4C Quality Faculty Model

The 4C Quality Faculty Model describes the four core qualities of a high quality faculty member related to their subject matter, their students, the institution, and the classroom environment itself. Each of the 4 Qualities is further described using 3 characteristics, producing a list of 12 concrete but universally applicable behaviors or attitudes.

The 4CQ Model attempts to describe the broader “universe” of what a faculty member does as a teacher in a classroom and their larger role within the institution. Although we developed this model primarily with adjunct faculty in mind, the general qualities and categories here can apply to traditional college faculty as well.

The concepts and visuals here represent a mental model, a tool described by Peter Seng (The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization) as a conceptual framework of generalizations and assumptions about a big idea that allows you to both understand the whole of that big idea and how to take specific, meaningful action within it. In this case, our “big idea” for our mental model is teaching adults in a higher education setting. The 4CQ model is our framework for understanding and taking action.

Or, put more simply, we want to be able to get our heads around what it means to be good faculty; and, at the same time, to really figure out to sink our teeth into the nuts and bolts of doing it better.

We have 4 key goals in mind as we are developing and introducing this model:

  1. Provide a consistent and standard definition of what the role and expectations of a faculty member are for us.
  2. Define those expectations in such a way that they empower an individual faculty member to personalize, contextualize, and teach to their strengths, thus avoiding a “one-size-fits-all” set of requirements.
  3. Create a tool that lets both faculty and the institution clarify the big picture of what faculty do and facilitate a detailed plan of how to get there.
  4. Produce a tool that can be a thread running from the initial faculty training, through ongoing faculty development, all the way to faculty evaluation. We use this framework to train, to help determine professional development topics, and as the basis for assessing faculty performance.

The 4 Qualities


4CQ-CompetenceFaculty understands their subject, students, and classroom. Adds depth & breadth to student learning beyond the course materials or prepared content. Demonstrates expertise in subject matter, lifelong learning, good teaching, and technology skills. Models passion for teaching and learning subject matter. Focus is on continually mastering their own skills and knowledge. Faculty demonstrate subject expertise, technological, and methodological competence.


4CQ-CaringFaculty is compassionate and concerned for life issues or circumstances, learning goals, and academic performance of students. Sensitive to needs of learners and able to be flexible in dealing with timelines, performance, and conflict. Values students as people beyond the coursework. Focus is on the end result of the student’s growth as a whole person. Faculty demonstrate caring for student needs, academic performance, and spiritual life.


4CQ-CommitmentFaculty demonstrates commitment to mission of the university and to helping students grow academically and spiritually within a robust biblical worldview. Upholds program policies and best practices while demonstrating initiative & creativity in the teaching vocation. Focus is on the profession of teaching as a calling for the transformation of lives. Faculty demonstrate a commitment to mission priority, creative initiative, and institutional processes.


Faculty meaningfully engages with students and is noticeably connected to all aspects of the classroom experience. Provides useful feedback & direction, challenges & motivates students, and manages classroom issues through timely and personal communication. Faculty’s personality, passions, and unique skillset comes through. Focus is on the relationships with students and colleagues. Faculty demonstrate connection through active engagement, a personalized classroom, and mentor modeling.

One thought on “4C Quality Faculty Model”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>