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CTL Mission, Vision, Values

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What is CTL working toward?

Our aspirational vision of Stanford University’s future teaching and learning environment is one where all Stanford educators and students, across varied roles and stages, have the tools and resources to succeed in all aspects of their teaching and learning journeys. Beyond individual success, we aspire to a vibrant university-wide culture of teaching and learning that fuels Stanford’s vision, prioritizes equity and social justice, and promotes academic wellbeing.

Who does CTL work with?

  • We work with anyone who teaches in Stanford’s undergraduate and graduate programs, including faculty, academic staff-teaching (e.g., lecturers, instructors, artists-in-residence, teaching specialists, professors of the practice), teaching assistants and course assistants (TAs and CAs), and others with teaching duties. 
  • We work with learners who are matriculated undergraduate and graduate students at Stanford, and with graduate students and postdocs in CTL’s teaching-related professional development programs.
  • We collaborate extensively with staff, administrators, departments, schools, and programs in support of teaching and learning.

What is CTL’s purpose?

Our purpose (sometimes called mission) is to advance the integration of inclusive, evidence-based, innovative teaching and learning practices in Stanford undergraduate and graduate contexts. 

What does CTL do?

To work toward our vision and fulfill our purpose, we:

  • Facilitate programs and services for educators and learners to develop, practice, and reflect on their approaches.
  • Partner with schools, departments, and other units to advance shared educational goals in context-relevant ways.
  • Recognize growth, excellence, and innovation in the Stanford community through grants, awards, and opportunities.
  • Foster community and leadership development through engagement with educators and learners at varying stages of interest and growth.
  • Share guidance and advice on emerging needs and methods related to teaching and learning at Stanford.
  • Contribute to teaching, learning, and educational development practice and scholarship at Stanford and beyond.

How does CTL approach its work?

We strive to enact the following approaches throughout our work:

  • Practicing equity: we purposely center inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, both as content in our programs, and as principles of and standards for carrying out our work.
  • Drawing on evidence: we emphasize practices supported by epistemologically diverse research and scholarship. 
  • Centering participants: we recognize that educators and students bring a wide range of experiences and interests to our interactions; we design strengths-based experiences that are welcoming, supportive, and readily accessible to all, particularly those who most need them and who are marginalized, minoritized, or both, in higher education.
  • Caring for people and resources: we prioritize the wellness of those we work with and ourselves, while making use of funding, time, and material resources with attention to sustainability, in terms of environmental impact and long-term well-being. 
  • Learning continuously: we believe that all community members, including CTL staff, colleagues, students, educators—and together, the university as a whole—are capable of learning, growth, and improvement with dedicated effort, support, feedback, and guidance.