Information Update - Spring 2006

Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence News

The mandate of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is to promote excellence in teaching and learning. We recognize that individuals need different kinds and levels of support to reach their potential and try to provide the services individuals need to teach and learn to the best of their ability. The CTLE provides services to both faculty and students and is unique in the extent to which those services are offered. While many members of the University community are aware of our efforts on behalf of students with special needs, they often don’t know much about the other services we provide. We are trying to raise awareness of the Center’s mandate and the scope of its activities through publications and presentations. Starting with the Spring Term, we will also publish a Newsletter to raise awareness of the services we provide.
It has been a very busy term for the CTLE. To begin with, we offer a new service. We have been providing accommodations for students with special needs for some time. Since August, we have also been providing creditation for students with disabilities. This means that students with special needs have access to one-stop service at the University of Scranton. At the moment, we assist between 130-150 students, officially identified as students with disabilities, with getting the most out of their education and performing to their maximum potential. Special accommodations are provided at the Center. In this connection, the Center has proctored in excess of 100 final examinations during the recent final examination period for Fall term.
The Center enjoys a very collegial atmosphere. Although we all have our assigned tasks we help each other out. We try to provide a relaxed and welcoming environment for all. Although I have been here only since the middle of August, I feel as though I have always been part of this family. The specialists are a group of skilled and very dedicated people providing services to students and faculty. The staff is as follows:

Dr. André Oberlé, Director (941-4040)

Mary J. Burkhart, Writing Center Coordinator (941-7893)

Eugeniu Grigorescu, Instructional Curriculum Designer (941-5519)

Aileen McHale, Instructional Technology & Enrichment Specialist (941-4365)

James Muniz, Reading Enrichment Specialist/ADP Director (941-4218)

Mary Ellen Pichiarello, Learning Enrichment Specialist (941-4365)

Paula Semenza, Office Manager (941-4038)

Our Peer-Tutoring services are more active than ever. During the Fall Session, we have had about 950 requests for tutors. It is gratifying to see that more and more students are proactive about their learning needs and request tutors very early in the term. They understand that the role of the tutor is not to bail them out when they are in trouble in a course, but to share with them the study and learning skills needed to succeed in specific courses. The Writing Center delivers programs and workshops to help students increase their writing skills. It has had over 870 consultations during the fall semester.
The reading specialist gives one-on-one tutorials to many students with reading problems and also gives presentations on reading skills and administers reading tests. The Center also provides special seminars on academic success to freshman classes. 
In addition to providing these services for students, the Center also provides extensive services for faculty members. In addition to the numerous one-on-one consultations, we also give workshops and make presentations. In these events, the CTLE stresses the pedagogical aspects of the topics. Even when the topic concerns instructional technology, the stress is on the pedagogical aspects.

During the fall term, the following workshops were given:
  • New Features in Blackboard
  • Better Learning Through Active Learning
  • Tooting your own Horn
  • How to Create an Effective Course Syllabus
  • Concept Mapping: Powerful as a Cognitive and Assessment Tool
  • Internet2: Not just for scientists anymore
A series of Blackboard Workshops were offered during Intersession. We are currently developing the program for faculty advancement for the Spring Session. The CTLE also organized the luncheon for the winners of the Frank O’Hara and Rose Kelly Awards and hosted the Appreciation Dinner for Part-Time Faculty in mid-January.
We encourage everyone to make full use of our services by consulting us on a one-on-one basis and/or attending our workshops and presentations. For more information about the CTLE, please consult our website at or get in touch with the Director or one of the Specialists.

André Oberlé, Director, CTLE

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