Seminars in Teaching Excellence
Academic Year 2017-18


Now recruiting for the Winter/Spring 2018 STEs: Language Expertise and Course Design and Assessment Techniques. For faculty application, please click here. For Mellon-EPIC Fellowship for graduate students, please click here. 

Overview and Commitment

The Seminars in Teaching Excellence (STE) will explore topics that are fundamental to teaching and learning in the humanities and support innovative approaches to humanities curricula through productive discussions and collaborations between UCLA and area community college faculty, and UCLA graduate students. The outcome for each seminar will vary and will be determined by the faculty leads and participants of each STE, but at the very least the seminars are required to provide:

  • an annotated bibliography of relevant scholarly articles
  • one other product that can used or adapted to provide pedagogical training and instructional support for faculty and TAs

The seminars require about twenty hours of commitment from each faculty and Mellon-EPIC Fellow participant over the course of one quarter.

Inclusive Classrooms (Fall Quarter 2017)

This seminar focuses on inclusive teaching approaches that address the needs of historically underrepresented minority students at UCLA. While “underrepresented minorities” is a term commonly used to refer to race, gender or class, physical and developmental disabilities may be added to provide a more comprehensive definition of the term. This STE will discuss ways in which courses can be adapted to comply with the university’s Diversity Requirements, as well as read and discuss various frameworks and approaches to inclusive teaching, which include but are not limited to acknowledging/combatting social constructions of identity, implicit bias, microaggressions, stereotype threats, and Universal Design for Learning.

Excellence in Writing (Fall Quarter 2017)

The Writing Excellence STE will examine approaches to the teaching of writing. Participants would delve into a variety of established and emerging strategies for effective teaching of writing, especially in the setting of the inclusive classroom. Topics of discussion may include but are not limited to assignment design, the pre-writing process, composition, revision techniques, and digital technologies for evaluation and teaching of writing.

Language Expertise (Winter Quarter 2018)

This STE will examine approaches to and best practices for teaching languages. This seminar would explore language acquisition theory and apply it to an understanding of effective pedagogies for teaching language in order to produce materials that may be adapted for training and instructional support for TAs and faculty. The seminar will also consider the potential uses of new digital tools and media in language instruction.

Course Design and Assessment Techniques (Spring Quarter 2018)

This STE would allow faculty and graduate students to engage directly with educational research, including cognitive science, social psychology, and learning analytics. The participants in this seminar will read and discuss relevant literature and investigate a set of topics basic to course design and assessment. As in the Inclusive Classrooms STE, participants would have the opportunity and challenge of adapting general theories on course design and assessment to the specific contexts of humanities teaching and learning.


Seminars in Teaching Excellence Benefits

Faculty Leads: Two UCLA faculty members will be invited to co-lead each STE. Faculty leads are responsible for providing the structure for their STE, develop the content and the scope of the seminar, and facilitate the scheduled meetings. Each faculty lead will receive $10,000 in compensation, $1,500 in benefits, and one course release each year.

 Faculty Participants: Faculty members in humanities fields, including history, are encouraged to apply for the Foundational Issues STE. There are eight spaces reserved for UCLA ladder faculty and full-time lecturers/adjuncts in each STE. Two spaces are reserved for faculty from Santa Monica College during the AY 2017-2018. These two spaces will be open to applicants from other community colleges beginning AY 2018-2019. Each faculty participant will receive a $5,000 research grant.

Mellon-EPIC Fellowship in Teaching Excellence: Graduate students with home departments in the Humanities Division or the Department of History at UCLA are eligible to apply to participate in the STEs as Mellon-EPIC Fellows. There are ten spaces reserved for graduate student Fellow in each STE. Fellows will be awarded $5,000.

 Pedagogical Innovative Grants: UCLA Faculty participants will also be eligible to vie for a $5,000 grant to be used for innovative or cutting edge teaching practices or methodologies in the classroom. Up to five grants are available for each STE.

Please contact Lisa Felipe at for questions.