Teaching is at the very core of our Holy Cross tradition of academic excellence.
Students benefit from an active and rigorous learning environment that is constantly refined toward a common goal — to inspire to think, learn and grow beyond expectations.
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.
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.
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 effective and innovative 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 career
- Recognizing excellence in teaching
Director and Advisory Board
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.
Alex Barron, Associate Professor of University Studies
Arcelia Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Learning, and Culture
Stephen King, Professor of Communication
Kate Lopez, Assistant Professor of Accounting
Mity Myhr, Professor of History
Paul Walter, Associate Professor of Mathematics
The Center for Teaching Excellence offers a variety of programs to improve teaching at the university, including:
- Books & Coffee Reading and Discussion Group
- Faculty Learning Communities
- New Faculty Support
- Innovation Fellowships and Institute
- Teaching Symposium
- Workshops, seminars, and discussion groups
- Resources, including a library of print books and numerous digital teaching guides and articles
- Programs for departments and schools are also available upon request.
Please visit our blog for more information: http://sites.stedwards.edu/cte/
2020-2021 Full Event Schedule
Flexible Planning in Our Individual Assessment Practices (Or, What are You Going to Do for Finals?)
Thursday, July 30 at 2: 00 pm-3: 00 pm
Jennifer Jefferson and Rebecca Frost Davis
Join us for part workshop/part discussion on your plans for assessing students over the course of the semester. Socially distanced teaching can shape how we assess our students and inform the assignments that we craft. In this session, we’ll step through some considerations to keep in mind, some ways to diversify your assignments, and balancing the workload throughout the semester.
Social reading with Hypothesis, Perusall, or Google Docs
Wednesday, July 29, 11 am - noon
Rebecca Frost Davis
Social reading, aka social annotation, offers another way to encourage student-student interaction as it uncovers student reading practices. This practice helps students better engage in digital texts through shared highlighting and comments. For hybrid or online classes, such interaction can take the place of shared reading of texts in the face-to-face classroom and can be especially helpful when students are approaching new kinds of texts like academic articles. This hands-on session will cover three tools that can be used for social reading (the Hypothesis plug-in for Canvas, Perusall, and Google Docs) and share example assignments and activities.
Lessons Learned from Teaching Online
Thursday, July 23, at 11 AM-12:30 PM
Rebecca Frost Davis and Faculty Guests
Come hear from faculty who developed and taught courses as part of the Summer 2020 Online Initiative. Beginning in Fall 2019, they worked with instructional designers to develop these undergraduate courses for online delivery in Summer 2020 (before we knew all instruction would be online due to the Pandemic). This session will offer a debrief of what they learned that can benefit us all as we prepare for socially-distanced and remote teaching. These instructors will be asked to share at least one lesson learned that they expect to use in their future teaching whether hybrid, online, or face-to-face.
Moderator: Rebecca Davis
- Faculty panelists will include:
- Emily Bernate
- Lisa Holleran
- Jimmy Luu
- Stephanie Martinez
- Adam McCormick
- Jack Musselman
- Yongshin Park
- Mitch Phillipson
- Casey Sherman
A Common Challenge, Amplified: Making Hard Choices to Fit the Time that We Have
Wednesday, July 22 at 11: 00am -12:00 pm
Jennifer Jefferson and Jenny Cha
Once we get back into campus life, we’ll be navigating some old and new considerations--course loads, grading, and caring for ourselves and our students, all of which might take more time than before. In this session, we’ll outline some of the hidden logistics of teaching in a socially distanced context and discuss possibilities for streamlining your approaches. We’ll consider ways to cull content and hone in on key ideas. We will also talk about ways to build in time for yourself and your students over the course of the semester while still upholding the core values of your class.
You Mean I Can Still Do That?!: Active Learning in the Socially Distanced, Hybrid, and Online Classroom
Thursday, July 16 at 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Jennifer Jefferson and Jessica Vargas
Thinking about new forms of hybrid teaching that we will be engaging in 20-21 can seem daunting--will everything change? Do I have to do everything differently? In this session, we’ll discuss how you might adapt some strategies that you use in a traditional semester for the socially distanced semester. We’ll also introduce a few new technical possibilities, using Zoom, Canvas, or Google, to help you navigate this new terrain. Finally, we’ll help you make strategic choices for activities that are related to your learning goals in hopes of balancing your workload.
Group Activities with Google
Wednesday, July 15, 11 am - noon
Rebecca Davis and Laura Lucas
Zoom Link: https://stedwards.zoom.us/j/99406191047
How can students collaborate in and out of the classroom? How do you enable student interaction in and between the socially-distanced, hybrid, or online classrooms? This session will cover how to support student group activities using the tools of G Suite, including Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and Chat.
Pandemic Pedagogy: Teaching in Our Complicated Context
Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 11 am-12:30 pm
Jennifer Jefferson and Rebecca Frost Davis
We are teaching in extraordinary times. While we are all trying to Keep Calm and Carry On, in this session we will take a moment to acknowledge the anxiety and precarity in our current situation. We will provide an overview of possible ways to structure a hybrid class before brainstorming strategies we can use to help ourselves and therefore our students. How can we set realistic expectations for ourselves and others? How can we strategically prioritize our own efforts? What are creative ways to approach teaching given our current parameters?
Fall Planning: A Discussion with Colleagues
Rebecca Frost Davis and Jennifer Jefferson
Wednesday, July 1st at 2
Want to chat with colleagues about the fall? Curious to hear about different approaches and tools? Join us for this discussion with colleagues from across campus. We'll have some guiding questions and use breakout groups to tap into the wealth of knowledge from across campus. We know that you are trying out new and interesting things in your classes, have questions about different approaches, and just want to connect with colleagues--here's a chance to do all of that at once.
Previous CTE Program Schedules:
Teaching Awards and Innovation Fellows
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:
- The Sister Donna Jurick Distinguished Career Award is given to one faculty member who has taught at St. Edward's for at least 15 years.
- The Distinguished Teaching Award is given to two contract faculty.
- The Outstanding Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty is given to one adjunct faculty member.
- The Delayne Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction honors a faculty member who has designed an innovative course project or teaching method.
2018-2019 Teaching Winners
Sister Donna Jurick Distinguished Career Award
Distinguished Teaching Award
Distinguished Teaching Award
Outstanding Teaching Award
Bilal Shebaro & Casie Parish Fisher
Delayne Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction
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.
This award recognizes St. Edward's teachers who create innovative learning environments. One award, in the amount of $500, may be given each year. The winning project is chosen by the Hudspeth Award Committee, a committee of faculty members from at least four of the St. Edward's schools.
All applications for the 2019-2020 Hudspeth Award process are due by the end of the day on January 31, 2020. Applications must be submitted online.
Eligible Course Projects
Who can self nominate? Faculty (full-time, part-time, and staff who teach) of all disciplines and ranks are encouraged to apply. Recipients of the award must wait five years before reapplying.
What course projects are eligible? Self nominations should highlight a specific project, assignment, exercise, teaching method or a new use of technology. They may also focus on the entire course, if the course design itself is novel.
Instructors may apply for the award based on an innovation planned and implemented in any of the three years previous to the application deadline. This year, projects implemented in any of the following semesters will be eligible:
- Academic year 2016-2017, including Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Summer 2017,
- Academic year 2017-2018, including Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and Summer 2018,
- Academic year 2018-2019, including Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer 2019
A focus on innovation: 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.
How to Apply
Note: There is a 2000-word limit on your application's total length, though no single question has a word limit. Please run a word count on your completed application before submitting it through the online form.
The submission form is designed to allow you to edit your responses even after submitting them.
The winner(s) of the award will be decided upon by the faculty members of the Innovations in Teaching Committee. The CTE director does not influence or participate in the discussion or the voting.
The committee follows an established review practice:
- Applications are masked to enable blind review. This process removes the applicant's name and any obviously identifying information from the application document.
- Masked copies of the applications are circulated to all members of the committee for review. Committee members read each application, complete an evaluation rubric, and rank them, adhering to the application categories and questions.
- The committee then meets and holds an in-depth discussion of the projects, leading to a final consensus decision based on both the scoring and the discussion.
- Currently, only one project can win the Hudspeth Award each year.