Professional Development

Shady Side Academy offers a wide range of professional development opportunities to its faculty and staff members. As part of SSA's mission to be a community of lifelong learners, faculty, staff and administrators are committed to enhancing their skills and staying current in their subject area knowledge in order to provide an exceptional education to students and help them prepare for lives beyond Shady Side Academy. Shady Side Academy faculty receive $350,000 annually in professional development funds.

Faculty Study Grants

These grants provide tuition reimbursement of up to $6,000 per academic year for teachers and administrators taking graduate courses for certification and/or advanced degrees. They are designed to encourage faculty and administrators to continue their professional growth and improve their effectiveness as educators.  

Summer Curriculum Grants

These grants allow teachers to develop ideas for collaborative curriculum projects during the summer.  Priority is given to projects that are substantive, project-based, focused on 21st century learning, make connections between schools and disciplines, include vertical and/or horizontal integration, further the implementation of technology in the classroom, create new courses or significantly revise existing courses.

Paul G. Benedum Teaching Fellowships

These fellowships provide funding in the range of $500-$5,000 for the purpose of strengthening professional development through an experience that leads to personal growth and enrichment, and to permit faculty members to maintain a sense of intellectual vitality and excitement about their work.

Sabbatical Leave Program

Faculty members become eligible for a sabbatical after 10 years of full-time teaching at Shady Side Academy. Faculty members on full- or half-year sabbatical leave receive full pay and benefits plus a stipend to defray the cost of travel, study or other expenses incurred while on leave.

Benedum Conference Fund (Continuing Education Grants)

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires all teachers holding PA certification to earn six graduate credits or 180 hours of in-service training every five years. Attendance at conferences and workshops can be used to satisfy the latter requirement. Through the Benedum Conference Fund, faculty and staff may receive up to $250 per year to attend such sessions.

Presidential Grants

These grants allow faculty and staff to take advantage of unique professional development opportunities for which funding could not be provided from other staff support programs. These funds are provided at the discretion of the president. Funding is limited and is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Other Programs

In addition to the above, other programs, though smaller in scope, are also available to the faculty. The school heads have at their disposal some funds to support faculty travel to conferences or to bring in guest presenters.

Current faculty and staff members wishing to learn more about these programs, their application processes and deadlines should visit the Professional Development page in the Faculty/Staff section.