Skip to main content


What We Do

As a unit of the Office of the Provost at Northwestern University, we advance the University’s priorities of excellent teaching and of its students in a diverse academic community. Aligned with the vision of Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, we lead on initiatives to enhance instruction and cultivate inclusive learning environments to ensure all students experience belonging and can thrive during their time at Northwestern. Through cross-unit collaborations across the student learning ecosystem, we are building a robust educational development infrastructure and expanding organizational capacity for strategic institutional change initiatives.

We partner with members of the Northwestern University community who aspire to:

  • Embrace and celebrate continual reflection and growth in learning and teaching
  • Engage with evidence-based teaching practices
  • Create inclusive learning environments with culturally sustaining mentoring practices
  • Deepen awareness of the multiple ways that intersecting identities shape teaching and learning
  • Use equitable assessment methods for understanding and improving student learning
  • Connect educators to fortifying knowledge-sharing communities
  • Build organizational capacity for strategic institutional change initiatives
  • Ensure all students experience belonging
  • Promote a culture of lifelong learning



Our History

Advancing learning since 1992.

The Searle Center was established in 1992 in response to faculty and administrators calling for a designated center devoted to learning and teaching in higher education. This was not the first Center of its kind at Northwestern University; throughout the mid-seventies and eighties, the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) had maintained its own Teaching Center. Under the auspices of University President Arnie Weber, a commission led by SESP Professor Robert Menges recommended that the new Center be open to all faculty and graduate students across the University, and as such, be an independent entity. Originally called the Center for Effective Teaching, the Center was renamed the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence in 1993 following a generous donation from the Searle Family. In 2013, the center took on its current name.

Since its founding, the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching has substantially grown in breadth and reach, with significant scholarly work that has been recognized nationally and internationally. Our staff aspires to share our own best practices and to engage in systematic inquiry that contributes to educational development or other related fields through invited talks, conference presentations, and scholarly publications. By doing so, we amplify the visibility and impact of Searle Center initiatives.



Stay Connected

Keep up to date with Searle’s latest teaching and training programs, events, and resources.