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Invited Speaker:  Claire Major, Ph.D.


Claire Howell Major is a Professor of Higher Education and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology Studies at the University of Alabama. Early in her career, she taught more than forty sections of English, including developmental studies, freshman composition, and sophomore literature. During this time she worked at two-year institutions; including a two-year historically black college, a two-year technical institution, and a large urban community college; and four-year institutions, including a comprehensive university and a large research university. After completing her Ph.D., she worked as director of a center for teaching at a small private four-year religious institution. Now at the University of Alabama, she teaches masters and doctoral level courses in the Higher Education Administration program. She also conducts research on pedagogical approaches and student engagement. She has authored and co-authored several books, including Learning Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty (with Elizabeth Barkley), Online learning: A guide to theory, research, and practiceTeaching for Learning (with Michael Harris and Todd Zakrajsek), and Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty (with Elizabeth Barkley and Pat Cross).

Claire Major is also a founder and managing member of Faculty2Faculty. Faculty2Faculty provides professional development services for college and university faculty. 

Prior to and during her doctoral work, Dr. Major taught developmental English, freshman writing, and sophomore literature. She began her post-doctoral career working in faculty development as director of a teaching center focused on problem-based learning at Samford University. She soon took a position as a professor of Higher Education Administration at the University of Alabama, where in addition to her roles in teaching, research, and services, she has served as a program coordinator for the Higher Education Administration program, a special assistant to the provost for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) on reaccreditation work, and as a teaching and research consultant for the College of Community Health Services. She has founded a number of educational programs, including the Alabama Community College Leadership Academy, the Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration, and the Graduate Certificate for College and University Teaching. Claire holds a B.A. in English Literature from University of South Alabama, an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Georgia.

Claire will be delivering our opening plenary session then offering workshops on student engagement and assessment.