Center for Teaching and Learning

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The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) promotes teaching excellence for student success in alignment with the Mercy College mission and strategic goals. CTL is dedicated to fostering faculty development and the pursuit of teaching excellence across all disciplines and modalities.

In addition to participating in professional development events, faculty members are welcome to schedule a consultation with a CTL instructional designer at any point in the semester. 

To schedule a consultation, please reach out via the CTL email:

Focus on the Faculty: Best Practices from Mercy Colleagues

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CTL Teaching and Learning Matters Podcast

The CTL Teaching and Learning Matters podcast features the voices and expertise of Mercy faculty as we explore evidence-informed pedagogical practice and the art of facilitating learning for all students.

Episode 1 featuring Saliha Bava, PhD, SSBS: What does it mean to teach inclusively?

Episode 2 featuring Susan Moscou, PhD, SHNS and Allison Murphy, PhD, SHNS: Radical Pedagogy

Episode 3 featuring Victor Petenkemani, MBA, SBUS: Teaching for Success

Episode 4 featuring Lisa Martin, PhD, SHNS, Rossi Hassad, PhD, SSBS, Mary Lozina, Director, Online Learning: Distance Learning Best Practices and Alignment with Regulation

If you have ideas for future episodes, please email:

High Impact Practices (HIPs)

Course Design

Guiding Principles of Effective Course Design

Community: When students understand they are part of a community, it's easier for them to invest in themselves as learners. By focusing on the shared goal of student success, instructors can foster strong relationships that provide opportunities for student growth. This allows students to learn with and from each other, supports inclusivity in the classroom, and creates a safe place to learn.

Collaboration: Learning that is interactive and engaging is both meaningful and beneficial to students. Providing structured activities such as peer-to-peer learning enhances comprehension, leads to greater retention of material, and provides formative assessment data to guide instruction.

Communication: Strong communication begins with student-centered messaging and extends to a structured syllabus with clear learning objectives that map to assignments. Use of rubrics, and helpful feedback provides direction, as well as reassurance.

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Inclusive Teaching

Students in our classes come with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Understanding these differences when crafting your course is a cornerstone of sound pedagogy. Building pathways to success for all learners is the goal and allows for curricular choices that consider all members of the classroom community. At its core, inclusive pedagogy is a student-centered approach to learning in which there is a commitment to ensuring that all students can and will succeed.


Student Engagement

Engaging students in the learning process is key to successful outcomes, but is increasingly challenging in the Covid-19 pandemic when students are feeling overwhelmed and challenged. Understanding the specific research-supported strategies that can foster engagement is essential -- and possible, with an understanding of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral mechanisms. 

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL)

The Center for Teaching and Learning at Mercy College embraces the Boyer Model of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). We are proud to support faculty and staff members with their contributions to this critical and growing field that supports student success. 

The resources below further define SoTL and are meant as a guide to direct faculty to publications and conferences relevant to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. If you would like to add a resource to this dynamic list, please

In the 1990s, Ernest L. Boyer, the former Chancellor of the State University of New York who also served as United States Commissioner of Education and as President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, developed a categorization of scholarship that faithfully guides the Academy to this day.

Mercy College and the Center for Teaching and Learning embrace the Boyer model, acknowledging the value of all four categories of scholarship and the dynamic inter-relationship that exists among the intellectual pathways and functions of: Discovery, Integration, Engagement (Application), and Teaching and Learning.

SoTL has flourished into a vibrant international movement with affiliated professional societies to nurture and grow research and reflection using cross-disciplinary methodologies. 

Three Key Steps for a Successful Semester

Spring 2023 classes begin on Wednesday, January 18 and students have access to Blackboard course shells beginning on Wednesday, January 4. The start of the semester is an opportunity to set your teaching and learning tone, present expectations, and start bulding an inclusive community of learners. Below are three key steps to consider when planning your first day of class. For help with these and other teaching and learning support, reach out to


Step One: Post a Course Syllabus and Welcome Message

Students have access to Blackboard course shells two weeks prior to the start of the semester. Posting a syllabus and sharing a welcome message, whether by text or video, is an important step in establishing an inclusive tone and assuaging jitters.

Step Two: Clarify expectations and course objectives

Communicating the learning objectives, assignments, and assessments helps students adjust to learning. Most importantly, share how you will support student success.

Step Three: Build a Community of Learners

Inviting students into the process of shared learning begins on the first day, so make time for introductions and student interactions. Building a classroom community around a shared learning mission allows all members of the class to feel valued.

Contact Us

Juli S. Charkes

Liz Fritz
Instructional Designer




Iryna Ashby, PhD
Instructional Designer, PT

Center for Teaching and Learning