Orienting ESS Faculty

Sponsoring organizations must ensure that the faculty they select are familiar with the instructional strategies of the ESS curriculum. The instructional strategies used in this program are a departure from traditional instruction methods of presenting content on PowerPoint slides. In fact, the ESS PowerPoint slides give the faculty instructions on the topics only. The faculty member queries the participants on what they would like to learn about the topic and then offers ideas, suggestions, case examples, and solutions from their personal experiences with and knowledge of the field.

Therefore, sponsoring organizations must ensure that the faculty understand how to use the curriculum and have prepared the examples and stories—in advance—for each topic presented in the workshop. Note: We recommend that the faculty practice the entire workshop before presenting the information. In addition, a sponsoring organization should consider holding a practice session with the site coordinator and faculty before the event.

The Risks of Eliminating the Faculty Orientation

Training your faculty to teach the workshops is crucial. How do we know? Because during the pilot stage, sponsoring organizations identified several risks when they eliminated the faculty orientation. Consider the following:

  • Faculty assumed that all content was available in the PowerPoint presentation. They did not prepare their own examples and case stories to illustrate the topic on the presentation slide.
  • Faculty did not know how to use the Planning Guide. Therefore, remind the faculty to download the notes version of the presentation slides. The notes section provides the presenter with instructions including how to conduct the exercises and when to insert personal stories and case examples.
  • Faculty did not refer to handouts and supporting materials during the session.
  • Faculty skipped the exercises. The exercises are important because they help illustrate the groups’ experiences with and knowledge of a topic. By omitting the exercises, participants won’t be able to discuss and share their thoughts and ideas. 
  • Faculty ran out of time.