Section: About CET

About CET

Our Vision

The USC Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET) is a university-wide fellow-driven organization dedicated to
fostering and enhancing deep lifelong learning.

Our Mission

The mission of CET is to provide shared leadership, vision, and support committed to
the inspiration, development, and advancement of USC's learner-centered education.


The Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET) is an innovative initiative envisioned by faculty for faculty. The CET Fellows are a group of creative faculty, well-recognized by their peers, and committed to excellence and innovation in teaching, learning, and scholarship. Since its inception in1996, as a full-time faculty development organization, CET's work has been undertaken by its Faculty Fellows, led by CET's Director, and supported by a very small staff.

CET seeks primarily to treat teaching as serious intellectual work that merits sustained focus at a research university. By providing the training, feedback, and resources to make excellent teaching possible, we assist faculty and teaching assistants to think of college courses, and out-of-class activities, as opportunities for them to define, practice, and advance their disciplines (and inter-disciplinary collaborative work) through teaching and mentoring.

Major themes of our University Strategic Plan include learner-centered education, distance learning, globalization, and interdisciplinary scholarship aimed at solving current social problems. Since CET has been a leader in creating and implementing educational strategies now recognized as essential in the new Strategic Plan, CET is the right resource to offer leadership to the University on these issues.

CET'S Prime Directive

CET's prime directive is to advance learning at all levels by providing and coordinating activities and programs that promote and support effective teaching and mentoring. The needs of diverse learners and scholars are met by our initiatives.

Current Objectives and Dimensions of the Work of CET
Teaching, Learning, Community, Organizational Environment and Advocacy

Teaching – Through its workshops, seminars, and programs CET addresses teaching issues at the individual, department, curricular and institutional levels. CET:

Learning – CET raises awareness of how students learn, develop intellectually, and grow into active citizens and lifelong learners; how students perceive and articulate their learning needs; and how faculty might create a positive context for learning. CET:

Community – Through a diversity of media CET works to bring together and strengthen relationships between members of USC's instructional community: students, teachers, administrators, staff, and stakeholders. CET:

Organizational Environment and Advocacy – CET fosters an organizational culture in which teaching, learning and scholarship about teaching can flourish through individual consultations as well as active membership in university-wide committees. It advocates for individuals and groups working on teaching and learning initiatives through communities of practice and scholarly research.