- Focuses on all aspects of teaching, both formal and informal
- Facilitates learning and growth inside and outside the classroom
- Responds to the changing needs and interests of faculty
The specific mission objectives of the Rice Center are:
- Connecting: The Center provides opportunities for faculty to come together to reflect on their own teaching practices, to learn from their colleagues, and to talk about the challenges and opportunities related to teaching at Williams College. The Center brings faculty together around common goals, questions, challenges, readings, etc. It will also bring together faculty and staff with shared educational concerns and interests.
- Coordinating: The Center coordinates with the existing resources and programs on campus that support teaching, and serves as an administrative, physical and virtual hub for other offices that support teaching. The center also hosts special programming such as workshops, reading groups, invited speakers and panels, etc.
- Curating: The Center curates a library of scholarship, online resources, and guides related to effective, innovative, accessible and inclusive pedagogical practices for a variety of types of courses and approaches to teaching. It also circulates and promotes information about internal and external funding opportunities, prizes, workshops, conferences, etc. The Center makes these resources available on an easily searchable and accessible website.
- Consulting: The Center provides a non-judgmental and confidential environment in which faculty can seek advice, feedback, and mentorship that is not part of the formal evaluation process. Through individual consultations with faculty looking for help with specific problems and concerns, peer mentors can offer more fine-grained peer support or coaching, and help faculty develop methods for evaluating their own teaching based on their self-defined objectives. The Center can provide funding for professional development opportunities such as workshops or conferences related to teaching and pedagogy.
- Celebrating: The Center celebrates Williams faculty as teachers, mentors, and scholars, and highlights the links between teaching, learning, and scholarship. The Center hosts events that recognize and showcase faculty excellence and innovation in teaching, including college wide teaching prizes and fellowships, and other pedagogical experiments and accomplishments.