The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) facilitates the sharing of teaching ideas, innovations, strategies, and resources among Occidental faculty in order to enhance student learning.
The programs of the Center for Teaching Excellence, which collectively aim to enhance student learning through pedagogical development, are guided by the following goals:
- to circulate teaching strategies and materials
- to educate the faculty on pedagogical scholarship and best practices
- to stimulate innovation and risk-taking in the classroom
- to orient first-year faculty, providing mentoring and support in their first few years at the college
- to build and enrich community among Occidental faculty
- to celebrate teaching excellence at the college
The activities of the CTE, as well as the Linda and Tod White Teaching Prize, are supported by a very generous endowed gift from Linda White and Oxy trustee and alum Tod White.
In the summer in 2020, the College formed a pedagogy working group to facilitate faculty preparation for equitable remote teaching. Faculty can find materials on a special Moodle site; please reach out to the CTE Director to get the enrollment key.
Occidental faculty can consult the CTE Moodle site for a number of pedagogical resources (Oxy ID required).
Here’s what faculty have to say about CTE programs:
As a young faculty member, it is important for my development to see what my colleagues are doing, especially across the disciplines. I learned so much sitting in on my colleagues’ classes and then discussing our respective pedagogies and how we approach our profession in our Teaching Roundtable meetings.
I have already begun to incorporate techniques used by my colleagues in my courses!
I’ve learned how to be a better classroom teacher, but also so much about the informal aspects of teaching—from advising students (introducing them to curricular, research, internship, and fellowship opportunities), balancing teaching and research, and navigating the tenure process.
The First-year Faculty Learning Community was a crucial part of my first year at Oxy! It was a great way to become familiar with Oxy culture and to get to know my faculty colleagues. After only one year, I truly feel a part of the Oxy community.
This group was very helpful, both for concrete suggestions and for moral support.
It was so nice to devise new teaching techniques, to implement them in a course I was currently teaching, and to reflect immediately with colleagues on my successes and failures.
It is so nice to be able to hold conversations with other faculty engaged with the same teaching questions and to have significant time (several meetings over the course of the semester) to do so at more than a cursory level.
Every time I participate in a CTE program, I end up changing some part of my teaching practice. The CTE is an invaluable resource for Oxy faculty.