In a 60-minute panel titled “Strengthening Teaching Excellence: The Evolving Role of Centers for Teaching and Learning,” Dr. Mary Carney, Dr. Rod McRae, Dr. Jeanne Sewell and Dr. Joyce Weinsheimer, Centers for Teaching and Learning (CTL) directors from four Georgia universities, discussed the evolving role of CTLs at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Annual Meeting. The panel was chaired by Dr. Costas Spirou, Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies at Georgia College and State University.

Panelists: Dr. Rod McRae, Dr. Joyce Weinsheimer, Dr. Jeanne Sewell, Dr. Mary Carney, and panel chair Dr. Costas Spirou.

According to their website, AAC&U highlights the work of higher education institutions that “have created evidence-based educational practices guided by clearly articulated goals for student learning.” This year, AAC&U received over 450 proposals and selected fewer than 20 percent for presentation.

Aligning with AAC&U’s conference theme, “Can Higher Education Recapture the Elusive American Dream?” The panelists’ presentation explored how CTLs from four institutions of higher education manage, revisit and re-conceptualize their approaches to teaching and learning to meet the need of all students–regardless of background, discipline and institutional type.

CTLs play a critical role in higher education’s quest to strengthen teaching excellence, further innovation, and transition educational research effectively into ways to help improve current practices. The panelists identified the strategies employed by their institutions and how they address:

  • Advancements in learning technologies.
  • Best practices in learning-centered teaching and emerging instructional tools.
  • New scholarly approaches to teaching and learning.
  • Comprehensive support mechanisms and training for faculty.
  • Meeting student needs of varying backgrounds.

Dr. Mary Carney is the Director of Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at the University of North Georgia. Dr. Rod McRae is the Director of Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of West Georgia. Dr. Jeanne Sewell is the Director of Center for Teaching and Learning at Georgia College & State University. Dr. Joyce Weinsheimer is the Director, Center for Teaching and Learning at the Georgia Institute of Technology.