Off to a Strong Start: Creating Cultures of Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Jon Iuzzini, director of teaching and learning


We’re off to a strong start in 2020, starting with the wind-down of two major grant funded initiatives, the Open Educational Resources Degree Initiative and the Engaging Adjunct Faculty in the Student Success Movement initiative. We learned a great deal from our work with more than 40 ATD Network colleges in these two lines of work, and we are excited to release significant reports from each initiative at DREAM next month. Look for them at the conference and also on the ATD website.

Our partnership with Every Learner Everywhere continues, enabling us to support seven ATD Leader Colleges in the implementation of adaptive courseware to support student success in gateway courses. We will be convening these colleges at DREAM next month in National Harbor, MD, and will be sharing some of their early successes in two breakout presentations on the DREAM program.

Our learnings from these initiatives have also informed the development of our Teaching & Learning capacity building services, which we began offering to colleges one year ago. This work builds on the call to action our President and CEO, Dr. Karen A. Stout gave in the Dallas Herring Lecture at North Carolina State University in Fall 2018. She suggested that a critical next step in the student success movement is to turn our attention to classroom instructional practices and to ensure that faculty are helping to lead their college’s reform efforts. To that end, we have developed a framework of guiding principles, based on what we have learned in our OER work, our Engaging Adjunct Faculty work, and on the research in the field of faculty/educational development. We believe that colleges can create cultures of excellence in teaching and learning as they work towards making each of these a reality: 

  1. Full-time and adjunct faculty are using inclusive, evidence-based instructional practices to foster student learning. 

  2. Full-time and adjunct faculty are key collaborators in the college’s student success efforts with staff and administrators in academic affairs and student affairs.

  3. Faculty and students engage as active learners in an accessible, empowering, personalized, and supportive academic community.

  4. Institution embraces professional learning for continuous improvement and aligns these activities and related expectations in hiring, evaluation, promotion.

By situating this work in Centers for Teaching and Learning (and other faculty professional development offices or units), this approach enables colleges to create the conditions they need for enduring changes to their institutional culture around teaching and learning. This culture, in turn, empowers full-time and adjunct faculty to take risks as they try new approaches in their classroom and as they become more deeply involved as leaders in their college’s student success work. We are excited to share more details during a DREAM spotlight session entitled Building a Culture of Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

We’re also focusing our attention on building content for our second annual ATD Teaching & Learning Summit, which will be held in St. Louis this spring. The event sold-out last year and brought together teams of faculty, staff, administrators, and faculty/educational developers from nearly 60 ATD colleges. Over three days full of positive energy committed to student success, these teams worked on action plans focused on one of three key areas: implementing Open Educational Resources; implementing Culturally Responsive Practices; and Guided Pathways Pillar 4: Ensuring Students are Learning. We are excited to offer our second annual Teaching & Learning Summit, April 22-25, 2020 in St. Louis. A call for presentation proposals and information about team registration is available here.

We are interested to learn how you are building a culture of excellence in teaching and learning and welcome the opportunity to talk with you. Look for us in the ATD booth area at DREAM 2020 or reach out to me at I look forward to a conversation.

Shadowbox Semi-Transparent Layer


Shadowbox Content Here