• Vision

  • The Center for Teaching Excellence supports a university culture that values and rewards excellent undergraduate and graduate teaching.
  • History

The Center for Teaching Excellence has grown significantly since 2006, with increasing opportunities for those who teach at USC. In 2006, CTE seminars and cohort programs resulted in about 600 hours of faculty contact hours. This past year, the CTE contributed to over 5089 countable hours of in-person professional development to faculty, instructors and graduate students.

The Center for Teaching Excellence was launched in January 2006. The following summer, four USC faculty members conducted research and planning activities to guide the Center's development. Their work included interviews with faculty, chairs, deans and graduate students from multiple departments and colleges in order to ensure that programs and activities for the CTE reflect faculty interest and need. The most common responses to questions concerning resources that are needed to be an effective teacher were time, mentoring, technology, and opportunities for networking and discussion of teaching and learning theories.

In September of 2006, the Center's offices officially opened for business in the Thomas Cooper Library building. Space included three offices and a community room. At that time the workforce included one full-time Program Coordinator, one part-time Program Coordinator, a Faculty Director assigned to the CTE on a ½ time basis, and a graduate assistant. CTE seminars and cohort programs led to about 600 hours of in-person professional development for CTE clients. From the beginning we have expanded our programs and services by starting small and growing smart to ensure we meet the real teaching needs of our constituencies.

In the 2008 fiscal year, the Center for Teaching Excellence sponsored and cosponsored fifteen colloquia, seminars and workshops, eleven events for new faculty, five cohort programs, six teaching grant and technology loan programs, and dozens of other professional development events. These contribute to over 2633 hours of in-person professional development to faculty, instructors and graduate students. The CTE workforce at that time included one full-time Program Assistant, a part-time Program Coordinator, a temporary non-classified employee and a graduate assistant. Faculty associated with the CTE include the Faculty Director assigned to the CTE on a ¾-time basis and three Associate Directors, each assigned on a ¾-time basis.

In the 2009 fiscal year, the Center for Teaching Excellence sponsored and cosponsored twenty-seven colloquia, seminars and workshops, thirteen events for new faculty, ten events for teaching with technology, eight events for graduate students, five cohort programs, three teaching grant and technology loan programs, and other professional development events. These contribute to over 2830 hours of in-person professional development to faculty, instructors and graduate students. The CTE workforce included a full-time Program Assistant, a full-time Program Coordinator, a temporary non-classified employee and a ¾-time Web Developer. Faculty associated with the CTE include the Faculty Director assigned to the CTE on a ¾-time basis and two Associate Directors, each assigned on a three quarter time basis.

In the 2010 fiscal year, the Center for Teaching Excellence sponsored and cosponsored seventy-three seminars and workshops, three communities of practice, an accent reduction course, a technology loan program, a grant program, and dozens of other professional development activities. The CTE played a major role in organizing and delivering New Faculty Orientation in Fall 2009 and Spring 2010. CTE staff also contributed significantly to the Graduate Schools' TA training session and UTS'to faculty, instructors, and graduate students. Online resource development includes a redesigned Teaching Guide that features tips and resources on common teaching challenges, and an updated Video Archive that was visited over 4724 times from July to May. The CTE workforce included a full-time Program Assistant, a full-time Program Coordinator, a temporary non-classified employee and a part-time Web Developer. Faculty associated with the CTE include the Faculty Director assigned to the CTE on a ¾-time basis and two Associate Directors, each assigned on a ¼-time basis.

This year, the Center for Teaching Excellence sponsored and cosponsored 72 seminars and workshops, 8 cohort programs, 3 grant cohort programs, 24 confidential consultations, and dozens of other professional development activities. This year the CTE also organized and delivered 10 conferences style events, including New Faculty Orientation and the BEST Institute in Fall 2010 and Spring 2011. CTE staff also contributed significantly to the Graduate Schools' TA Training sessions and the Senior Vice Provost's Power Lunch series. The CTE managed three faculty cohorts, including a grant program on improving teaching in larger classes with technology, and a technology loan program on iPads in teaching. In all, the CTE has contributed to over 5,583 countable hours of in-person professional development to faculty, instructors and graduate students this fiscal year. Online resource development of the website included expanding our Teaching Guide with tips and resources for common teaching challenges, and additions to our Video Archive of past colloquia and seminars. The Video Archive was visited over 5,696 times during this year. CTE staffing consisted of a Program Manager, a Program Coordinator, a Web Developer, and a temporary non-classified employee. Faculty associated with the CTE include the Faculty Director assigned to the CTE on a ¾-time basis and one Associate Directors, assigned on a ¾-time basis.

The CTE's grew significantly in 2011-2012. Responsibilities for supporting Distributed Learning, Integrative Learning and USC Connect, and Teaching/Instructional Assistant Training, were added. Two Instructional Designers were hired, and have worked one-on-one with over 50 faculty to convert courses to online delivery. A Program Manager was hired to develop and implement training programs and ongoing support of all teaching and instructional assistants at the University. The part-time Webmaster and part-time Faculty Director positions became full-time to support the CTE's expanding activities. Additional personnel included a Program Director, Program Coordinator, Program Assistant, and three faculty Associate Directors.

The result is that this year, the CTE sponsored and cosponsored 69 seminars and workshops, 5 cohort programs, 5 grant cohort programs, 19 confidential consultations on pedagogy, and dozens of other professional development activities. This year the CTE also organized and delivered 5 conferences and orientation events, including New Faculty Orientation and Oktoberbest - A Celebration of Teaching. In all, the CTE has contributed to over 5089 countable hours of in-person professional development to faculty, instructors and graduate students so this year. Additional professional development is provided through the www.sc.edu/cte website. For example, the CTE's Video Archive was visited 9,657 times.

Much of what was accomplished was through partnerships with other units, including the Provost's Office, the CIO's Office, University Libraries, Teaching and Technology Services, the Office of Student Engagement, TRIO Opportunity Scholars Program, the Graduate School, Carolina Leadership Initiative, Office of Student Organizations, Office of Undergraduate Research, USC Connect, and other units.

  • Goals

  • Activities of the CTE are guided by the following programmatic goals:

  • Enhance the pedagogical knowledge and effectiveness of all who teach at USC in the classroom, online, and beyond.
  • Foster partnerships and leverage support for programs that improve conditions necessary for student learning.
  • Support the design and development of distributed learning courses and course modules.
  • Increase faculty knowledge, skills and dispositions related to developing and assessing integrative learning abilities.