Published: Sept. 30, 2019

The new Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is operational and entering a period of transformation and growth, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Assessment Katherine Eggert announced today.

The center will provide increased visibility for all pedagogical efforts and events occurring across campus and will offer new programs and opportunities of its own. 

“There are many outstanding offerings on campus already that support the development of faculty and graduate students as teachers and educators,” Eggert said. “The CTL will serve as a networked hub for all of those efforts, mapping them together as an integrated, comprehensive network of resources for all CU Boulder instructors. It will also be a center for new and innovative offerings that have not previously been available to all who teach.”

One of the first key actions in achieving that integration is combining the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program and the Graduate Teacher Program into a unified set of efforts under CTL.

“Combining the programming, pedagogical and institutional expertise of these two outstanding programs under one roof positions the CTL to get to work quickly in assisting our faculty and graduate students at all levels in their teaching and educational practice,” said Kirk Ambrose,  director of CTL. 

Ambrose said that for the current academic year, the center will continue offering all services previously offered by the two programs while continuing to solicit input, including through an advisory board of faculty, staff and graduate students, on the center’s future trajectory. 

“The advisory board convenes this week,” Ambrose said.

“They will be spending a lot of time thinking about how the center can more effectively serve the campus community, as well as looking for ways to engage faculty, graduate students and staff.”

Ambrose added that anyone with ideas or input is strongly encouraged to reach out to him.

Instructional support offerings

Ambrose said that while the faculty advisory board will spend the current academic year exploring how to deliver instructional support resources in the future, the CTL will build on work with campus stakeholders to focus on key programmatic offerings:

  • Professional development for faculty and graduate students: Building on the efforts of FTEP and GTP, the CTL will create a comprehensive supportive network of activities that develop, promote and extend educational excellence in our faculty and graduate students.
  • Inclusive pedagogy: The university is committed to inclusion and increasing support of a diverse student body, starting in the classroom. Inclusive pedagogy is integral to this mission, and the CTL will provide critical training and support for all CU Boulder faculty and graduate students in this arena.
  • Building assessment capacity for faculty and departments: Teaching excellence requires an ability to assess what works in teaching. CTL will help faculty and departments develop research-based assessment practices that lead to improved teaching and learning.
  • Developing and supporting CU Boulder’s teaching community of practice: The university has an extensive suite of programs and efforts that support teaching excellence. The CTL will serve as a hub for this community, promoting best practices, communicating opportunities and encouraging collaboration.
  • Supporting faculty who teach in the online environment: Working with the emerging online and distance education program, CTL will serve as the center for educators’ professional development in the pedagogy and technology required for online and distance education. 

A culmination of campus initiatives

Provost Russell Moore says that he is gratified to see progress on this initiative that was called for by multiple academic communities on campus.

“CU Boulder has recognized for a long time that we would benefit from an integrated approach to improving our teaching practice and supporting our community of educators,” Moore said.

“A number of campus initiatives involving faculty, staff and students have called for this center in some way or other, including the Academic Futures 2018 Report, the Foundations of Excellence initiative, the IDEA Plan and the 2018 Academic Review and Planning Advisory Committee (ARPAC) report on campus teaching and learning programs.”

Exploring and growing in 2019-20

Ambrose says that while the faculty advisory council still has a lot of work to do to map out how all of these instructional support resources will be delivered, he expects to fill a number of new roles to support the center in the coming year, including an inclusive pedagogy lead, an assessment professional, professional development experts and an event coordinator/marketing professional. Ambrose further anticipates that in the fall of 2020, the center’s current office in the CASE Building will likewise include spaces for campus educators to collaborate. 

“We have arrived at a historic moment with the opening of CTL,” Ambrose said. 

“CU Boulder has long desired this move, and it will better serve all of our educators in advancing a common student-centered approach to learning. We are looking forward to immediately launching the partnerships and strengthening the relationships that will make CTL successful and vital to the campus.” 

For more information, visit the Center for Teaching and Learning website. If you have questions or ideas for this new program, contact Kirk Ambrose.