by Dipti Subramaniam, Divya Subramaniam, and Erin Solomon, Graduate Assistants in the Reinert CTTL
In honor of the 15th anniversary of the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL), we would like to share 15 things about the Center’s history, mission and vision, and how we enact our vision through the services and programs we offer university-wide to our graduate students, teaching staff and faculty members here at Saint Louis University.
1.) The Certificate in University Teaching Skills (CUTS) program was launched in 1993 initially for graduate students.
2.) The Center for Teaching Excellence was formally founded in 1997 by Dr. Don Brennan, Dr. Jim Korn, and a group of SLU faculty dedicated to teaching excellence.
3.) In 2001, the center honored Paul C. Reinert, S.J., a long-time president of the University and a staunch advocate for educational equality, by officially changing its name to the Paul C. Reinert, S.J. Center for Teaching Excellence.
4.) The center has experienced substantial growth in recent years. During the 2011-2012 academic year, our staff size doubled, in order to meet increasing needs for pedagogical services at SLU.
5.) In July 2012, the center changed its name to better communicate our ongoing commitment to the reflective and innovative teaching that transforms students. We are now known as the Paul C. Reinert, S.J. Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning.
Mission and Vision
6.) The vision of the CTTL is the formation and transformation of teachers, learners, and learning environments, through the advancement of reflective, innovative, and evidence-based pedagogies that meet the needs of diverse learners in the 21st Century and that embody the values of the Jesuit educational tradition.
7.) The mission of the CTTL is to develop, encourage, and sustain SLU faculty and graduate students as they strive to “find their own direction, meaning, and pedagogical style in the context of Jesuit traditions of education,” so that they can better serve the needs of all learners.
8.) To fulfill its mission, the CTTL guides faculty and graduate students as they seek their own pedagogical style, develops a community of scholars who encourage and challenge each other, promotes the reflective integration of technology and other teaching innovations, and advances Ignatian approaches to teaching and learning.
9.) CTTL is rooted in a set of core values that derive from our deep commitment to serving the teaching community at SLU. The core values are Autonomy, Service, Leadership, Reflection, Innovation, and Collaboration.
10.) Those core values derive from a commitment to cura personalis.The CTLL’s deep commitment to cura personalis serves as a way to help faculty and graduate students better understand how they can care for the “whole persons” of their students.
Services and Programs
11.) CTTL offers two teaching certificates, the Participation Certificate in University Teaching Skills and the more comprehensive Certificate in University Teaching Skills, to all graduate students, teaching staff and faculty members at SLU for FREE!
12.) The CTTL offers several “institutes,” which are multi-session and/or multi-day hands-on learning experiences, on topics of interest to assist full-time faculty at SLU.
13.) The Center offers three types of workshops (Center-Sponsored Workshops, Co-Sponsored Workshops and Customized Workshops) on a variety of pedagogical topics, for a variety of audiences.
14.) The CTTL offers two different kinds of teaching consultations: individual consultations and department consultations.
15.) Center staff can provide confidential feedback on teaching in several different ways such as conducting non-evaluative classroom observations; obtaining feedback from students through mid-semester focus groups; and reviewing video-recorded teaching performances.
For more information about what we do at the center, please feel free to visit our website at www.slu.edu/cttl. Stay tuned for the “15 Tips” series, which will highlight various effective teaching and learning strategies.