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Priorities & Initiatives

Quality student learning and experiences begin with our UT Knoxville faculty and instructors. We are dedicated to providing resources, workshops and support opportunities in order to assist faculty in their teaching and learning efforts. Our focus lies in the following priorities and initiatives, listed in alphabetical order, housed within Teaching & Learning Innovation (TLI):


ASCEND Program

ASCEND—Adaptations for a Sustainable Climate of Excellence and Diversity—is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Organizational Change for Gender Equity in STEM Academic Professions (ADVANCE) program. It promotes the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of women faculty in STEM disciplines through three areas: reducing bias, expanding opportunity, and providing support.

Learn more about ASCEND
Icon of magnifying glass and gearsAssessment

Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning. In order to aid faculty with assessment, the TLI assessment team has developed resources for program assessment, course assessment and assessment for experiential learning courses.

Find Assessment Resources
Icon of puzzle pieceDeveloping Future Faculty

Our Developing Future Faculty initiative assists graduate students aspiring to become future faculty through training opportunities focused on teaching techniques and strategies. Along with national online workshops, we offer local training opportunities through our institutional membership with the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning. We’ll also help students prepare for teaching presentations for that faculty position with reviewed feedback and training.

Get Involved
Icon of globe with grad capExperience Learning

As part of the reaffirmation process, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges asks each institution to develop a quality enhancement plan (QEP). Housed within TLI, the Experience Learning initiative is the University of Tennessee’s QEP, submitted to SACSCOC in 2015. TLI focuses on helping faculty provide more experiential learning in their courses or co-curricular activities through course design/redesign assistance, assessment strategies, risk management, and more.

Visit the initiative’s website
Graphic of a group of peopleFaculty Mentoring Program

The university-wide faculty mentoring program connects faculty members from different colleges and ranks to promote high-quality mentoring and mutual support. The program is open to full-time tenure-track, tenured, and non-tenure-track faculty members with a special focus on faculty from historically underrepresented groups, including those who self-identify as people of color, women, and/or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals. Interested faculty are assigned to mentoring teams and encouraged to meet informally throughout the academic year. The Office of the Provost provides funding for the teams to have lunch or dinner together at least twice per semester.

Join the Faculty Mentoring Program
Icon of people holding handsInclusive Teaching Strategies

As a unit within Academic Affairs, TLI champions diversity and inclusion in all student learning experiences at the University of Tennessee. Therefore, we strive to provide  digital resources, as well as online and face-to-face workshops to assist faculty and instructors in creating an inclusive environment for students of all backgrounds. Be sure to check out the “Teaching Resources” tab on the left for our online resource inventory, and the “Workshops & Events” tab for inclusive teaching workshops.

Find Inclusive Teaching Resources Inclusive Teaching Taskforce Information
Graphic of people helping each other achieve goalsLeadership Development

Leadership development is critically important to shape UT’s culture and strategic direction. TLI manages two campus-wide leadership development programs, as well as additional leadership workshops and events. The UTK Leadership Development Program is a year-long experience for full-time faculty and staff at UT who are interested in management and administrative positions at the university. The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program seeks to prepare academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond. This program is open to tenured faculty members and combines programming from the UTK Leadership Development Program with workshops at other SEC campuses.


Icon of computerOnline Programs

Online Programs is housed within TLI, and assists the UT Knoxville community with online and hybrid course development and delivery. Online Programs collaborates with faculty, staff, students, and administrators across campus to identify and facilitate opportunities for online and hybrid educational initiatives, directs the development of policies and procedures related to online and hybrid teaching and learning, and works in conjunction with units and departments on campus to facilitate faculty development and training opportunities.

Visit the program’s website
Icon of two hands shakingService-Learning

Service-learning is categorized as one of the 12 types of experiential learning at UT Knoxville, and is a course-based strategy that engages students in meaningful and relevant service with a community partner, while employing ongoing reflection to draw connections between the service and course content. Housed within TLI, the service-learning initiative assists faculty interested in designing coursework that incorporates service-learning and/or applying for the S-Designation. The TLI service-learning team also helps connect faculty to potential community partners.

Visit the initiative’s website