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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Academic Effectiveness and Innovation

AEI partners with faculty and staff to foster continuous improvement in teaching and learning, assessment, program review, and curriculum through collaborative professional development.

Faculty and Staff Development

Our staff provide professional development opportunities for all employees, including faculty, staff, and College leadership. Annual events include New Faculty Academy, two two-day faculty in-service events, Professional Development Day during Spring semester, and various other workshops, sessions, and training opportunities you can find on our PD Calendar.

Assessment of Student Learning

Saint Paul College engages in assessment of student learning at the college-wide level, at the program level, at the course level, and at the co-curricular level. AEI provides assistance to faculty, staff and programs as they create measurable outcomes, gather evidence, and analyze and use results. We support all aspects of the assessment process through consultation and resources. We also help to integrate assessment of student learning into Program Reviews.

Curriculum and Instruction

We help Saint Paul College – everyone from individual instructors to whole departments and programs -- with all phases of instructional design: creating program and course learning outcomes, getting them approved by the Academic Affairs and Standards Council, planning courses and lessons, crafting assessments and rubrics, and incorporating innovative tools and culturally responsive teaching techniques. No matter the mode of instruction – face-to-face, online, or hybrid – AEI can help you do what you do best, better.

Program Review

Every program at Saint Paul College participates in the Program Review process with a thorough comprehensive review every three years and progress-check annual reviews in the years between. The Program Review includes a wide variety of data including enrollment, course success, retention, graduate outcomes, assessment of student learning, and equity measures that allow faulty in the program to describe the state of their program and to analyze trends and discuss options for improving. The Program Review also documents changes to curriculum, instruction, and development. AEI provides support and guidance through the process.

Continuous Quality Improvement

Central to all AEI’s work with faculty and staff across the College, we strive to foster a culture of ongoing reflection and growth. Change in higher education is common, but not always easy to embrace. Our goal is to make change sustainable, intentional, and meaningful to the evolving needs of our community. Through professional development and data-informed consultations, we support individuals and teams as they engage in annual and iterative processes to improve the outcomes of their work.

The Academic Effectiveness
and Innovation Team

Dianne Gregory
As Dean of Academic Effectiveness and Innovation, Dianne provides vision and leadership for a comprehensive model of assessment of student learning, curriculum, and faculty and staff development. She also supervises and directs the Saint Paul College Library. Prior to coming to Saint Paul College in 2020, Dianne worked as English faculty, instructional design manager, and writer and editor.

Dianne leads faculty in-service events, professional development days for faculty and staff, new faculty orientation, New Faculty Academy, and a variety of other events and programming at the College. She is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and an IDI Certified Administrator, serves on several committees and workgroups, and co-leads the Equity by Design initiative at Saint Paul College.

Dianne is passionate about collaborating with faculty, staff, and College leadership to enhance the student experience and working to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. She can be reached at

Thomas Bruflat
Prior to joining Saint Paul College in April 2017 as a Health Sciences Pathway Advisor, Tom had worked in higher education since 2008 in a wide array of student facing roles in both Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. He has experience managing and leading programming in areas of recruitment, admissions, orientation, residence life, advising, tutoring, accessibility services, financial and academic appeals, behavioral intervention teams, assessment, and teaching academic and career planning courses.

In his current role as Director of Staff Development and Co-Curricular Assessment, Tom consults with teams and individuals across the College regarding staff professional development and student learning assessment needs, resources and initiatives. Tom is passionate about celebrating and recognizing the expertise and commitment that staff and faculty share as educator.

James Smrikarov
James has a deep background in teaching English as a Foreign Language both domestically and overseas and joined Saint Paul College in 2018 as an Instructional Designer. He loves working with faculty to help them improve their teaching or course design, adopt new technologies or culturally responsive techniques, and become Quality Matters certified and is available for 1-on-1 consultations or group training.

James leads Faculty Focus Fridays, Quality Matters programming, the Saint Paul Online Teaching course, and co-leads the Equity by Design cohort. He also organizes a monthly Tea Time social gathering for all faculty and staff, and is part of the Fun Squad, a social activity planning group at the college.

Christopher Gaalaas
Christopher has education and experience in curriculum and instruction, mathematics, and mathematics education. With 15 years of experience as a mathematics faculty member and 4 years as a high school teacher he brings a faculty perspective to his work as the curriculum and assessment coordinator. He provides support and guidance in the process and interpretation of assessing student learning. He can help with assessment plans, program review, program modifications, and curricular changes.

Christopher is involved in the Academic Affairs and Standards Council, the Assessment of Student Learning Committee, the Equity by Design team, and the Operational Effectiveness Committee. His specialty is in interpreting data and helping faculty to ask questions and draw conclusions. Whether it is technical or theoretical, advanced or basic, he is here to help.

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