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Center for Teaching Excellence

CTE Infographic


The Center for Teaching Excellence inspires excellence and innovation in teaching. We create and provide programming, resources, and opportunities that foster innovative and effective pedagogical practices among all who teach at USC.


  • Enhance the pedagogical knowledge and effectiveness of all who teach at USC in the classroom, online, and beyond. 
  • Support the design and development of high-quality distributed learning courses and fosters best practices in online teaching.
  • Increase faculty knowledge, skills and dispositions related to developing and assessing students’ integrative learning abilities.
  • Plan and implement professional development programs for graduate teaching assistants.
  • Fosters partnerships and leverages support for programs that enhance conditions for teaching and learning at the university.
  • Engage in ongoing communication, planning and evaluation processes that result in the continuous improvement of CTE programs and services.


During fiscal year 2015-2016:

  • CTE programs provided 9,522 countable hours of in-person professional development for faculty and graduate students. 
  • We sponsored or co-sponsored 111 seminars and workshops, the university’s New Faculty Orientation, and the annual Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching Conference.
  • We launched a New Faculty Academy certificate program and facilitated 16 other faculty learning groups, including 6 grant cohorts, 6 communities of practice, and 4 short courses.  
  • In partnership with other units, we coordinated 8 teaching grant competitions.
  • CTE directors and senior staff conducted 213 hours of individual faculty consultations.
  • Average attendance at CTE events increased in FY16 for the fourth consecutive year (up 87.1% since FY12), participation in our communities of practice and cohort-based programs more than doubled, and attendee evaluation ratings were consistently positive.

Our instructional design team:

  • Helped faculty develop 432 distributed learning courses to date.
  • Conducted 306 hours of individual course-design consultations,
  • Presented 29 technology training workshops,
  • Presented at 15 conferences and professional meetings
  • Published 2 refereed journal articles.

We led and continued to enhance the university’s TA training program, including:

  • 4 full-day GTA Orientation workshops attended by 493 students
  • A teaching-assistant preparation course (GRAD 701) enrolling approximately 343 students.
  • For advanced graduate students and post-docs, CTE offered a 21 teaching and professional development workshops designed especially for TAs,
  • Preparing Future Faculty certificate program with 152 participants (up 7% over FY15),
  • more than a dozen co-sponsored professional development workshops.