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Expectations of the Teaching Faculty

Faculty members at Georgia Highlands College are vital to achieving our educational mission and goals. As such, every faculty member is expected to engage in effective teaching, service to the college, and scholarship/professional development in accordance with SACSCOC, USG, and GHC policies and procedures. These standards require collegiality, inclusiveness, and professionalism.


Georgia Highlands College faculty have primary responsibility for the curriculum of the College. Each faculty member will exhibit competence in their subject, demonstrate quality teaching, create and maintain a collegial environment that promotes student learning, and participate in improvement processes and required record keeping.

Note: Faculty teaching online will also be expected to comply with the GHC Distance Education Policy on Instructor Expectations and the GHC Distance Education Standard on Instructor Expectations.

Expectation #1: Faculty will demonstrate competence and quality teaching.

Competence and quality teaching are essential to a faculty member’s duties at Georgia Highlands College. We expect each faculty member to contribute to the mission of the college by taking a learned and considered approach to teaching inside and outside of the traditional, hybrid, or virtual classroom. A substantial effort should be made to ensure teaching is high-quality and consistently improving.


  • Teach a full load in both fall and spring terms as required for the individual’s position
  • Regularly review and update course-related material including a course syllabus containing all required information
  • Provide a digital copy of the course syllabus and course objectives to all students no later than the first day of term. The course syllabus should be available to students in D2L or on a GHC faculty web page
  • Through the syllabus and other published course materials, inform students regarding the methods and criteria that will be used for student assessment, and ensure that the assessment aligns with the Student Learning Outcomes published in the syllabus
  • Objectively assess student work and be willing to correct any errors in the assessments or in the grading of the assessments, and return student assignments in a timely fashion, regularly providing useful feedback to students throughout the course
  • Model effective oral and written communication
  • Prepare effectively for each class session, presenting material in a relevant and organized manner while displaying knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject matter
  • Follow established best practices in designing, implementing, and teaching all courses

Expectation #2: Faculty will create and maintain a collegial environment that promotes student learning.

Faculty at the College should work to ensure every student has the environment and opportunity to succeed. All interactions at Georgia Highlands College conducted by a faculty member should be collegial, professional, and growth-oriented. In the classroom or library setting, it is the responsibility of the faculty member to ensure the environment is conducive to learning.


  • Demonstrate respect for views and rights of other faculty, staff, students, and administrators
  • Demonstrate collegiality and cooperation between colleagues
  • Create opportunities for students to develop their critical thinking and reasoning skills
  • Implement a variety of teaching strategies that best target diverse studentaudiences, and continually encourage student engagement
  • Regularly and punctually attend any scheduled class sessions and ensure that classes are meeting the time-frame requirements set forth by SACSCOC
  • Communicate and adhere to a clearly stated email response policy, stated in the course syllabus
  • Use technology appropriately in the classroom to enhance student-learning
  • Create an inclusive environment that facilitates student learning
  • Communicate office hours to students and to the division office, and be available to students during these hours
  • Provide academic assistance or make appropriate referrals for students in need both inside and outside the classroom and follow the established procedures of the college in regard to college-approved accommodations

Expectation #3: Faculty will participate in quality improvement processes and required record keeping.

Georgia Highlands College is a learning organization and constantly seeking to improve. It is a general expectation of all faculty to engage in these efforts. In order for the college and our students to improve, official records must be kept with care, integrity, and consideration.


  • Participate in the development, evaluation, and improvement of courses, curricula, and educational outcomes with the assistance of assessment results
  • Maintain current and accurate academic records of student performance available for viewing by the students and the instructor’s academic dean in D2L
  • Report grades and other required information to the Office of the Registrar by their scheduled deadlines
  • Keep all graded items not returned to the student at least one calendar year after course completion
  • As required by law, keep grade records/books for a minimum of five years after course completion
  • Encourage students to participate in the course evaluation process

Expectation #4: Faculty will participate in advising students.

As a college, we holistically advise students. Faculty members are expected to advise students in a way that focuses on the individuality of the student. This includes advising their personal, vocational, and educational goals while encouraging them to take charge of their own progress and success.


  • Participate in holistic advising with students in their second semester and beyond as required by the current advising model
  • Participate in Drop/Add Advising and New Student Orientations as required
  • Incorporate conversations about academic success, career goals, and graduation into student interactions


Service is an important component of faculty life at Georgia Highlands College. It is expected that each faculty member will engage in department, divisional, and full meetings of the faculty and contribute to the efficient operation of the college.

Expectation #5: Faculty will contribute to the efficient operation of the College.

Faculty members have a unique responsibility to contribute to the efficient operation of the college. To assist the college in a meaningful way, it is vital that each faculty member engages in departmental, divisional, and full faculty activities. It is expected that faculty members will seek out and accept reasonable opportunities to serve on committees, support extra/co-curricular activities, participate in institutional service, and contribute to community service.


  • Attend all required meetings, unless otherwise approved by the academic dean
  • Attend graduation, unless otherwise approved by the academic dean
  • Comply with all SACSCOC, USG, and GHC policies and procedures
  • Faculty should work with their academic dean to complete at least two of the following areas:
    • assist the Dean/Department Chair, as appropriate, in faculty searches, budget planning, school goals, required reports, etc.
    • serve on Committees of the College and/or Committees of the Faculty.
    • support college extracurricular and/or student activities.
    • engage in service-learning.
    • participate in service to the College or University System.
    • participate in community service.

Scholarship and Professional Development

Faculty members at the college are selected because they have expertise in their fields. We expect them to contribute to their scholarly discourse and our community, as well as maintain appropriate professional growth and development.

Expectation #6: Faculty will participate in continuous professional growth and development.

As an organization, the college changes over time to meet the needs of our community and shape best practices. As such, we expect all faculty to attend all mandatory professional growth and development opportunities offered.


  • Attend all mandatory professional development and trainings offered by the college, Academic Affairs, and pertinent divisions and departments, unless with prior approval of absence by the academic dean
  • Engage in new professional development opportunities
  • Maintain certifications and licensures as applies to position
  • Complete annual compliance training by the posted deadline

Expectation #7: Faculty will contribute their expertise to their scholarly discourse and our community.

The college embraces the Boyer (1997) model of scholarship. Therefore, we recognize four types of scholarly activities: discovery, or the building of new knowledge through traditional research; integration, or the interpreting the use of knowledge across disciplines; application, or aiding society and professions in addressing problems; and teaching, or studying teaching models and practices to achieve optimum learning.


  • Engage in the scholarship of discovery, integration, application, and/or teaching.
  • This may include:
    • Discovery: contributing to the knowledge base of the field by publishing in professional publications or making conference presentations.
    • Integration: researching, developing and implementing new or improved services for students.
    • Application: writing training guides, providing in-service training, or completing significant course development.
    • Teaching: developing new courses, making major revisions to existing courses, or exploring new delivery methods of instruction.