Learning Communities & Book Groups

All learning communities and book groups will be offered on Zoom unless otherwise noted. *


The Missing Course: Everything They Never Taught You About College Teaching Book Group

Dates: Fridays (Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4 & 11)
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Facilitators: Patty Kohler, Kari Naylor, Catherine Miller

“College is changing, but the way we train academics is not. Most professors are taught to be researchers first and teachers a distant second, even as scholars are increasingly expected to excel in the classroom. There has been a revolution in teaching and learning over the past generation, and we now have a whole new understanding of how the brain works and how students learn. The Missing Course offers a field guide to the state-of-the-art in teaching and learning and is packed with insights to help students learn in any discipline. Wary of the folk wisdom of the faculty lounge, David Gooblar builds his lessons on the newest findings and years of experience. From active-learning strategies to ways of designing courses to get students talking, The Missing Course walks you through the fundamentals of the student-centered classroom, one in which the measure of success is not how well you lecture but how much your students actually learn.” (from the Amazon description) 


Not Light, But Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom Book Group

Dates: Tuesdays (Feb. 8 & 22, March 8 & 29, April 12 & 26)
Time: x-period (1:40 p.m.)
Facilitators: Debra Burris and Adriian Gardner

“Do you feel prepared to initiate and facilitate meaningful, productive dialogues about race in your classroom? Are you looking for practical strategies to engage with your students? Inspired by Frederick Douglass’s abolitionist call to action, ‘it is not light that is needed, but fire,’ Kay has spent his career learning how to lead students through the most difficult race conversations. Kay not only makes the case that classrooms are one of the best places to have those conversations, but he also offers a method for getting them right.” (from the book’s back cover).


What Happened to You?  Women’s Book Group

Dates: Tuesdays (Feb. 1 & 15, March 1 & 15, April 5 & 19)
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Sandie Nadelson

Ever feel confused about why students can’t seem to get themselves together and be successful? According to Oprah and neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Perry, the causes may be early deep emotional and physical traumas that have left them distracted, feeling isolated, and unable to function at their fullest. This and other topics are covered in the book, What Happened to You? In this book group, we will discuss not only the causes of trauma but ways to help through empathy, community, and understanding. The discussions will give you important insights and skills to help students that may seem lost or hopeless. 


The Coddling of the American Mind Book Group

Dates: Tuesdays (Feb. 1 & 15, March 1, 15, 29, April 12)
Time: 2:45 p.m.
Location: Torreyson Library 215
Facilitators: Charlotte Strickland, University Training, and Vicki Parish, CETAL

Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising—on campus as well as nationally. How did this happen?

First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to promote the spread of these untruths. This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines. (adopted from the book description) 


Women in Academic Leadership Learning Community (WALL-C)

Dates: First Friday of each month (Feb. 4, March 4, April 1)
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.

The WALL community exists to support and empower female leaders at UCA. Leadership is defined by role and not by position; therefore, women in all roles and positions are eligible to participate. WALL-C participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch or purchase lunch in the cafeteria. Scheduled order of topics include:

The Power and Necessity of Female Friendships *Rescheduled*

The Myth of Balance (Hint: We Need Boundaries, Not Balance)

Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength and Wisdom

Participants may attend one or all sessions.


Building Antiracist White Educators (BARWE)

Dates: Wednesdays (Feb. 16, March 16, April 20)
Time: 12:00-12:50 p.m.
Facilitator: Donna Wake

BARWE is a model that centers the thought that white educators must participate in the dismantling of white supremacy in school spaces. This work is not solely the responsibility of Black, Brown, and Indigenous educators. White teachers must engage in collective action to consistently study and reflect on our identity and place within systems and communities. Through this work, we can participate in ongoing work of building anti-racist systems that support the social, emotional, and academic well-being of our students and of our colleagues. This reading and inquiry series meets once a month and centers content for learning, introspection, and action. 


Executive Functioning Skills Reading Group

Dates: Wednesdays (Feb. 9 and 23, March 9, April 6 and 20)
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Facilitators: Taine Duncan and Amy Hawkins

Can’t decide between all the amazing programming CETAL has to offer this spring for faculty? It may be because there is just so much incredible programming, or it may be because the pandemic has increased our awareness of what is sometimes called “decision fatigue” or “executive function.” In this series, we will work through a variety of sources on the latest pedagogical, psychological, philosophical, and scientific research on how a focus on executive functioning skills may help students and faculty as we work together to become our best selves while navigating an endemic. Each week we will focus on one area of executive function research, scaffolding into specific classroom skills and strategies. 


Teaching & Learning in STEM

Dates: Wednesdays (Feb. 16, March 2 & 16, April 6 & 20)
Time: 12:00-12:50 p.m.
Location: Executive Dining Room (Christian Cafeteria)
Ashley Beyerl

STEM disciplines face unique challenges in the fields of teaching and learning. This year-long learning community will serve as a meeting place for anyone interested in improving, exploring, and growing as professionals. We will meet twice a month for lunch and discussion on a variety of topics from best practices, to technology, to interdisciplinary and interdepartmental approaches for teaching and beyond! 



New Faculty Teaching Academy

Dates: Mondays
Time: 2:00-3:15 p.m.
Facilitator: Amy Hawkins and Faculty Leadership Team

As a learning community specifically tailored for the unique needs of and demands on first- and second-year faculty, this group will meet twice a month with a semi-structured curriculum to equip new faculty in their areas of felt needs related to teaching at UCA. Each session offers a workshop and discussion group format. Note: This is an ongoing learning community. Registration is closed.

Early Career Coaching Circle

Dates: Tuesdays
Time: 3:00-4:15 p.m.
Facilitator: Amy Hawkins and Faculty Leadership Team

This is a learning community with a semi-structured discussion format for faculty in their second year through their fifth year. This group will meet twice a month throughout the academic year to support each other in the development of individualized plans to set and achieve goals in the areas of teaching, scholarship & creative activity, and service. Note: This is an ongoing learning community. Registration is closed.


Mid-Career Coaching Circle

Dates: Thursdays
Time: 1:30-2:45 p.m.
Facilitator: Amy Hawkins and Faculty Leadership Team

This is a learning community with a semi-structured discussion format for faculty in their sixth year and beyond. This group will meet twice a month throughout the academic year to support each other in the development of individualized plans to set and achieve goals in the areas of leadership, teaching, scholarship & creative activity, and service. Note: This is an ongoing learning community. Registration is closed.