OSU Institute of Technology’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning was recently recognized as a 2014 Exemplary Teaching and Learning Center at the International Conference on Teaching and Learning in March.
OSUIT was one of only 12 universities given the recognition out of 107 applicants, and the only one from Oklahoma. Other schools that were honored include the University of North Carolina, Old Dominion in Virginia and Texas Wesleyan University.
“This is an honor. We’re in good company in this selection,” said Kari Chancey, Director of Academic Excellence and Distance Learning. “There are some impressive centers out there. It is quite an honor to be compared to some of these exceptional centers in the nation. It validates the work of the Center.”
The Center, which opened in June 2013, works with faculty and staff on professional development. Its highlight program is Strategies for Successful Teaching and Learning, a semester-long course that goes over curriculum design, teaching methodologies, assessment and educational technology.
The services the Center provides have been available on campus for some time, but there wasn’t a dedicated space for the program until last year.
Dr. Greg Mosier, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said being recognized as one of the top 12 Exemplary Teaching and Learning Centers in the country is something to be very proud of.
“A tremendous amount of hard work and dedication went into the creation of the Center at OSUIT, and the team in the Center continues this effort on a daily basis to bring excellence into all that they do,” Mosier said. “This national recognition is another great way to help spread the word about the university’s accomplishments, specifically in the area of providing excellent training opportunities and support for faculty and staff.”
Now that the Center is open and operating out of a dedicated space, the staff has seen an uptick in people utilizing its services.
“We’ve really seen an increase in demand for the service and an increase in the number of people taking advantage of the programs and opportunity,” she said. “This recognition and what we’ve done in the infancy of this center, it proves we’re on the right track.”
Just because the Center received the award, doesn’t mean their work is done, Chancey said.
“It’s important that myself and the staff connect with the larger development community in higher education so we can provide the best services,” she said. “We’re connecting and sharing our ideas with others and taking in ideas from that higher education community. Those connections are what will make us successful in what we do and keep us on the leading edge of programming and services.”
The core mission of OSUIT is to provide students with a high-quality education taught by faculty with the knowledge, resources and support necessary to make those students successful in the classroom and in industry, Mosier said.
“Providing these same services and support to staff is equally important. Everyone working in the Center truly understands the importance and value of what they add to the institution and they have a true passion for what they do,” he said.
And even though OSUIT is unique in its mission and degree programs, the fundamentals of teaching are the same no matter the subject.
“The foundation of teaching and learning are universal, but the way they’re applied, that depends on the circumstance,” Chancey said. “We serve the entire campus and we do have some unique challenges, but we want to provide the support the faculty and staff need, as they need it. Be proactive, not reactive.”