The U.S. Professors of the Year Award Program was created in 1981 to increase awareness of the importance of undergraduate instruction at all types of higher education institutions. The program recognizes faculty members for their achievement as undergraduate professors.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) began the Professors of the Year program with the Carnegie Foundation hosting the final round of judging. The Carnegie Foundation sponsors the cash award given to U.S. national winners.
The State Professors of the Year Award Program selects outstanding educators in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, provided there are winning entries. Winners receive personalized award certificates and receive national and local media recognition.
Both national and state winners are chosen on the basis of their extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching, determined by excellence in the following four areas: impact on and involvement with undergraduate students; scholarly approach to teaching and learning; contributions to undergraduate education in the institution, community and profession; and support from colleagues and current and former undergraduate students.