Advancing our Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Posted On: 2022-05-19

Advancing our Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

[Originally posted 5/19; revised and updated 5/24]

In the spirit of continuous improvement, Saint Mary’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) has spent the last year evaluating and shaping the foundations for a new strategic plan to support faculty and to create opportunities to connect learning to the goal of living in our Lasallian Catholic heritage.  Housed in the Provost’s office under the leadership of Vice Provost Andrea Carroll-Glover and Interim Director of CELT and Manager of Online Learning Product Development Dr. Carrie Wandler, the CELT engaged in the important work necessary to re-imagine its future.  Drawing from the input of faculty from across the university as well as from evidence-based best practices from the American Council on Education (ACE), the University of Continuing and Professional Education (UPCEA), the CELT has worked to benchmark the role, mission, and vision for the center in support of university-level learning and teaching.

The emerging vision for the future CELT strategic plan is designed to put the work of CELT in conversation and partnership with several key university offices including: Instructional Technology, Inclusion and Human Dignity, Character Education and Virtue Formation, and Mission and Ministry.   Using the principles outlined below, CELT will continue to engage the community to remain responsive to institutional needs guided by the key principles outlined below.  In addition, it will focus on intentionally collaborating across university offices to inform the student experience remaining grounded in our shared commitment to continuing in the learning and teaching tradition of our patron, Saint John Baptist de La Salle.

Core Principles

  • Develop instructional best practices that put the learner at the center of the educational experience

  • Utilize best practices of design and delivery to enrich learning at all levels

  • Integrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions developed in the classroom with relevant, real-world applications

  • Embrace innovative educational practices based on emerging research and scholarship

Transformative Principles

  • Create opportunities to connect learning to the goal of living our Lasallian Catholic heritage

  • Learn by association with, from, and for one another

  • Adopt a holistic approach to education that embraces all aspects of our learners and their lives

  • Create collaborative connections between our diverse campuses and the communities of which they are a part

To support the CELT’s ongoing work, Dr. Carrie Wandler has been named as the permanent Director of CELT and Online Learning Product Development effective June 1, 2022.  Building off of her 19 years of experience teaching in higher education, including at institutions such as Saint Mary’s University, Boston University and Harvard University Extension School, Carrie is well-positioned to continue to make meaningful contributions to our academic leadership.

Stepping into the interim role over the past year, Dr. Wandler has listened deeply and drawn on best practices to shape a strong strategic plan that will begin to be operationalized in 2022.

To further support the work of the CELT, Sarah Haugen M.Ed. has been named Associate Director of CELT and Online Learning Product Development effective June 1, 2022.  Sarah has served Saint Mary’s for 16 years, serving in the capacity of the Associate Director of the M.Ed. in the Teaching and Learning program for the past five years. Sarah possesses a wealth of knowledge in  faculty development, having led the M.Ed. annual spring conference which hosts hundreds of learners, facilitators and alumni, who gather to support one another in their teaching practice.

The CELT looks forward to continuing to engage with the community to shape and refine the strategic plan.  Learn more about the current vision for CELT strategic plan work here.