Welcome to the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) at Texas A&M University (TAMU). We are a part of a six institution network (now expanded to 25 institutions) funded by the National Science Foundation to promote “the development of a national faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student audiences as part of their professional careers.” TAMU CIRTL serves as a bridge by (1) contributing TAMU’s unique emphasis on inquiry-based courses to the CIRTL network and (2) network existing TAMU resources and facilitating access to CIRTL resources to the broader TAMU community.
Our goals are simple:
(1) Prepare graduate students and post-docs as future faculty
(2) Support TAMU’s initiative to infuse courses with inquiry-based pedagogy
(3) Support faculty development in CIRTL pillars and inquiry-based pedagogy
As a CIRTL Network partner since 2006, TAMU-CIRTL has advanced professional development of future faculty in teaching and learning through both institutionalized CIRTL programs and existing TAMU programs. TAMU-CIRTL began by partnering with the student-led Graduate Teaching Academy, integrating Teaching-as-Research (TAR) projects into the existing learning community. In 2009, TAMU-CIRTL created the College Alignment for Collaboration (CAC), a disciplinary CIRTL learning community first implemented in the College of Geosciences. CAC takes a TAR approach to designing, implementing, and assessing inquiry-based strategies in STEM courses, a university-wide mission. CAC spawned a local and Network course Inquiry-Guided and Problem-Based Learning in Fall 2011. TAMU-CIRTL also implemented the first CIRTL program with a purely post-doctoral focus, the Post-Doctoral Professional Development workshop series. While our focus is on STEM disciplines, we encourage the diversity that accompanies the participation by all disciplines.
Please explore the above tabs. Your will find content about current TAMU-CIRTL collaborations and programs for graduate-through-faculty and resources, both at TAMU and beyond, that you may utilize in your courses and/or research. Please contact us with any questions. We are here to serve the faculty, administration, and students of Texas A&M University!
Dr. Karen Butler-Purry (Associate Provost), TAMU-CIRTL Network Leader
Dr. Robin Autenrieth, Associate Dean & TAMU-CIRTL Project Leader
Gurlovleen Rathore, CIRTL Link
"This material is based upon work partially supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-0717768. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation."
Aggies are known for their world-class research...
...but that's only half of the story. Whether you are preparing for a future faculty position or applying for a current Graduate Teaching Assistantship, becoming an effective educator will serve you well. You will need effective teaching skills to be competitive in an academic career. That's where the resources in the TAMU CIRTL network come in.
Within the TAMU CIRTL network, graduate students have multiple opportunities to access professional development programs to help you grow into your future faculty career:
Graduate Teaching Academy (GTA): The Graduate Teaching Academy is a student-led learning community that provides graduate students with professional development in the area of college teaching. GTA offers weekly workshops in four core areas: 1) course design; 2) assessment; 3) pedagogy; and 4) professional path. GTA also offers graduate students an opportunity to earn a Graduate Teaching Academy Fellow certificate or participate in a leadership role on the GTA Steering Committee as professional service to the Texas A&M community.
News about upcoming workshops can be found on the GTA facebook page. Alternatively, you may cantact GTA co-directors, Ralph Crosby and Chris Labosier, via an e-mail to email@example.com to register for the GTA program, and request addition to the GTA list-serv to receive e-mails about upcoming workshops and additional teaching-related opportunities.
CIRTL-GTA TAR Fellows Program: The CIRTL-GTA TAR Fellows program is a collaboration between TAMU-CIRTL and Graduate Teaching Academy (GTA). The CIRTL-GTA TAR Fellows program offers GTA Fellows an opportunity to conduct a Teaching-as-Research (TAR) project in collaboration with a faculty mentor in their discipline. In this program, the GTA Fellows design, implement, assess and report on innovative teaching methods developed in a STEM classroom using the teaching-as-research process. This is a year-long program, which begins with GTA Fellows submitting a proposal-based TAR application to the TAMU-CIRTL team. The team selects prospective CIRTL-GTA TAR Fellows who implement the TAR project in their faculty mentor's classroom and participate in a monthly fellows meeting to discuss their progress and complications with the project. The CIRTL-GTA TAR Fellows receive a grant of $500 on submission of their TAR project IRB application. Fellows are expected to desseminate their findings in a poster session and/or via publication in a journal. A list of past TAR fellows & their research projects is posted.
The application for this program can be requested via an e-mail to Ms. Gurlovleen Rathore at firstname.lastname@example.org. Program annoucement is sent out through the GTA list-serv April ending/beginning of May.
Post-Doctoral Professional Development Program: The Post-Doctoral Professional Development Program is a collaboration between TAMU-CIRTL and the Office of Vice President of Research, Office of Graduate Studies, and the Office of Proposal Development to provide STEM post-doctoral researchers with quality mentoring. The program, in partnership with the Center of Teaching Excellence, the Graduate Teaching Academy, and the Career Center and other resources, offers a series of professional development workshops in the area of college teaching and learning, scientific writing, grant writing and proposal development, leadership and communication, navigating the job market and work-life balance to post-doctoral researchers in STEM disciplines. Though primarily for post-docs, graduate students are welcome to attend the workshops. Resources from previous workshops are posted online.
To receive e-mails about upcoming workshop, please subscribe to the TAMUCIRTL-POSTDOC listserv via an e-mail to email@example.com and in the BODY put SUBSCRIBE tamucirtl-postdoc firstname lastname. Join the TAMU CIRTL facebook group - keyword search "TAMU CIRTL".
We want to hear from you! Please let us know if you are interested in these programs or have a suggestion for other types of professional development. We look forward to working with you! Feel free to contact us with any questions.
Gurlovleen Rathore, email
TAMU CIRTL Graduate Research Assistant
TAMU CIRTL for faculty
CIRTL at Texas A&M University focuses on developing future STEM faculty through the integration of CIRTL activities with current university initiatives to bring inquiry-based learning into the undergraduate classroom. Adapting and developing effective learning activities for the university’s diverse student audience, and integrating them successfully into courses, will require a coordinated effort of graduate students, post-docs, and faculty. CIRTL will support this initiative through the professional development of graduate-through-faculty in effective teaching practices and instructional material design that fosters learning through inquiry.
TAMU CIRTL provides and/or supplements resources in teaching and mentoring. Through participation in the national CIRTL network with its member institutions, TAMU benefits from expertise and resources (1) to develop expertise in Teaching as Research (TAR), Learning through Diversity (LtD), and development of Learning Communities (LC), (2) to connect with mentors from other institutions with expertise in these three CIRTL pillars, and (3) to put into practice the CIRTL core values within the context of their academic discipline. Ultimately, CIRTL provides valuable models for the implementation of these vital core concepts.
Additionally, faculty can engage in local TAMU-CIRTL programs as workshop facilitators, speakers, and faculty mentors. Please see graduate student program tab to learn about faculty roles in graduate student professional development programs.
For more information, to request assistance with integrating CIRTL pillars into your courses, or learn how CIRTL can be leveraged in your proposals and research efforts, please contact Karen Butler-Purry (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Robin Autenrieth (email@example.com).
Resources within the local TAMU CIRTL network include (see Resources tab for full descriptions):
Please visit the website of the national CIRTL network for more information in TAR, LtD, and LC.
TAMU CIRTL Network
Resources available for faculty and graduate students
Provides resources and a national network of faculty and graduate students from seven institutions working on issues affecting the preparation of graduate students and post-doctoral researchers as future faculty. They host a conference bringing together faculty and students from around the country and a summer conference for students to strengthen their preparation as college teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). From their website, you may also access free material focusing on Teaching as Research, Learning through Diversity, and Learning Communities (the three pillars of CIRTL), find a speaker for a special event, or network with faculty who share an interest in these topics. Member institutions are led by the University of Wisonson-Madison and include Howard University, Michigan State University, Texas A&M University, The Pennsylvania State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, and Vanderbilt University.
Provides professional development for faculty who desire to expand their repertoire of teaching strategies and design courses that challenge and support the learning of all students. The CTE hosts resources, learning communities, workshops, and seminars for faculty development. In addition, CTE provides professional development for graduate students through sponsorship of the Graduate Teaching Academy and the university sanctioned Teaching Assistant Training Evaluation Program (TATEP).
Supported by CTE and the Office of Graduate Studies, the GTA is a student led organization providing seminar series during the fall semester. The GTA is a one-year voluntary program that can be entered at the beginning of the fall or spring semester. Participants who complete a series of requirements set forth by the GTA are eligible to obtain a Certificate of Completion designating them as a “GTA Fellow”.
In its 7th year of operation, the NSF-funded Information Technology in Science (ITS) Center for Teaching and Learning is an interdisciplinary graduate program that seeks to replenish the nation's supply of science and mathematics education specialists through team-led, learner-centered opportunities involving scientists, mathematicians, education researchers and education practitioners.
iTunes U is a service provided by Texas A&M University in cooperation with Apple, Inc. to provide pod casting content to TAMU and the general public. Of the 250 participating US institutions, TAMU is one of only 16 schools featured in the Apple Showcase and the only public university from Texas. TAMU iTunes U receives a weekly average 6,000 hits from US and abroad. Of the STEM departments, the colleges of Agriculture and Engineering currently have content available on iTunes and the colleges of Science and Veterinarian Medicine have content in development. In addition, TAMU offers “Research Quick Briefs” as a weekly podcast highlighting research of faculty and agencies of the Texas A&M University System.
Offered through the College of Education, the primary goal of this area of emphasis is to allow graduate students the opportunity to learn and intern about the theory, practice, and scholarship of college teaching and learning. Individuals are able to obtain the certificate while completing a degree in any department.
Established in 2001 to support writing-intensive courses in all disciplines at TAMU, the UWC provides tutorial services to gradate and undergraduate students as well as faculty development in the teaching of writing. The UWC also consults with faculty who are developing writing-intensive courses, and encourages writing as an active learning technique in all disciplines.
CIRTL National Network
Whether you are searching for more information about teaching, learning, or the scholarship of the two combined, the national CIRTL network has resources to statisfy your search. Check out CIRTL website for more information or peruse the summaries below.
Click here to access the CIRTL National Network.
Teaching-as-Research (TAR): "the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instructors to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of both students and teachers." Resources: TAR Developmental Framework Chart, Guidebooks, Publications, Delta Program, STEM Education Scholars Program (program ended), Speakers, more.
Learning Communities (LC): "bring together groups of people for shared learning, discovery, and generation of knowledge. To achieve common learning goals, a learning community nurtures functional relationships among its members." Resouces: LC Developmental Framework Chart, Guidebooks, Publications, Delta Program, Speakers, more.
Learning-through-Diversity (LtD): "capitalizes on the rich array of experiences, backgrounds, and skills among STEM undergraduates and graduates-through-faculty to enhance the learning of all. It recognizes that excellence and diversity are necessarily intertwined." Resources: LtD Developmental Framework Chart, Diversity Institute program, Guidebooks, Publications, Delta Program, Speakers, more.
OK, you're hooked on CIRTL pillar concepts and want to implement one or all into your courses, or even teach a new course, but don't know where to start. CIRTL Guidebooks provide complete course materials in a convenient PDF (including discussion and justification of concepts, pedagogical support, detailed weekly Facilitator's guide, etc.) and are real-world tested at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The guidebooks may be taught as-is or adapted to your discipline:
|College Classroom Course guidebook||Expeditions in Learning guidebook|
|Diversity in the College Classroom guidebook||Informal Education Course guidebook|
|Effective Teaching with Technology guidebook||Instructional Materials Development Course guidebook|
The next best thing to being there. Learn from the experts in the CIRTL network as they discuss topics and demonstrate concepts found in the core principles of CIRTL (see Pillars above for more information). Presentations, publications.