Teaching is at the very core of our Holy Cross tradition of academic excellence.

Our History

Established in 1991, the Center for Teaching Excellence grew from the desire to continually elevate the learning experience for students at ϲʿ’s. Through the center, faculty members come together to share ideas and strategies for successful teaching. They learn practical and inventive ways to improve teaching methods and respond to the various learning needs of students.

Our Mission

The Center for Teaching Excellence promotes effective, innovative, inclusive, and evidence-based college teaching that fosters sustained learning. The Center cultivates a campus culture that values diverse approaches to learning and teaching. It supports faculty in enhancing pedagogical practices and facilitates the exchange of ideas and development of community among faculty.

Upcoming Events

Our Goals

The Center for Teaching Excellence focuses on a variety of activities designed to support our mission, which include:

  • Advancing new initiatives in teaching and learning
  • Supportinginnovative, inclusive teaching that enables student learning
  • Facilitating a culture of continuous teaching improvement
  • Building communities of teaching and learning across campus
  • Providing support for faculty at all stages of their ϲʿ's teaching career
  • Recognizingexcellence in teaching

of recordings and slides for all CTE and Instructional Technology co-hosted events, as well as additional curated resources.

Director and Advisory Board

Director

Jennifer Jefferson is the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence. She comes to this role after being a Visiting Assistant Professor in University Studies at ϲʿ's University. Previously, she taught at The University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University. Her educational background is in American Studies and Cultural Studies in Education.

She is committed toprovidingprogramming and support that is responsive to the ϲʿ's community, and she collaborates across campus to address the complex needs of faculty at a liberal arts university. Some of her areas of interest include inclusive course development, reflective practice, and peer learning communities.

Administrative Coordinator

Juanita Servín

Advisory Board

Carsten Andresen, Associate Professor Criminal Justice

Claire Edwards, Assistant Professor Biological Sciences

Kate Lopez,Associate Professor of Accounting

Georgia Seminet, Associate Professor of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities

Programs

The Center for Teaching Excellence offers a variety of programs to improve teaching at the university, including:

  • Consultations
  • Books & Coffee Reading and Discussion Group
  • Faculty Learning Communities
  • New Faculty Support
  • Workshops, seminars, and discussion groups
  • Programs for departments and schools are also available upon request.

2023-2024 Full Event Schedule

Faculty Resources for2023to 2024

To help faculty prepare for teaching in this new environment, the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Office of Information Technology will continue to offer guidance and host workshops to help faculty develop and teachcourses, whether they are face-to-face, hybrid or online, as well as prepare for the possible contingency of going remote again.

To help keep track of events and information, we offer the following resources:

  • of recordings and slides for all CTE and Instructional Technology co-hosted events, as well as additional curated resources.
  • with all events related to teaching support, which you can add to your own calendar. Please subscribe to the Teaching Support Events calendar and RSVP to upcoming events. Note: You must subscribe with your ϲʿ’s Gmail account.
  • for faculty to promote conversation and sharing so we can help each other prepare.

​As additional reminders, each event will be posted to the and to a few days in advance of the workshop. We hope this approach is helpful to you as we try to manage our summer course design processes and teaching.


4 Connections Learning Group
Second Thursday of the month at 2:00 pm
Holy Cross Hall 105

even if you can't make the meeting, we will still find a way for you to participate--PLEASE JOIN US!

Want to try out the "4 Connections, " a retention strategy based on intentionally incorporating 4 components into your teaching? Those components include the following:

  1. Learn and use students’ names
  2. Build in spaces for check-ins/feedback
  3. Require one-on-one meetings
  4. Practice Paradox–hold high expectations with some built-in flexibility

Interested in learning more about this approach, trying it out, and chatting with colleagues? Please , and I'll set up a meeting or two to orient ourselves, and then we'll make a plan to check in a time or two over the course of the semester

Scholarship ofTeachingand Learning: Professional Learning Community
Third Friday of the month at noon
Holy Cross 105

Want to get started on a research project involving yourteaching? Looking for cross-campus collaborators? Want to get feedback on yourteaching-based research project? Please join this professional learning community!

Coffee and Chat (and take advantage of cooler temps!)
Tuesday, October 24th at 9:00-10:30 am

and Wednesday, November 1 at 9:00-11:00 am

The CTE would like to invite colleagues to join us at informal chats with coffee and snacks. There will be tables set up outside of Holy Cross Hall (in between the building and the seal), and we will visit with colleagues from across campus. There might even be some treats to take with you. : )

Expanding Your Toolkit: Low-Stress Grading and Assessing Strategies
Tuesday, October 31st from 12:30-1:45 pm
Holy Cross 105

Please note: if less than 5 people sign up for this event by Friday, October 27th, it will be postponed

We had so much fun swapping in-class teaching strategies--let's share ways to lower the stress in grading and assessing. Join us for this lunch-time discussion where strategies will be shared--from research and from your colleagues. The goal is for you to leave the lunch with a new strategy or two that might help alleviate the grading burden. (I know that it is advising season --but we all need to eat, and the last session led to engaging conversation)

Books and Coffee:The New College Classroom
Choose the time that works for your schedule:
First Wednesday of the month at 1 pm (blended--if needed--in person and zoom)
Wed: Sep 6, Oct 4, Nov 1, & Dec 6, 2023
First Thursday of the month at 3:30 pm
(in person)
Thu: Sep 7, Oct 5, Nov 2, & Dec 7, 2023
Holy Cross 105

BooksandCoffeeis a book club that meets monthly to discuss a few chapters from a contemporary book related to teaching and learning.We have coffee and assorted snacks to fuel our discussions.

This semester, we are reading) by Davidson and Katopodis. Multiple reviews of this book tout its immediate applicability and low barriers to integrating material, which multiple faculty have asked for.

Faculty Writing Group
No sign up required--show up as your schedule allows!
Weekly on Wednesdays from 12-2 on the first floor of Holy Cross Hall (mostly 105, sometimes 110 if there is a schedule conflict)

This faculty-led group is designed to help folks make progress on writing projects by carving out time and space to work together in an accountable fashion. Feel free to bring whatever materials you need to get work done--snacks, drinks, headphones, etc--as you co-work for a few hours each week. Questions? Reach out toLisa Holleranor

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Professional Learning Community
Third Friday of the month at noon
Holy Cross 105

Want to get started on a research project involving your teaching? Looking for cross-campus collaborators? Want to get feedback on your teaching-based research project? Please join this professional learning community!

As always, please reach out if there is anything I can do to help--resources, observations, conversations.

Curriculum Mapping
Tuesday, October 17th from 3:30-4:45 pm
(let us know on the form if you are interested, but this time doesn't work for you--happy to offer a second session)
Holy Cross 105

Collaboration with Jocelyn Shadforth, Assistant Provost for Accreditation and Assessment

In this session, faculty and department chairs will gain a quick overview of curriculum mapping essentials, focusing on different strategies forcreating a program-level curriculum map that can be used to enhanceteachingand program effectiveness. Participants will leave with ideas for creating a curriculum map that supports the assessment of student learning outcomes and resources to kickstart their curriculum mapping journey. A variety of templates will be made available on both Box and Google Drive prior to the workshop.

PAST EVENTS:

Previous CTE Program Schedules:

Teaching Awards and Innovation Fellows

Teaching Awards

Given annually, teaching excellence awards at ϲʿ's University honor faculty for their exceptional talents and dedication to promoting learning in meaningful, engagingand innovative ways. The selection process is rigorous, evaluating candidates' course offerings, curricular designs, instructional methods, classroom performances, and interactions with students.

Five awards are given annually:

  • The is given to one faculty member who has taught at ϲʿ's for at least 15 years.
  • Theis given to two contract faculty.
  • Theis given to one adjunct faculty member.
  • Thehonors a faculty member who has designed an innovative course project or teaching method.
  • The recognizes ϲʿ's faculty whose teaching directly supports the ϲʿ's University Mission.

2022-2023 Teaching Winners

John S. Loucks, IV
John S. Loucks, IV
Sister Donna Jurick
Distinguished Career Award

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Innovation Fellows

Innovation fellowships support faculty who need time, resourcesand expertise to include pedagogical experimentation in their courses by providing a stipend, participation in theInnovation Institute, and a community of faculty fellows focused on pedagogical innovation.

Learn about our .

Read about .

Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction

Delayne Hudspeth, retired professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Instructional Technology at the University of Texas, was a mentor to several ϲʿ's faculty members and scores of other master's and doctoral students. Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, Dr. Hudspeth's contributions to innovation in higher education are honored by this award.

The CTE would like to invite you to apply for the DelayneHudspethAward for Innovative Instruction. The award, open to all who teach, includingfull-time (tenure-track and non-tenure-track), part-time, adjunct, and staff who teach, is determined by a panel representing schools across campus and carries a $500 stipend. The application is aand is due March 11, 2022. Please see below for more details.

DelayneHudspethAward for Innovative Instruction
Deadline: March 11, 2022

Who can apply:This award recognizes ϲʿ’s instructors who create innovative learning environments and projects. All teaching faculty members -- including full-time (tenure-track and non-tenure-track), part-time, adjunct, and staff who teach -- are encouraged to apply. Previous Award winners will be considered for theHudspethAward five years after their previous win.

What projects are eligible:Self-nominations should highlight a specific project, an assignment or exercise, a teaching method, a new use of technology, or the redesign of an entire class.

Instructors may apply for the award based on an innovation implemented in any of the three years previous to the application deadline. For this year's award, projects implemented in any of the following semesters will be eligible:

  • Academic year 2018-2019, including Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer 2019
  • Academic year 2019-2020, including Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020
  • Academic year 2020-2021, including Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021
  • Fall 2021

What should the application highlight: Since this award celebrates innovation, preference will be given to projects that demonstrate the greatest levels of innovation and that clearly present the value of that innovation for student learning. Note that the committee does not equate innovation with adoption of new technologies. While some winning projects have featured new uses of technology, many have not. Please review the Google form before you start crafting your application, as it will help guide you in showcasing your project.

When do you need to submit the application:Please fill out theby end of the day on Monday, March 11, 2022.

How will a winner be determined: The winner and finalist for the award will be decided upon by the members ofHudspethAwards Committee. The committee is comprised of representatives from across the university's schools. Applications are blind-reviewed, scored according to the selection criteria, and then discussed until the committee achieves consensus.

Questions?If you have any questions about the award or would like to discuss your application, please contact Jennifer Jeffersonjennej@stedwards.edu. Jennifer facilitates the award process, but is not a voting member.