What is CIRTL?

The CIRTL Network is the product of a national effort to improve undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). UCLA is among the 43 research universities that are CIRTL members, and together we produce 1/3 of all STEM doctoral degrees in the US. CIRTL supports the professional and career development of graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and current faculty in STEM fields who are engaged in teaching now, or who are considering academic careers. The goals are to inspire a commitment to use effective teaching practices for diverse college students, and to provide current and future faculty the knowledge and tools to do so.

As a new CIRTL member, UCLA will develop its own programs built on the CIRTL core ideas: Teaching-as-research, learning communities and learning-through-diversity. This new local learning community will offer its own robust schedule of courses, programs, events, internships and resources. In addition, it will collaborate on cross-network projects with CIRTL partners and participate in national offerings.

CIRTL is a research experiment in itself, testing whether a mission-driven university network can advance the education and impact of tomorrow’s STEM higher education faculty. The project is operated within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the highly-ranked UW–Madison School of Education and supported by the National Science Foundation, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

What are the elements of CIRTL?

The CIRTL network offers many free synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities, including online courses and MOOCs such as Introduction to Evidence-based Undergraduate STEM Teaching and Diversity in the College Classroom. Each member institution organizes a local learning community where CIRTL network activities are focused and supported by expert local leaders in STEM education.  Participants can engage in workshops, courses, and more immersive experiences.

What are the benefits of joining CIRTL?

This professional development opportunity provides UCLA graduate students and postdoctoral scholars training in inclusive and effective teaching practices and occasions to practice teaching in college classrooms. The skills and experiences gained will make graduate students and postdoctoral scholars more competitive for academic positions and other jobs in which strong communication skills and working with diverse teams are assets. Participants in CIRTL will have the opportunity to network with peers and mentors at UCLA and throughout the multi-institution network.