Teaching Excellence Award Guidelines


All full-time faculty with a minimum of four years of continuous employment at a Nebraska State College and teaching a minimum of 15 credit hours during the academic year shall be considered eligible for nomination for the Nebraska State College System Teaching Excellence Award. Previous award recipients are eligible to apply if they received the award no later than 2012. 


    A faculty member considered for the award shall demonstrate superior ability in most, if not all, of the criteria listed below in no particular order. Of paramount consideration in any analysis of teaching excellence is the willingness of the teacher to undertake those activities which will enhance and expand the learning experience for the students.

    1. An active and positive record of service to students as an academic, professional, or personal advisor. Inherent in this role is the assumption that the nominee is readily and willingly available to students for advice and guidance.
    2. Active involvement in faculty development programs (such as research, continuing study, self-initiated study, academic short courses, etc.), and successful application of the knowledge and skills in his/her teaching.
    3. Development of innovative course offerings or programs of study providing enhanced educational opportunities for students within or outside of the classroom. These courses or programs should be of a high level of professional quality.
    4. Development of innovative teaching techniques and regular application of these techniques in the classroom.
    5. Development of strategies to enhance, strengthen and encourage student engagement in the learning process.
    6. Demonstration of sensitivity to and respect for student inquiry and discussion, both in and out of the classroom.
    7. Presentation of course materials in an interesting, stimulating, and scholarly manner.
    8. Presentation of pertinent, timely, and reliable knowledge relative to the coursework, as well as the relationships between and across related areas of study.

    Nominating and Application Procedures

    1. A faculty member may be nominated for the award by other faculty members, students, alumni or academic administrators. A faculty member may not be nominated by a relative, spouse, or significant other, or place his/her own name in for nomination.

    2. Nomination forms and procedures are available through the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at each college. Dissemination of information relative to the award, including all deadlines, will be undertaken by the academic vice president.

    3. All nomination forms must be turned in to the Office of the Vice President or a designee by Monday, September 30, 2019. Nominees will be notified of their nomination, the source, and the criteria to be met for the award by Monday, October 7, 2019.

    4. It is the responsibility of the nominee to complete the application process by providing supporting materials upon notification from the academic vice president. The completed application, including those supporting materials, must be submitted to the academic vice president by Monday, November 4, 2019.

    5. All applications should include the following materials:

      1. An original nomination form.

      2.  A 1-2 page resume or vita that provides a concise summary of education, teaching experience, teaching awards, publications, service and other significant contributions.  You may summarize this information using a biographical format. Focus on teaching; include the names of publications, articles, or books, but summarize the rest.  Only the first two pages of a longer submission will be considered.

      3. A personal statement of no more than 1,000 words that provides a clear picture of the faculty member’s work with students and his/her scholarly approach to teaching and learning, based on the criteria established for the award.

      4. Three to four letters of support (one to two pages each) as follows:  

        1. One letter must be from the individual who nominated the faculty member.

        2. One to two letters from campus colleagues, such as faculty peers, department chairs, or academic deans.

        3. One letter from a former student.

    6. The VPAA will then forward the application to the Campus Review Committee, to be determined by the college president and academic vice president, by Monday, November 25, 2019. The Campus Review Committee will review the applications and comment on each, relative to the candidates’ qualifications for the award. They will rank the candidates and recommend one as the nominee from the college. The applications of all candidates will be forwarded to the VPAA for review and comment by Monday, January 20, 2020.

    7. Upon receipt of all complete applications from the Campus Review Committee, the vice president will review all applications and comment on each, relative to the candidates’ qualifications for the award.

    8. Upon completion of the review process, the VPAA will forward to the president of the college all applications of qualifying faculty by Monday, February 3, 2020. The president will undertake a final review of the applications and submit one candidate from the college to the System Office for forwarding to the Academic and Personnel Committee of the board. Should the academic vice president and/or president not concur with the college committee, the recommendation will be returned to the committee for reconsideration. Each applicant will be formally notified of the status of his/her nomination following the president’s review. 

    9. Each president will submit the nominee’s name and materials to the System Office for review by the Academic and Personnel Committee by Monday, February 17, 2020. The Academics & Personnel Committee will make the final selection of the award recipient on Thursday, April 23, 2020, and that individual’s name will be forwarded to the board for announcement and approval at the meeting held on Friday, April 24, 2020. 

    10. The recipient of the NSCS Teaching Excellence Award will be formally announced by the NSCS on Monday, April 27, 2020, via a press release from the System Office.

    11. The recipient will be recognized at his/her college’s Spring Commencement Ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, May 9, 2020, as both the college-level and NSCS system-level award recipient for the year.  At this time the stipend check from the Foundation Office will be presented by the representative NSCS Board member.

    12. The NSCS Teaching Excellence Award recipient will be formally recognized by the Chair of the Academic & Personnel Committee of the NSCS Board of Trustees and receive a commemorative gift during the next Board meeting held at his/her college.   

    Format for Submissions

    While the criteria for the Teaching Excellence Award are the most important ingredients measured by various reviewing groups, the physical format of the submission is important so it does not detract from the examination of the material.

    Submissions are requested to be scanned and submitted electronically as a PDF document.  Please ensure that the scanned representation of each page is clear and all pages are aligned.

    Please arrange your materials in the following order:

    1. Cover page with 2020 Teaching Excellence Award at the top and the nominee’s name.
    2. Nomination form.
    3. 1-2 page resume or vita.
    4. Personal statement on teaching excellence as it relates to the criteria of the award.  Evidence in both discipline and pedagogy should be stressed.  Please note that this statement is limited to 1,000 words.
    5. Primary nominator’s letter of support (1-2 pages in length).
    6. Additional letters of support (at least two but no more than three letters, each 1-2 pages in length).  

    Quick Links for TEA Award

    Award Timeline

    Monday, September 30, 2019  

    Nomination forms due to vice president for academic affairs

    Monday, October 7, 2019

    Nominees notified of the nomination

    Monday, November 4, 2019

    Nominees submit completed applications to vice president for academic affairs

    Monday, November 25, 2019

    Vice president forwards applications to the Campus Review Committee for review and recommendation for ranking

    Monday, January 20, 2020

    Campus Review Committee forwards applications with recommendation for ranking to vice president for academic affairs

    Monday, February 3, 2020      

    Vice president’s recommendation due to the president

    Monday, February 17, 2020    

    One nomination packet from each campus submitted to the System Office for review by the Academic and Personnel Committee

    Thursday, April 23, 2020

    Academics & Personnel Committee selects NSCS award recipient; VC for Academic Planning & Partnerships 
    notifies NSCS Presidents of results

    Friday,  April 24, 2020    

    Committee recommendation with name of individual included is submitted to full board for vote

    Monday, April 27, 2020   

    Press release recognizing all three nominees and the  recipient of the award for 2020

    Saturday,  May 9, 2020

    Award recipient recognized by his/her college during Spring Commencement Ceremony


    Award recipient recognized by the NSCS Board during its next meeting held at the faculty member’s home institution