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About CTRL

Message from the Executive Director of CTRL

What is CTRL?

The Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning (CTRL) is American University’s catalyst for inspiring, mentoring, and celebrating faculty in their roles as teachers and researchers. To fulfill this mission, CTRL collaborates with the campus community to create opportunities for faculty to re-envision and strengthen their teaching and research practices, and to help prepare the next generation of college faculty.  

CTRL opened its doors in 1998 as the Center for Teaching Excellence. In 2009, that teaching mission was expanded to incorporate support for faculty research. The Center continues to identify and implement innovative educational practices, and to recognize the vital connection between successful teaching and significant faculty scholarship.  

Organizationally, CTRL is divided into three groups. The Teaching and Learning Resources Group works with faculty to enhance student learning, to provide training in pedagogical uses of digital media, and to promote environmental sustainability in the classroom. This Group also mounts the Ann Ferren Conference on Teaching, Research, and Learning (held each January) and the annual Fall Teaching, Research, and Technology Workshops. In addition, it organizes a series of Noontime Conversations, the year-long AU Entrée Program (for orientating new faculty members to American University), and the course for PhD students who want to teach in higher education: The Art of Teaching.  

The Research Support Group assists faculty and doctoral students in teaching and research involving quantitative or qualitative data and applications. The Group partners with colleagues across the campus in evaluating, implementing, and supporting new teaching and research platforms such as high-performance computing and virtual computing. In addition, the Group organizes faculty users groups and facilitates cross-campus teaching and research collaboration.  

The Online Learning Group offers pedagogical consulting and training to faculty interested in teaching online or hybrid courses. The Group also shares alternative teaching models for continuing classes when inclement weather or other circumstances preclude courses from meeting face-to-face.  

Each year, CTRL recognizes faculty accomplishments through a set of awards. These include the Milton and Sonia Greenberg Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, the Teaching with Research Award, the Jack Child Teaching with Technology Award, and the Green Teacher of the Year Award. CTRL also has two grants programs (the Teaching Enhancement Program and the Ideas Incubator Program) that support innovative teaching projects. CTRL also administers the Ann S. Ferren Curriculum Design Award which recognizes the collaborative work of two or more faculty who creatively enable students to integrate their learning over the course of their undergraduate experience.

American University’s Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning looks forward to working together with you.

Naomi S. Baron, Executive Director