It's (gulp) time to start planning for Fall Semester

Way back in late May/early June, Fall semester seemed like a distant object. We were unconcerned with its position on the horizon because there were, literally, months between us and it. In the waning days of July, however, FALL SEMESTER is undeniably approaching, and it's time to get serious. As an academic myself, I have been in this position many times and each time, I wished for a more productive process for bringing everything together, on time and in place by September 1st. So much so that I eventually built a web platform to help. In 2017, I launched Prof2Prof. One of the objectives of Prof2Prof is to help make higher ed course and program planning more efficient, and to build a repository of ideas, created by academics around the world and across disciplines, for improving teaching, research, administration, and student support. Here are a few things you can do with the platform, which I hope you will check out as you inch toward the new "AY".

·     Promote your work, and your professional self.  As faculty, instructors, researchers, student affairs professionals, and administrators, we create a wide range of intellectual products.  Use Prof2Prof to showcase those things you do that don’t always get noticed on your CV.  Reports, working papers, survey instruments, administrative policies—pretty much anything you can think of that you create and are willing to share in order to generate a broader impact. As a first step, join and complete your profile. 

·     Embrace teaching as a form of scholarship.  As educators, we use our disciplinary expertise to create effective tools for the classroom (e.g., syllabi, assignments, exercises, case studies, lecture slides, and much more). Share these items on Prof2Prof, as well as discover new ideas. The more we share their innovative resources, the more we can learn from each other and enhance the quality of our courses and programs.

·     Give your network a home base.  Prof2Prof can host your academic networks, providing you with a home page for the network and the ability to promote news, events, and resources.  Campus centers, institutes, and departments can use this option to promote networking, as well as inter-disciplinary and cross-institutional networks of educators and researchers with common interests. Just email to initiate a network page.

·     Create a space for a working group or team.  Developing a grant proposal? Building a new course or program with colleagues? Mentoring a group of students?  The workspace function enables both private and open-site spaces for accomplishing such tasks. Workspaces are a combination of discussion threads and resources, organized and searchable.

·     Coming soon! The new release of Prof2Prof is out any day now, and there are exciting new features.  You will be able to activate a general public view of your Prof2Prof profile and any resources you choose, enabling use of the site as a professional landing page. A new feature will also allow you to promote your speaking topics, consulting expertise, and other forms of professional services, searchable by site members and (optionally) by the general public. 

·     And remember, it’s all free.  If you are employed by a university or college or are a doctoral student or emeritus faculty member, Prof2Prof is free to join.  What’s more to love?

So stop procrastinating, squash the dread, and dive in. Join the higher ed ecosystem that has members from 50 countries and counting, and from a broad range of disciplines and academic job titles. Help make the site the go-to place for learning from each other, and getting recognized for the full scope of the work that you do.

Image: @ mimagephotos