Center for Teaching Excellence

MISSION

The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) provides faculty with the pedagogical support necessary to enable Waynesburg University students to achieve even greater success in their academic endeavors. The CTE cultivates teaching skills and scholarly productivity in Waynesburg faculty members of all ranks.

GOALS

  • To address the instructional needs of new, mid-level, senior, and part-time faculty as well as graduate teaching assistants
  • To share best practices in the field of teaching and learning
  • To guide faculty in the adoption of interactive and hands-on teaching methods and instructional technology
  • To support faculty scholarship and creative work.

Programs and Services

Teaching Discussion Group

The Teaching Discussion Group provides faculty with the opportunity to explore and discuss a recent highly regarded book in the field of postsecondary teaching and learning. Participating faculty members receive a free copy of the current book as well as a free cafeteria lunch.

Prior topics have included:

  • critical thinking
  • student motivation
  • classroom management
  • methods of encouraging students to complete assigned readings

Scholarship Discussion Group

The members of this collaborative group provide incisive and honest feedback for a participant's draft of an articleor other work. Contributions to the group have represented a wide range of disciplines. All faculty members are welcome to participate as long as they are ready to submit at least one draft during the academic year. The CTE provides attendees with a free cafeteria lunch.

Classroom Visitation Program

The CTE sponsors a program that enables faculty to learn from one another by visiting colleagues' classes. According to Jenny Jellison, an active participant in the program:

"As I was working toward tenure, I had gotten a lot out of observing my colleague's various teaching techniques. My teaching had been stuck in a lecture-based rut, and observing my colleagues integrating discussions and Socratic questioning into their lectures opened my eyes to new ways I could do the same. I have completely modified one of my courses due to my observations, and student feedback about these modifications was very positive. I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity!"

Mentoring Program

To help new colleagues make that transition as smoothly as possible, the University provides a mentor for each first-year, full-time faculty member. Insuring that his or her role is purely formative, a CTE mentor is not in the same department as the mentee. Mentors and mentees meet for lunch or coffee on their own on a monthly basis.

New Faculty Orientation Program

Topics covered through the year-long program include:

  • professional development opportunities
  • student advising
  • faith and learning integration
  • administering and interpreting teaching evaluations
  • preparing the annual self-evaluation
  • the Eberly Library's electronic resources
  • the history of Waynesburg University
  • a final reflection on the first year at WU.

Individual Teaching Consultation Services

The CTE offers confidential consultations to faculty members who would like to improve one or more facets of their teaching. Consultations generally begin with a brainstorming session in the CTE and can include classroom visits or the discussion of a DVD recording of teaching a class.

DVDing of Classes

Viewing a DVD of recorded class sessions is a recognized method of helping faculty members fine-tune their teaching. To have one of your classes videotaped, submit a Media Services Request through the IT link in myConnect. Also consider asking a trusted colleague to look at the DVD and share responses to it.

TEACHING CONFERENCES

The CTE sponsors trips to conferences (including the Teaching Professor Conference and the Lilly Conferences on College & University Teaching) for groups and individuals, providing full-time faculty members with partial funding for their travel expenses. Additional funding for conference attendance is available through the Professional Development Committee, although it's a good idea to submit your application during the fall semester.

More information about these conferences is available at Lilly and Teaching Professor. Kennesaw State University's CETL maintains a full, up-to-date list of other regional conferences.

CTE Newsletters

At least six times a year, during the main semesters and the summer, the CTE publishes a newsletter by email. The newsletter includes:

  • the latest program schedules
  • announcements of special workshops
  • information about upcoming teaching conferences
  • an update on the Center's library
  • teaching and scholarship tips.

Below is a list of the most recent CTE newsletters

CTE Newsletter August 2012.pdf
CTE Newsletter Autumn 2012.pdf
CTE Newsletter February 2012.pdf
CTE Newsletter Summer 2012.pdf

Library Resources

In collaboration with the Eberly Library, the CTE has developed a growing collection of books about teaching and learning in higher education. The collection covers such topics as:

  • critical thinking
  • classroom management
  • student motivation
  • syllabus design
  • grading rubrics

The CTE's library also includes journals about higher education and DVDs on university teaching.

MAGNA SEMINARS PILOT PROGRAM

In collaboration with the Office of Academic Affairs, the CTE has access to Magna Seminars, a series of over 100 web-based workshops on teaching and higher education administration. The seminars are led by national experts in the field and are produced by the organization that sponsors the annual Teaching Professor Conference.

The subscription is available to all WU Main Campus faculty and staff members. Instructions for accessing the seminars are available here.