University of Mobile Launches Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning

Kathy Dean Education, News

MOBILE, Ala. –The new Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning at University of Mobile aims to improve the academic success of students by investing in the professional development of faculty.

The center will provide professional development workshops and support services that encourage collaboration and innovation among the university’s teaching community. It is part of UM’s goal of continually improving the overall learning experience for students at the Christ-centered university, according to co-directors Cynthia Erickson, EdD, and Karen Dennis, PhD.

Cynthia Erickson, EdD

“We hope to encourage reflection of teaching approaches, experiment with new classroom formats, and support innovative teaching and research initiatives,” said Erickson, assistant professor of education and special education specialist in the School of Education.

Dennis, assistant professor of education and reading specialist, said the program’s theme for its first year, “Together We Are Better,” emphasizes a collaborative approach across academic areas that can spark creativity and result in more effective methods for teaching and learning.

Karen Dennis, PhD.

“Encouraging collaboration and sharing of innovative ideas among faculty includes supporting cross-disciplinary conversations about research ideas, teaching, and learning strategies,” Dennis said.

The center will offer programs to support new faculty as they grow in their profession, and provide all faculty with ongoing learning opportunities including the latest research-based best practices for higher education.

In addition to providing one-on-one mentoring and consultation with teaching coaches and peer mentors, it will offer resources on teaching, learning and assessment. Future plans include offering the center’s services beyond the university’s faculty to alumni who are in the teaching profession.

Erickson teaches courses in special education, professional development and education psychology in the UM School of Education. She has over 27 years of experience in the K-12 setting where she was a special education teacher, teaching in a variety of fields from specific learning disabilities to gifted education. She is a nationally trained scorer for the edTPA, a performance-based teacher evaluation.

Dennis teaches early childhood and elementary education courses in the UM School of Education. She draws from her 21 years of experience as an elementary classroom teacher and reading coach.

For more information about the Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning at University of Mobile, visit or contact the co-directors at cerickson@umobile.eduor


About University of Mobile

University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in over 90 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author
Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean

Kathy is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist with a strong background in strategic communications, feature writing/story-telling, copywriting and editing. She serves as assistant vice president for university communications. Kathy joined the University of Mobile marketing/public relations staff in 1993 and has earned awards for writing, public relations and advertising, including twice receiving the grand prize for feature writing from the Baptist Communicators Association. She serves on the board of the John M. Will Scholarship Foundation, awarding scholarships to promising student journalists; and is a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, Baptist Communicators Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Kathy lives in Daphne with her husband, Chuck, who earned his M.B.A. from University of Mobile. They have two children and two grandchildren.