Teaching Academy Overview

The Teaching Academy was established in January 2003 when the former Center for Educational Development (1980–2002) was redesigned and expanded–and the founding director was hired. In 2006, the former NSF ADVANCE program was institutionalized in the Teaching Academy, expanding support for leadership, mentoring and diversity.

The NMSU Teaching Academy supports Vision 2020 by seeking to improve student learning by providing professional development to NMSU educators in teaching, mentoring, and leadership. The Academy helps NMSU educators develop extraordinary teaching lives embedded in exceptional careers.

The Teaching Academy is an organization that is member driven and donor supported. Each year, more than 300 NMSU educators earn an annual membership for participating in 10 or more hours of workshops or by presenting a workshop. Each year, more than 100 donors provide almost 40% of the Teaching Academy’s operating budget.

The NMSU Teaching Academy has received national and international recognition 13 times in as many years:


  • Our director was invited to present a plenary at Frontiers in Education, an international engineering education group, on building a teaching academy at your university: what a faculty member or administrator can do.


  • Engineering education experts, Richard Felder and Rebecca Brent, referred to the NMSU Teaching Academy as the place where “Tara Gray has created the most extensive and widely attended faculty development program we have seen” (Chemical Engineering Education, Winter 2013, 47(1), p. 25).
  • The Teaching Academy membership program was one of three model programs selected internationally to be featured at an AAC&U summer institute by Dee Fink, former president of POD Network (the national faculty development organization).



  • Six NMSU faculty members who participated in the Teaching Portfolios Workshop at the Teaching Academy had their portfolios included in the book, The Teaching Portfolio by Peter Seldin, Elizabeth Miller and Clement Seldin.
  • The Teaching Academy fund-raising program was selected by POD Network, the national faculty development organization, as a finalist for their Innovation Award.


  • Director Tara Gray was invited to present on the Academy and the Academy’s fund-raising efforts to Montana State University, New Mexico Highlands University, the 66 universities in the SUNY system, and Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates.


  • The Teaching Academy membership program was selected by POD Network, the national faculty development organization, as a finalist for their Innovation Award.
  • The peer reviewers from the Higher Learning Commission told the Academy staff and the Academy Advisory Board that the Teaching Academy was “the best thing since sliced bread.”


  • Director Tara Gray was invited to speak on the Teaching Academy model before several hundred educators in Thailand.


  • The Teaching Academy was one of two teaching centers selected nationally for a visit from eight Thai delegates interested in founding similar centers in Thailand.
  • The Teaching Academy was singled out for praise by Dee Fink in his presidential address at POD Network, the national faculty development organization.