A small nonprofit private college with limited resources and a high proportion of junior faculty developed a nontraditional external faculty mentor program in the summer of 2011 in response to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) faculty survey data regarding the professional development needs of pharmacy faculty members. Experienced faculty members with national reputations from other colleges and schools of pharmacy were hired as consultants to serve as mentors for assigned faculty members. Program goals were to provide directed, individual mentorship for pharmacy practice and basic science faculty members, expand peer review of faculty teaching prowess, and enhance monthly faculty development programming. The latter was based upon the specific needs assessment of the faculty. Program outcomes reported will include faculty satisfaction (AACP faculty survey data) changes over time, achievement of board certification for clinical faculty members and other credentialing, and other benchmarks, eg, publications, grant funding, service engagement (site development, professional organizations), after the implementation of the nontraditional faculty-mentoring program.
Those involved in providing faculty development may be among only a few individuals for whom faculty development is an interest and priority within their work setting. Furthermore, funding to support faculty development is limited. In 2010, an interprofessional, self-formed, faculty learning community on faculty development in teaching was established to promote collaboration on faculty development initiatives that have transference to faculty members across disciplines and to share expertise and resources for wider impact. The organic structure and processes of the faculty learning community created an environment that has not only resulted in an increased offering of faculty development opportunities and resources across the health science campus, but has created a rich environment that combines the knowledge, innovation, and experience to promote collaborative efforts that benefit all. The background, structure, processes, successes, and lessons learned of the interprofessional faculty learning community on faculty development in teaching are described.