About Us

students in class


SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) supports the pursuit of academic innovation by providing research-based instructional design services, supporting a campus culture of teaching excellence, and empowering faculty to transform their pedagogical practices. As a campus catalyst for teaching innovation, we aim to develop and redefine world class instruction in a premier research and teaching university with global impact. 


  • Great universities treasure great teaching, and make the importance of teaching part of university culture.
  • SMU should put significant resources into inspiring, promoting, and supporting good teaching.
  • Inspired teaching motivates and empowers student learning.
  • Research-based principles of effective teaching can inform and shape our practices – from individual classes to departmental and university programs.
  • An effective Center for Teaching Excellence can teach these principles and practices, and can do so in a way that is efficient, useful, and appealing.
  • An effective Center for Teaching Excellence fosters energy, enthusiasm, and scholarly conversation about the teaching enterprise at the university.
  • An effective Center for Teaching Excellence can be the leader in campus collaborations that support excellent teaching and maximize the effectiveness of resources, communications, and activities.


  • CTE will serve as the nucleus of SMU’s support of teaching excellence.
  • CTE will create a high level of awareness among SMU faculty of CTE's offerings.
  • CTE will deliver high-quality programs and services.
  • CTE will offer individual and group support to instructors in designing, teaching, and assessing their courses, including training in effective use of technology.
  • CTE will provide tangible support to innovative teaching methods that engage students and enhance learning.
  • CTE will recognize and reward excellence in teaching.
  • CTE will stimulate conversation about teaching that creates opportunities for improvement of teaching, mutual inspiration, and a sense of renewal in university teaching.
  • CTE will cultivate a sense of community across disciplines, united by a common concern for teaching and student learning.
  • CTE will identify and create programs for areas in which improvement of course design and teaching aligns with other university priorities.
  • CTE will become SMU’s leader in fostering excellence in teaching and learning by collaborating with other campus entities that offer services that support student learning.