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Thomas More University receives grant funding to create new professional learning community

Thomas More University has received grant funding through the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), which allows the University to create a professional learning community comprised of eight faculty and staff, and a team of four leaders.

The work of this group will have a major impact on Thomas More students as they explore how vocation, community, and student success can be defined and implemented across campus.

Thomas More University receives grant funding for professional development that will have a direct impact on student success. (Photo fro TMU)

NetVUE, an initiative administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), is a nationwide network of colleges and universities formed to enrich exploration of vocation among undergraduate students. The NetVUE professional development award is for use over one full academic year to support professional development activities that strengthen vocational exploration and discernment programming for students.

Thomas More University has several initiatives underway as a result of implementation of the 2021-26 Strategic Plan – Lighting the Way. These initiatives include revising the core curriculum, restructuring advising, and developing a more robust first-year student experience.

“Because of these initiatives now is an excellent time to explicitly embed vocation and calling into the school culture,” said program lead Kim Haverkos, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Thomas More challenges students of all faiths to examine the ultimate meaning of life, their place in the world, and their responsibility to others. This grant funding is a natural extension of that work, allowing intentional integration of vocation and calling into University programs.

“The professional development funded through the NetVUE grant will move forward initiatives from our Strategic Plan, Lighting the Way, through shifting and sustaining the ways that our mission is lived out on campus,” said Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D. “This project will enable our faculty and staff to enhance their knowledge and skills needed to guide our students in understanding their place in the world and their responsibility to others.”

The professional learning community begins this month, meeting a total of 15 times throughout the academic year. Each participant of the program will develop a deliverable that incorporates an aspect of vocation, community, and student success into course programming to be implemented in the 2023-24 academic year. An assessment has been created to measure the effectiveness of this implementation on student engagement. Participation will be strategic and ongoing, with the leadership team working to embed professional development into the culture of Thomas More faculty and staff.

“We must all be invested in the success of our students,” says Haverkos. “The whole student experience is impacted by the deliverables of this project.”

For more information about Thomas More University, visit www.thomasmore.edu.

Thomas More University

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