About the Center

by Gail O. Mellow, Phyllis van Slyck, and Bret Eynon.
Change Magazine March/April 2003.

The LaGuardia Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers faculty-led programs designed to advance innovative teaching and enrich student learning. Founded in Fall 2001 as a center for professional collaboration, reflection and exchange, the Center draws upon the expertise of the entire college to help better serve students. The principles of effective practice we have developed guide our work with faculty. From issues of interdisciplinary literacy to strategies for addressing the rich and growing diversity of our student community, to the questions raised by new educational technologies, the Center helps the college face exciting educational challenges and opportunities.

To contact the Center, please visit our Staff page. For more information on the technical resources we offer, visit our Facilities page.

Faculty develop and lead a wide range of programs that catalyze transformation throughout LaGuardia, focusing on creative pedagogy and smart integration of new media. These include the Electronic Student Portfolio (ePortfolio) initiative, which allows students to create web-based collections of work that promote active learning and reflection; Designed for Learning (DFL), which engages faculty in a year-long exploration of new teaching tools; the Student Technology Mentor (STM) program, which has trained over a hundred students to provide classroom support and guidance to faculty who are exploring the use of digital media; the Carnegie Seminar on Scholarship, Teaching and Integration, focused on reflective practice and the scholarship of teaching; Conversations About Teaching, a series of discussions about teaching ranging from diversity to qualitative reasoning across the curriculum; Difficult Dialogues, helping faculty reflect on and grapple with issues of faith in LaGuardia’s diverse environment and develop pedagogy and curriculum related to religious issues, and Building Information Literacy in the Disciplines (BILD) enabling faculty to help students develop the essential critical skills needed to do effective research today.

Connecting college-wide programs
Center-affiliated staff and faculty build connections across projects, deepening our collective reservoir of insight and expertise. We work closely with a number of key affiliated programs, including Writing In the Disciplines. In addition, we support the faculty development efforts of individual departments such as The English Language Center (TELC). As part of our continual growth, we have recently developed a set of new initiatives, including the New Faculty Colloquium, which improves faculty retention and leadership by connecting new faculty to a supportive mentoring community. We partner closely with the Library, the Divisions of Information Technology, Adult and Continuing Education, and actively participate in the Opening Sessions for Faculty coordinated by LaGuardia's Committee on Professional Development. We are committed to collaborating with our colleagues to forge a supportive environment for LaGuardia faculty and students.

Honors and Awards
LaGuardia has attracted recent honors for innovative leadership on key higher education needs, from ePortfolio and first year learning communities to faculty development and integrative learning – and the Center for Teaching and Learning has played a key role in this process. TIAA CREF awarded the 2004 Center Hesburgh Certificate of Excellence for the Enhancement of Undergraduate Education. And Center programs played a key role in LaGuardia’s recognition with the 2006 MetLife Community College Excellence Award, and the 2007 Bellwether Award for Instructional Innovation, awarded by the Community College Futures Association. In November 2007 CUNY honored Center Director Bret Eynon with the 2007-8 the Michael Robateau Award for innovation in instructional technology.

Fostering links nationwide and locally
Colleges and universities nationwide have established centers that lead campus-based programs for faculty and enrich the nationwide discussion on issues of learning, teaching, and education reform. Center staff regularly attend and present at national conferences such as the American Association for Higher Education and the American Studies Association, as well as publishing in major educational journals. Center Director Bret Eynon co-directed the Visible Knowledge Project (VKP), a national project aimed at improving the quality of college and university teaching, and led LaGuardia’s participation in the three-year, multi-campus Integrative Learning Project, sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Center spearheaded LaGuardia’s leadership role as a founding member of the Inter/National Coalition For Electronic Portfolio Research. These partnerships and our participation in the work of the League for Innovation in the Community College and the Professional and Organizational Development Network help the Center learn from best practices nationwide and draw attention to LaGuardia's role as a center for educational innovation.

Faculty and staff working with the Center play leadership roles throughout City University of New York (CUNY) system, the largest urban network of public colleges and universities in the U.S. To connect and share with our CUNY colleges on topics related to teaching and learning, the Center has sponsored CUNY Research Seminars and Faculty Development Seminars. In May 2005, the Center sponsored the first CUNY-wide General Education conference on Integrative Learning, drawing 200 participants for a highly successful day-long conference. In April 2008 the Center organized a national conference, Making Connections: ePortfolio, Integrative Learning, and Assessment, which launched the Center’s newest initiative, a National Resource Center on Inquiry, Reflection, and Integrative Education.

The Center emerged from the work begun by the Center for Excellence in Teaching with Technology (CETT), funded by grants from the Title V program of the US Department of Education. The success of CETT's work, which focused on linking technology to classroom change and reflective practice, encouraged campus leaders to redefine the role of the Center to address a broader range of pedagogical and professional growth issues. When the Title V grant was complete, LaGuardia institutionalized the grant funded programs and encouraged the growth of the Center as a whole.

The Center's activities are funded a combination of grant and institutional funding. Major grant funding includes three grants from the Title V program of the US Department of Education, aimed at improving the quality of Hispanic-serving institutions. In addition, we have attracted significant funding from the Ford Foundation, the New York State Department of Education (through the Vocational & Applied Technology Education Act: VATEA), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Fund for Improvement of Post-Secondary Education of the US Department of Education, the City University New York Technology Fee, and the New York State Workforce Development Fund.


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718.482.5462, ctl@lagcc.cuny.edu
LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Ave, Room M414, New York, NY 11101