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News . Feature Stories . CIA to launch teaching and learning center

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March 28, 2022

CIA to launch teaching and learning center

By Michael C. Butz

The Jane B. Nord Center for Teaching + Learning will open in 2022–23 thanks to an establishing gift from arts enthusiast Jane B. Nord and generous supporting gifts from CIA Board members Fran Belkin and Laura Ospanik ’80.

The center will serve as a resource hub and incubator to advance faculty members’ skills in teaching, instructional design, learning assessment and whole student support, and it will bolster the College’s ongoing efforts to ensure its curriculum and teaching methodology are inclusive, socially responsible and continuously improved.

“We are thrilled to play a role in elevating the educational development field and empowering our faculty success,” says Kathryn Heidemann, CIA’s Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs + Chief Operating Officer. “We believe that teaching should be transformational for both the teacher and the learner, and the Jane B. Nord Center for Teaching + Learning will strengthen the faculty’s toolkits, boost their confidence and meet their evolving needs as integral members of our learning community.”

Mrs. Nord has long supported arts and education in Northeast Ohio, both as an individual philanthropist and with her late husband Eric. Mrs. Nord herself earned a master’s degree in art education from Case Western Reserve University, and she’s been a catalyst in that field through her support of scholarship funds for arts education, teaching innovation and faculty development.

“The students at CIA deserve the best possible educational experience,” Mrs. Nord says. “I hope that the Jane B. Nord Center for Teaching + Learning will be a key resource for the faculty to continuously improve their skills and innovate teaching approaches in order to maximize the potential of all students.”

Half of Mrs. Nord’s gift will establish the Jane B. Nord Center for Teaching + Learning, defraying a large part of the expenses for the first five years of its operation. The other half will establish an endowment to support the operational costs of the center in the future, such as the director’s salary, programming expenses, training and development, conference sponsorship, teaching innovation fellowships, library resource acquisitions and other logistical costs associated with program delivery.

“Mrs. Nord is a visionary leader and champion of arts education, and we at CIA are grateful for her generosity,” says Heidemann, who will succed Grafton Nunes as CIA’s next president and CEO on July 1. “Her support of this center serves as a critical investment in fostering a flourishing community of teaching and learning and faculty success, which in turn, will lead to student success.”

Belkin and Ospanik recognize the importance of a strong and well-trained faculty for CIA’s future, saying, “As longtime CIA Board members, we wanted to show our appreciation and support for the faculty with this gift.”

Heidemann applauded their generosity. “Fran and Laura’s support of the Jane B. Nord Center for Teaching + Learning will be integral to its success. I’m certain I speak on behalf of all faculty when I thank them for their thoughtful and exemplary leadership in this effort,” she says. “As longtime Board members, their gift is a testament to the Board’s dedication and commitment to faculty and student success.”

The Jane B. Nord Center for Teaching + Learning’s focus areas will include IDeATE: Instructional Design and support for curricular delivery and refinement; Assessment and support of evaluation of student learning outcomes; Technology tools to support teaching, engagement and course management; and Equity, diversity and accessibility resources to bolster whole student support and inclusive teaching strategies.

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