CIRTL at Northwestern
Northwestern University is a member of the nationwide Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), a network of 43 research universities. The CIRTL mission is to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through the development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse learners as part of successful and varied professional careers. Both CIRTL at Northwestern and the CIRTL network broadly offer a variety of programs to support graduate students and postdocs. Through the Searle Center, we offer programs for STEM and Social and Behavioral Science graduate students and postdocs that align with this mission, and we engage future faculty in learning communities.
To advance undergraduate education, CIRTL at Northwestern provides professional development programs related to teaching for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
CIRTL is a network of universities working together to enhance undergraduate education through the development of future faculty. CIRTL at Northwestern is designed to build a community of practitioners within and across disciplines – both locally and nationally – to improve undergraduate student learning.
Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are invited to participate in events and programs facilitated by the Searle Center, as well as those offered online through CIRTL’s broader network.
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Getting Started with CIRTL at Northwestern
Find out where to begin
Interested in getting started with CIRTL but unsure where to start or what is offered? CIRTL at Northwestern has offerings that range from one hour to multiple quarters in length. Some offerings are in person on our campus, and others are synchronous or asynchronous online. Through CIRTL at Northwestern, there are three programs in which you can participate.
If you are new to CIRTL, one good place to start is with Mentored Discussions of Teaching (MDT), which requires minimal effort (e.g., it does not require any written assignment). It usually runs during two quarters, Winter and Spring. Another good starting point that takes a little more work is the first STEM Teaching Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), an 8-week asynchronous course in principles of learning, which is offered during Fall and Summer. When taking the MOOC, we recommend also registering for the local learning community meeting (a MOOC-Centered Learning Community) that meets once a week. MDT and the MOOC are quite different, and many participants participate in both.
After those introductory programs, or if you are more committed to developing your understanding of teaching and learning, you may wish to participate in the Searle Center’s Reflective and Effective Teaching Program (RET) or the two-quarter Searle Teaching-as-Research (STAR) Program, which has a prerequisite of one of the other programs listed above, for instance, MDT.
Searle Center workshops/events or online CIRTL workshops and webinars that are part of the larger CIRTL network can supplement your learning at any time.
Get Involved with CIRTL
There are several ways to get involved with CIRTL. You may participate in CIRTL at Northwestern programming specifically through the Searle Center. You can also participate in the broader CIRTL network programming via webinars, workshops, and courses that happen across institutions in the CIRTL network (over 40 participating institutions) remotely.
Searle’s CIRTL Programs
The Searle Center offers three CIRTL at Northwestern programs, all of which are designed to provide professional development opportunities around teaching and learning to graduate students and postdocs who are future STEM and social science faculty.
CIRTL Network Programming
These are online events that require registration. A current list of opportunities is on the CIRTL Website. They may fill quickly, so checking for events at the beginning of the CIRTL Semesters in September, January, and May is advised.
- CIRTL Webinars
- CIRTL Workshops
- CIRTL Courses
Learn more about how to attend
Learn how to earn a CIRTL Certificate Get Started