Teaching is at the very core of our Holy Cross tradition of academic excellence. 

Our History

Established in 1991, the Center for Teaching Excellence grew from the desire to continually elevate the learning experience for students at St. Edward’s. Through the center, faculty members come together to share ideas and strategies for successful teaching. They learn practical and inventive ways to improve teaching methods and respond to the various learning needs of students.

Our Mission

The Center for Teaching Excellence promotes effective, innovative, inclusive, and evidence-based college teaching that fosters sustained learning. The Center cultivates a campus culture that values diverse approaches to learning and teaching. It supports faculty in enhancing pedagogical practices and facilitates the exchange of ideas and development of community among faculty.  

Upcoming Events

Our Goals

The Center for Teaching Excellence focuses on a variety of activities designed to support our mission, which include:

  • Advancing new initiatives in teaching and learning
  • Supporting innovative, inclusive teaching that enables student learning
  • Facilitating a culture of continuous teaching improvement
  • Building communities of teaching and learning across campus
  • Providing support for faculty at all stages of their St. Edward's teaching career
  • Recognizing excellence in teaching

Teaching Support Archive of recordings and slides for all CTE and Instructional Technology co-hosted events, as well as additional curated resources.

Director and Advisory Board

Director

Jennifer Jefferson is the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence. She comes to this role after being a Visiting Assistant Professor in University Studies at St. Edward's University. Previously, she taught at The University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University. Her educational background is in American Studies and Cultural Studies in Education.

She is committed to providing programming and support that is responsive to the St. Edward's community, and she collaborates across campus to address the complex needs of faculty at a liberal arts university. Some of her areas of interest include inclusive course development, reflective practice, and peer learning communities.
 

Administrative Coordinator

Juanita Servín

Advisory Board

Carsten Andresen, Associate Professor Criminal Justice

Laura Cottam Sajbel, Adjunct Instructor Writing and Rhetoric

Claire Edwards, Assistant Professor Biological Sciences

Kate Lopez, Associate Professor of Accounting

Georgia Seminet, Associate Professor of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
                                     Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities

 

Programs

The Center for Teaching Excellence offers a variety of programs to improve teaching at the university, including:

2022-2023 Full Event Schedule

Faculty Resources for 2022 to 2023

To help faculty prepare for teaching in this new environment, the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Office of Information Technology will continue to offer guidance and host workshops to help faculty develop and teach courses, whether they are face-to-face, hybrid or online, as well as prepare for the possible contingency of going remote again.

To help keep track of events and information, we offer the following resources:

  • Google Drive archive of recordings and slides for all CTE and Instructional Technology co-hosted events, as well as additional curated resources.
  • Shared Google Calendar with all events related to teaching support, which you can add to your own calendar. Please subscribe to the Teaching Support Events calendar and RSVP to upcoming events. Note: You must subscribe with your St. Edward’s Gmail account.
  • Teaching Forum Closed Workplace Group for faculty to promote conversation and sharing so we can help each other prepare.

​As additional reminders, each event will be posted to the university calendar and to Workplace a few days in advance of the workshop. We hope this approach is helpful to you as we try to manage our summer course design processes and teaching.


4 Connections: Building Community in Our Classrooms
A professional learning community

RSVP: Please sign up by January 17th
Want to try out the "4 Connections, " a retention strategy based on intentionally incorporating 4 components into your teaching? Those components include the following:

  1. Learn and use students’ names
  2. Build in spaces for check-ins/feedback
  3. Require one-on-one meetings
  4. Practice Paradox–hold high expectations with some built-in flexibility

Interested in learning more about this approach, trying it out, and chatting with colleagues? Please fill out the form, and I'll set up a meeting or two to orient ourselves, and then we'll make a plan to check in a time or two over the course of the semester

 

Books and Coffee: Distracted: Why Students Can't Focus and What You Can Do About It 
A Professional Learning Community

2 groups:
Last Wednesday of the month from 1:00-2:00 (virtual)
Jan. 25, Feb. 22, Mar. 29, Apr. 26
Last Thursday of the month from 3:30-4:30 (in person; Holy Cross 105 or outside)
Jan. 26, Feb. 23, Mar. 30, Apr. 27

RSVP
Books and Coffee meets over the course of a semester to discuss chapters from a book, with group members taking turns leading discussions. Anyone who teaches is welcomed to sign up to join our group. We will be reading Distracted: Why Students Can't Focus and What You Can Do About It by James Lang. Here is a description from the publisher's website:

Why is it so hard to get students to pay attention? Conventional wisdom blames iPhones, insisting that access to technology has ruined students’ ability to focus. The logical response is to ban electronics in class.

But acclaimed educator James M. Lang argues that this solution obscures a deeper problem: how we teach is often at odds with how students learn. Classrooms are designed to force students into long periods of intense focus, but emerging science reveals that the brain is wired for distraction. We learn best when able to actively seek and synthesize new information.

In Distracted, Lang rethinks the practice of teaching, revealing how educators can structure their classrooms less as distraction-free zones and more as environments where they can actively cultivate their students’ attention.

Should lend itself to wonderful conversations!

 

Read. Try. Chat: What Inclusive Instructors Do 
A Professional Learning Community 
First Tuesday of the month at 12:30 (bring lunch; we'll provide drinks and dessert) 
Feb. 7, Mar. 7, Apr. 4, May 2

RSVP
Read.Try. Chat. is designed as a reading group where we read a text together and then try out (or make plans to try out) exercises, activities, and approaches within our own teaching. The text selected for the spring semester, What Inclusive Instructors Do, is designed nicely for this approach--each chapter has embedded reflection questions to help each person dig a little more into their teaching practices. Faculty will be able to direct their reflective processes to best support their interests and growth--really looking forward to exploring this book with folks!

 

Managing Stress and Increasing Mindfulness: A Multi-Part Series
Part Two : Personal Skill Development
Led by Kerrie Taylor, Assistant Professor in Counseling
Friday, January 27th at noon in Holy Cross 105 (with lunch)
RSVP

Please join us for the second session of the Stress Reduction Mindfulness series hosted by the Center for Teaching Excellence!  This workshop will focus on personal skill development with the aim of reducing stress and increasing mindfulness to help you achieve holistic wellness.  Mindfulness concepts including breathing exercises, cultivating self-compassion, and mindful movement will be discussed and practiced. Additionally, you will received resources to help cultivate greater wellness in your own life. 

 

AI and Education: A Lunchtime Discussion
Tuesday, January 31, 12:30 - 1:45 pm, Fleck 305

RSVP
Co-sponsored by the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable (TLTR), the General Education Writing Program, the Academic Integrity Committee, the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and Instructional Technology 

"Is the college essay dead?" asked Beth McMurtrie in a recent Chronicle article, "AI and the Future of Undergraduate Writing" (13 December 2022) after news broke about the power of Open AI's ChatGPT application. How will artificial intelligence (AI) affect teaching and learning? Will all our students use AI to do their homework? How can we ensure academic integrity? Or is the future of education teaching our students how to use AI effectively? This lunchtime discussion will start from McMurtrie's article and branch out to consider the implications of AI for higher education.

 

Past Events:

Starting the Semester Strong:  Research-Informed Practices to Guide Your Early Weeks
Friday, January 6th
In-Person: 10-11 am in Holy Cross Hall 105

Virtual 2-3 pm 
Zoom Link

RSVP
Join this workshop to discuss different frameworks, practices, and strategies for starting the semester strong. We'll offer two versions--in person and one virtual--to best accommodate your schedules. 

Read. Try. Chat. SoTL in Action: Illuminating Critical Moments of Practice
Third Friday of the Month at noon* (in person)--HCH 105
Sep. 16, Oct. 21, Nov. 18, Dec. 9

RSVP
The Library has the text available; limited paper copies will be purchased, too.

We're bringing this reading and action group back for the fall semester. This "SoTL {Scholarship of Teaching and Learning} primer" provides both a discussion of what SoTL is and highlights what that scholarship may look like in a variety of disciplines. If you are interested in researching teaching practices, this text (and discussion group) could be very helpful in developing a project. This semester, the goal with this group is to have community support as you think through developing a teaching-and-learning-related research project of your own.

* The last Friday meeting will be on December 9th rather than the 16th

 

Semester De-Brief and Looking Ahead
Wednesday, December 7th, 9:00-11:00 am
Holy Cross Hall 105
RSVP

Let's chat about how the semester went, and then you can use our discussion to individually plan for the upcoming spring. Pause your grading to talk with colleagues and jot down some ideas for the future. 

 

Jingle and Mingle
Sponsored by the Faculty Senate Collegiality Committee, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and Instructional Technology
Friday, December 2nd, 4:30-6:00 pm
Cosmic Coffee

Let's "Jingle & Mingle" this holiday season! Buy your won beverages and snacks~then let's chat! The Collegiality Committee, Center for Teaching Excellence, and OIT invite you to Cosmic Coffee on December 2nd from 4:30p-6:00p for a time of celebration and relaxation. We hope to see you there with bells on!

 

Podcasts and Coffee
Pick a series that fits into your schedule:
First Wednesday of the month at 1:00 pm (virtual)
Sep. 7
Oct. 5 
Nov. 2
Dec. 7

First Thursday of the month at 3:30 pm (In person)--HCH 105 or outside 
Sep. 8
Oct. 6 - Outdoors
Nov. 3 
Dec. 1

RSVP

Zoom meeting link for Podcasts and Coffee

Each month, we will listen to an episode of a podcast and come together to discuss the episode (much like we have done with Books and Coffee or different book groups). The goal of this gathering is to engage with scholarship on teaching and learning and talk with colleagues from across campus. Join us!

*The first Thursday meeting will be on the 8th

 

Living Out Our Mission: Increasing Our Knowledge and Building a More Inclusive Hilltop
    A Faculty DEI Series
Sponsored by the Faculty Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Office and the Center for Teaching Excellence

Thursday, October 27th at 12:30 pm in Holy Cross Hall 105
Reflecting on Your Identities and Actions

Wednesday, November 16th at 2:00 pm in Holy Cross Hall 105
Developing a Framework for Understanding Social Identity

RSVP for the Living Out Our Mission Series

We all want to create inclusive and welcoming spaces for our students, colleagues, and community members. However, we might need support to be equipped to create and sustain these spaces. Join us for this series that will help faculty members refine a conceptual framework, reflect on their identities, and increase their ability to act.

 

Take a Break(from grading, planning, etc.) and Chat
Wednesday, September 14th from 10:00-12:00--Lawn in-between Holy Cross Hall and Ragsdale

Join us at an informal check-in. There will be tables set up outside of Holy Cross Hall (in between the building and the seal), and we will chat with colleagues from across campus before heading back to planning/grading/teaching. We'll have drinks and snacks.

 

Teaching Symposium 2022
Sustainable Teaching
Thursday, August 18, 9 am-3:00 pm Fleck Hall

Each year, the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Symposium Planning Committee organize an on-campus conference on teaching and learning at St. Edward’s.The conference is planned by St. Edward’s faculty, presentations are proposed and led by St. Edward’s faculty, and it is widely attended by both adjunct and tenure-track faculty as well as administrators and staff.

Here is the schedule for the 2022 Teaching Symposium. Join us for a day of discussion and collaboration!

See the below link for RSVP information.

 

New Faculty Orientation
Monday, August 15, 8:30 am-3:00 pm, Fleck 305

The Office of Academic Affairs and the Center for Teaching Excellence at St. Edward’s University are happy that you are joining our community. 

Here is our agenda for the day; please note that you will need to sign in with your St. Edward's credentials to access the material.

This orientation should help you get settled into your faculty role at St. Edward's University and will introduce you to new faculty colleagues, as well as colleagues from across campus. We aim to have an engaging day, full of conversation and support. Please let us know if you will be able to join us: Orientation RSVP.

Previous CTE Program Schedules:

2021-2022

Teaching Awards and Innovation Fellows

Teaching Awards

Given annually, teaching excellence awards at St. Edward's University honor faculty for their exceptional talents and dedication to promoting learning in meaningful, engaging and innovative ways. The selection process is rigorous, evaluating candidates' course offerings, curricular designs, instructional methods, classroom performances, and interactions with students.

Four awards are given annually:

2021-2022 Teaching Winners

Mary Rist
Mary Rist
Sister Donna Jurick 
Distinguished Career Award

 

Shannon Pleasant
Shannon Pleasant
Outstanding Teaching Award
Katherine Goldey
Katherine Goldey
Distinguished Teaching Award
Rodrigo Nunes
Rodrigo Nunes
Distinguished Teaching Award 
Jimmy Luu & Sasha West
Jimmy Luu & Sasha West
DeLayne Hudspeth Award

 

 

 

Innovation Fellows

Innovation fellowships support faculty who need time, resources and expertise to include pedagogical experimentation in their courses by providing a stipend, participation in the Innovation Institute, and a community of faculty fellows focused on pedagogical innovation.

Learn about our Innovation Fellows and their projects

Read about past fellows.

Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction

Delayne Hudspeth, retired professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Instructional Technology at the University of Texas, was a mentor to several St. Edward's faculty members and scores of other master's and doctoral students. Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, Dr. Hudspeth's contributions to innovation in higher education are honored by this award. 

The CTE would like to invite you to apply for the Delayne Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction. The award, open to all who teach, including full-time (tenure-track and non-tenure-track), part-time, adjunct, and staff who teach, is determined by a panel representing schools across campus and carries a $500 stipend. The application is a Google Form and is due March 11, 2022. Please see below for more details.

Delayne Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction 
Deadline: March 11, 2022
Application Form

Who can apply: This award recognizes St. Edward’s instructors who create innovative learning environments and projects. All teaching faculty members -- including full-time (tenure-track and non-tenure-track), part-time, adjunct, and staff who teach -- are encouraged to apply. Previous Award winners will be considered for the Hudspeth Award five years after their previous win.

What projects are eligible: Self-nominations should highlight a specific project, an assignment or exercise, a teaching method, a new use of technology, or the redesign of an entire class.

Instructors may apply for the award based on an innovation implemented in any of the three years previous to the application deadline. For this year's award, projects implemented in any of the following semesters will be eligible:

  • Academic year 2018-2019, including Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer 2019
  • Academic year 2019-2020, including Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020
  • Academic year 2020-2021, including Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021
  • Fall 2021

What should the application highlight: Since this award celebrates innovation, preference will be given to projects that demonstrate the greatest levels of innovation and that clearly present the value of that innovation for student learning. Note that the committee does not equate innovation with adoption of new technologies. While some winning projects have featured new uses of technology, many have not.  Please review the Google form before you start crafting your application, as it will help guide you in showcasing your project.

When do you need to submit the application: Please fill out the Google Form by end of the day on Monday, March 11, 2022.

How will a winner be determined: The winner and finalist for the award will be decided upon by the members of Hudspeth Awards Committee. The committee is comprised of representatives from across the university's schools. Applications are blind-reviewed, scored according to the selection criteria, and then discussed until the committee achieves consensus. 

Questions? If you have any questions about the award or would like to discuss your application, please contact Jennifer Jefferson jennej@stedwards.edu. Jennifer facilitates the award process, but is not a voting member.