Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)

One of the most important developments or events in the unit's history 

The establishment of the Center for Teaching and Learning was in itself an historic event. Although CEU from its founding has been known for outstanding teaching as well as research, the establishment of CTL in 2011 marked a heightened commitment to excellence in teaching across the University. An academic unit whose faculty is comprised of scholars with expertise in various areas of higher education teaching, CTL collaborates with other CEU faculty on individual teaching projects, faculty discussion groups, and various departmental initiatives, including doctoral student mentoring. CTL works with doctoral students through a range of activities including courses and seminars, peer teaching, collaborative design of class sessions, and the development of electronic teaching portfolios. The establishment of CTL in 2011 moved CEU to the forefront of institutions committed to inquiry, reflection, and innovation in teaching.

The most important development in 2014-15

A major milestone in AY 2014-15 was the launching of the CTL Program for Excellence in Teaching in Higher Education. This new program for doctoral students is comprised of a sequence of five courses and a capstone project and culminates in the development of an electronic teaching portfolio. In its inaugural year, 27 CEU doctoral students received certificates for completing the program. In fall 2015, approximately 30 new participants started the program.

Other important developments in 2014-15

In AY 2014-15, CTL introduced a year-long monthly collaborative seminar for early-career faculty, facilitated by CTL Lecturer Joanna Renc-Roe. This pilot project, initiated by faculty in the former Department of Public Policy, focused on readings and discussion of strategies for thriving in the first years of teaching, resources on teaching public policy courses and related subjects, thesis supervision, facilitating class discussion, assessment and grading. Informed by this pilot seminar, in fall 2015 CTL introduced a year-long discussion group for senior as well as junior faculty in the School of Public Policy at CEU.

In spring 2015, CTL launched the CTL Mentoring Program. This program, under the direction of CTL Lecturer Helga Dorner, is now providing sustained academic support for CEU's new Global Teaching Fellows as they prepare for and engage in teaching opportunities abroad. The program includes individual consultation, online seminars, and continuous feedback on teaching and related academic issues. The Global Teaching Fellows also may elect to begin developing electronic teaching portfolios with Dorner's guidance.

Engagement with external entities in 2014-15

CTL was co-sponsor of the first European Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (higher education), along with University College Cork and Lund University. CTL Lecturer Joanna Renc-Roe served as a member of the organizing committee, and CTL Director Sally Schwager participated in the conference in Cork, Ireland as did Tamara Steger, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, who presented the project she had developed with a CEU Teaching Development Grant.

Faculty distinctions in 2014-15

CTL Lecturer Helga Dorner was named an EDEN Fellow by the European Distance and E-Learning Network. Dorner received the EDEN Fellow award at the annual meeting of the organization in Barcelona on June 9, 2015.

Major events in 2014-15

CTL introduced its first Webinar on Teaching in Higher Education featuring invited guest James M. Lang, noted author, associate professor of English, and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. The discussion focused on issues of particular interest to early-career teachers in higher education, and included insights from Lang's most recent books, "Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty" (Harvard University Press, 2013) and "On Course: a Week-by-Week Guide to your First Semester of College Teaching" (Harvard University Press, 2008).

Other highlights in AY 2014-15 included events for CEU faculty and doctoral students as part of the CTL Distinguished Guest Speaker Series, such as the seminar with Torngy Roxa, researcher and consultant in higher education at Lund University, on early-career teaching in September, 2014; and with Robin Kirk, executive director of the Duke Human Rights Center of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, on "Lessons in Human Rights Pedagogy" in March, 2015.

Other news or information

  • CTL announced a call for applications and nominations for the European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The application deadline was January 15, 2016. For more information, see
  • CTL invites CEU faculty from all departments and schools to discuss project ideas for CEU's new Teaching Development Grants. Please contact
  • CTL offers 10 courses a year for doctoral students. 115 CEU doctoral students had taken courses at the CTL as of spring 2015.
  • CTL programs for CEU faculty include individual and group consultations, targeted consultations on mid-course student feedback, programs on mentoring TAs, monthly discussion groups, and programs for specific departments and schools. For more information, contact CTL Director Sally Schwager at