Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)
The mission of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at CSU Sacramento is to provide activities and services that help individuals, departments and programs to identify and achieve their desired level of teaching excellence. The Center seeks to achieve this mission through one-on-one consultation with faculty members, presenting workshops for both departments and the campus community on a variety of college teaching issues, referral to and partnering with other support offices for assistance outside the Center's area of service, and publications about college teaching. The Center director also consults with departmental chairs, committees and college and campus administrators on faculty development issues.
More than simply assisting instructors to solve current problems, it is the goal of the CTL to assist them to choose the issues on which some effort will achieve the greatest results, to help them to expand their repertoire of teaching approaches and practices, and to aid them in reaching a higher level of teaching competence. This includes addressing issues of student cultural and linguistic background, as well as the diversity of prior preparation and differing learning styles. Another CTL goal is to promote a climate of collegiality, which inspires, nurtures, and rewards self-directed faculty efforts toward professional development and which supports an expansion of the level, frequency, and available venues for campus conversations about teaching.
The mission and methods of the Center for Teaching and Learning are inspired by certain beliefs and presuppositions, including the following:
- Skilled teaching practices promote effective student learning.
- Teaching is a complex activity, which calls for multiple pathways to the outcome of high quality instruction.
- There is no one right way to teach, but each individual can know when he or she has achieved teaching excellence.
- Teaching effectiveness is enhanced when learning is planned around objectives that reflect desired student behavior that is ultimately observable and measurable.
- Teachers are adult learners who bring insight, motivation, experience and high expectations for relevance, practicality and intellectual stimulation to the act of learning.
- Professionals are more likely to modify their professional practice when they can anticipate with some certainty a positive consequence from doing so.
- Professionals appreciate the ability to choose from an array of options to promote their professional development.
- Professional growth is more likely when an individual feels part of a community of others with similar goals.
- Helping faculty achieve self-directed professional growth directly assists them in their pursuit of retention, tenure, and promotion.
- Connectedness between the Center's programs and all other initiatives on the campus to serve faculty in their curriculum innovations (such as the Learning Communities, and the Office of Community Collaboration) or in their use of alternate systems of delivery of instruction, such as Distance Education, operate to the benefit of these programs and initiatives and the faculty who are involved with them.
- There are many ways to measure the outcome of professional development activities, both from the perspective of the individual and from the perspective of the provider of those activities.
- The effectiveness of the Center is dependent on the impression that it makes on the perceptions of the faculty and the administration. Desirable perceptions include:
- Ownership of this function by faculty,
- Availability of programs and services to all faculty,
- Timely and focused responsiveness to needs articulated by faculty,
- Relevance of programs to current and future needs of students, and
- Readiness of the center and its programs to be assessed.
In addition, the Faculty Senate recommends that:
- The Center for Teaching and Learning report to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate as an independent program.
- The Center for Teaching and Learning will provide administrative assistance in the form of secretarial and record-keeping assistance as requested by the Visiting Scholars Committee and the Pedagogy Enhancement Grant Committee. The Center for Teaching and Learning will provide assistance from CTL staff resources given availability of those resources.
- A CTL Advisory Board be established with nine members serving staggered three-year terms on the basis of the primary qualifications that they be demonstrably interested in and willing to work toward faculty professional development. Faculty volunteering for the CTL Advisory Board are required to write a statement outlining their interest in teaching, learning and faculty development which will be reviewed by the CTL Advisory Board. Assuming this qualification is satisfied, the CTL Board shall make every attempt to recommend membership make such appointments with due consideration of representativeness in such categories as gender, ethnicity, discipline, faculty status, college or academic unit. Ex officio, non-voting members of the Board will include the Director of the CTL, the Chair of the Faculty Policies Committee (or designee), and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (or designee). The CTL Advisory Board will submit to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee a list of nominees to serve on the CTL Advisory Board.
- The CTL Advisory Board meets as regularly as it deems necessary to fulfill its broader responsibilities (see statement of Board Responsibilities-- October 30, 1997, Faculty Senate Agenda Attachment A), which will be further refined by the board itself once it is in operation.
(FS 02-13/FPC,Ex; amends FS 98-80; FS 97-18; AS 95-24; AS 95-23; AS 95-22)