The Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) is a charitable organization based in the United Kingdom that has been at the forefront of accrediting (“recognizing”, in their parlance) educational development programs, both in the UK and internationally, for many years. Any program accredited by this prestigious body must demonstrate that it meets three sets of standards and values called the Professional Development Framework (PDF). As part of the recognition process, a SEDA mentor works with the program developers, acting as a sounding board, a critic, and an interrogator. The CTL experienced the benefit of this mentoring in the spring of 2009. Programs are also externally reviewed every few years by SEDA experts, thus ensuring that certificate programs continue to meet SEDA’s standards and providing a form of accountability not to be found in North America.
Many benefits accrue from SEDA recognition. With SEDA, the University of Windsor joins an international educational development network that provides advice and assistance in continually refining the Program, and opens up possibilities for inter-university collaboration. The SEDA PDF standards are internationally respected as practical, useful, and well-founded; they promote quality teaching, reward effective innovation, and enhance learning. Rather than set itself up as a policing body, the SEDA model is developmental, involving investment of significant time in mentoring and support in creating, accrediting, and periodically refining programs. Furthermore, SEDA takes seriously the need to recognize disciplinary forms of teaching and the identity of faculty as disciplinary practitioners teaching from a deeply-rooted academic perspective.
All of these benefits ultimately converge into one: SEDA accreditation provides the Program with an internationally recognized framework that is responsive, inclusive, and oriented toward the mutually consistent goals of helping faculty achieve their potential as scholarly teachers and maximizing student learning. In being recognized by SEDA, the UTC program graduates participants able to compete as university educators with peers from around the world.