Commitment to Teaching Excellence

Among the most important factors impacting the quality of one’s educational experience is the quality of the teaching one receives. The Philosophy Department at Millikin University is unrivaled in terms of objective measures of teaching quality. For example, each member of the Philosophy Department has received the highest university-wide award for teaching excellence – the Teaching Excellence Award. This award is given to faculty members who have made a distinctive difference in classroom teaching, campus leadership, pioneering teaching methodology, creative course development, and instructional support. In addition, each member of the Philosophy Department has received the Alpha Lambda Delta Teacher of the Year Award. Given by the freshmen-sophomore honor society, this award is given to faculty members based on their ability to teach, knowledge of the subject matter, ability to present material in a clear and understandable fashion, ability to motivate students to self-discovery in learning, and for the care and concern shown to students in and out of the classroom.

Another important piece of evidence for the quality of teaching delivered by the Philosophy Department comes from our students. Student evaluations of philosophy faculty consistently place our Department among the highest (if not the highest) of any department on campus. Data from the spring 2014 and fall 2013 semesters are provided below. This data – based on a five point scale – represent Philosophy Department averages across all courses taught by all three faculty members. These results are both exceptional and typical.

Spring 2014 Student Instructional Review Data

SIR Item

Philosophy Department Means

University Means

Course Organization & Planning

4.91

 

4.34

Communication

4.93

 

4.41

Overall, Instructor

4.97

 

4.34

Overall, Course

4.94

4.17

Fall 2013 Student Instructional Review Data

SIR Item

Philosophy Department Means

University Means

Course Organization & Planning

4.79

 

4.35

Communication

4.79

 

4.42

Overall, Instructor

4.84

 

4.37

Overall, Course

4.66

4.18

 

We believe teaching excellence requires extensive and intensive engagement with our students. Accordingly, each of our faculty members teaches full-time (3-4 courses per semester, sometimes more) and teaches across the entire spectrum of course offerings – from introductory level courses to upper level courses and senior seminars. Additionally, each of our faculty members utilizes a teaching method that emphasizes student engagement with primary source material. We do this primarily by means of a discussion-driven classroom experience in conjunction with multiple writing assignments emphasizing both analysis and critical evaluation of the subject-matter under consideration. Students are required to think for themselves.

We hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Money directly by email (rmoney@millikin.edu) or phone (217-424-3804). We hope you will give serious considerations to doing philosophy with us here at Millikin University.