CELT celebrates success of first year

May 10, 2012 5:45 AM

Kathryn Hobgood Ray

One year ago, the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching opened its doors at Tulane University. The center is the driving force behind a cultural shift in the way university faculty and students interact in the classroom, says Michael Cunningham, executive director.

Michael Cunningham

One year in, the Center for Engaged Learning is changing how Tulane faculty and students engage in the classroom, says executive director Michael Cunningham. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Cunningham is proud of the successes of the inaugural year of CELT.

“We had tremendous positive reactions from the Tulane community of students, faculty, staff and administrators,” Cunningham says. “CELT has already created a strong foundation for engaged learning at Tulane.”

What is engaged learning? It’s a way of learning that encourages instructor and student to deliberate about the learning process together, so that the student, in asking questions, comprehends a subject in a way unique to his or her personal experience. CELT provides the university community with resources, tools and direction for engaged learning. 

Engaged learning as a practice is emerging at universities nationwide and is growing at Tulane, said Cunningham.

In its first year CELT launched three of four cores of engaged learning: Classroom Engagement to assist with faculty development; Research Engagement to develop more research opportunities for undergraduates; and Social Innovation Engagement to help students who want to find entrepreneurial ways to address societal challenges.

Cunningham says CELT is launching the fourth core soon. 

“Our fourth core, Experiential Learning Engagement, will begin next year. We look forward to helping students and other units provide more internship opportunities,” says Cunningham. “We want to involve alumni more as mentors and hosts of student interns and externs. In doing so, we hope to assist students in having engaging opportunities during winter, spring, and summer breaks as well as during the academic year.”



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