Like any suitable party, the opening celebration of Education and Training featured good music, an award wheel and of course, plenty of pizza and cakes. On March 9, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) celebrated its second birthday at Learning Commons, where 50 faculty, staff, and students gathered to honor the work they have done over the past two years. The organizers of the event are looking forward to continuing the tradition and turning it into an annual event.
“CETL was born at the beginning of the pandemic,” said Lindsey Hamilton, director of the Center for Excellence in Education and Training. “It was our first opportunity to celebrate the faculty, the work done and the obstacles they have overcome along the way.”
Provost Constancio Nacuma and Margaret Wood, Vice Rector for Academic Achievement, addressed the crowd, praising teachers for addressing the challenges of distance and hybrid learning, and at the same time setting an example of CU Denver’s commitment to excellence in education.
“We offer a wide range of opportunities for teachers to expand their teaching strategies and skill sets, including one-on-one trainers, on-demand workshops, course preparation returns and classroom observations,” Hamilton said. “Whether it’s your first year as an assistant professor or you’ve been at work for decades, we have everything for you.”
Despite the COVID-19 curve, 915 teachers have participated in CETL programs in the last two years, totaling more than 12,000 hours.
CETL’s mission is matched by the university’s efforts to be recognized as the best place to work for the people, where, according to the 2030 Strategic Plan, “new and polluting ideas thrive, where there is plenty of space for ideas and collaboration and where our staff belong and look forward to coming to campus every day to make an impact.
When it comes to shared spaces, the Commons Learning Success Floor has many features, including lockers for teachers to store their materials and places where they can meet with students, meet with colleagues, or relax between classes.
Collaboration and connectivity are important in education and they are central to many CETL programs that are designed to encourage not only the pollination of ideas, but also to create a positive environment and support for all faculty and staff. And that’s something to celebrate.