Teaching Excellence

WSU professor teaching to class of students

Preamble: We will use both proven and thoughtfully innovative, evidence-based, high-impact practices, and culturally responsive and reflective pedagogies to increase levels of student engagement and learning outcomes, as well as to promote greater academic performance and achievement.

Goal 1: Enhance a Culture That Values Teaching Excellence

We value excellence in teaching throughout the university, where teaching is fundamentally based on a series of relationships.


  • Recognize teaching excellence through awards, approval, and frequent acknowledgement (including those who teach collaboratively)
  • Transform teaching from an individual endeavor to a shared experience through faculty engagement
  • Encourage "team teaching" and "collaborative ownership" of courses
  • Increase resources to enhance teaching laboratories and facilities that enable innovative teaching practices in every school and college

Goal 2: Identify and Encourage the Adoption of Best Teaching Practices and the Improved Delivery of Learning Outcomes Campuswide Through the Use of Data

While we recognize that excellent teaching takes many forms depending on the nature of the material, the learning styles of the students, and the style of instruction, we believe that data-based decisions on these matters strengthen all teaching. Although we do not discount the importance of the instructor's judgment as to what is best under given circumstances, wide-ranging data are proving to enhance most planning for courses, as is on-going analysis during the instructional period.


  • Use data and research to analyze and encourage the adoption of successful teaching methodologies that expedite progress to degree
  • Implement university-wide training for faculty to increase the use of data and formative and qualitative assessments in developing better pedagogies to enhance learning outcomes
  • Develop and enhance innovative, high-impact, culturally responsive, and reflective pedagogies
  • Use ongoing evaluation during the course of a semester to adjust pedagogies
  • Encourage collaborative best practices through data sharing among faculty

Goal 3: Improve the Quality of Faculty-Student Relationships Within the Classroom and Beyond

We commit to valuing time spent with students (in the classroom, lab, field, or clinical placement, or in formal and informal meetings that go beyond instruction).


  • Ensure that faculty are accessible and engaging
  • Encourage faculty to conduct small-group and individual meetings with students
  • Incentivize and assist faculty to develop innovative, collaborative, and interactive learning experiences supported by the necessary systems and processes for student success
  • Increase global student academic experiences led by faculty
  • Increase effective, proactive faculty mentoring

Goal 4: Improve Graduate Student Training and Mentoring

We recognize that the ability of graduate students to interact on a regular basis with their faculty advisors in pursuit of a research-oriented master's or doctoral degree or during field training, practicums, or clinical instruction is extremely important. We commit to ensuring that these relationships will be strong so that these students will receive the guidance and training that will prepare them for productive careers.


  • Ensure that faculty members are accessible and deeply involved in each student's mentoring, training, and research
  • Encourage faculty to motivate students to complete their research or training in a timely fashion
  • Develop degree or certificate programs that are responsive to the economic and business needs of the employers who hire our