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 current director was hired. In 2006, the former NSF ADVANCE program was institutionalized in the Teaching Academy, expanding support for the initiatives of ADVANCE: diversity, scholarly writing, leadership, and mentoring, as well as promotion and tenure.

Vision: The Teaching Academy enhances student success in the classroom and online and helps NMSU educators develop extraordinary teaching lives embedded in exceptional careers.

Mission: The Teaching Academy provides robust professional development in classroom and online teaching, scholarly writing, diversity, and career enhancement (leadership, mentoring, and promotion and tenure).

The Teaching Academy is member-driven and donor-supported. Each year, about 350 (550 in 2020!) NMSU educators earn a membership for participating in ten or more hours of workshops at the Teaching Academy or Digital Learning. A hundred donors provide more than 30% of the Teaching Academy’s operating budget.

The NMSU Teaching Academy has received recognition nationally or internationally a dozen times:


  • The Teaching Academy will be featured, along with other faculty development centers across the globe, in the book, The Palgrave Handbook of Academic Professional Development Centers.


  • Our director presented 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.


  • Our director presented on the member-driven, donor-supported model to Montana State University, New Mexico Highlands University, the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates, and the 66 universities in the SUNY system.


  • 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.”


  • Our director presented a keynote in Thailand on the member-driven and donor-supported model before several hundred educators at a conference sponsored by the secretary of education.


  • 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.