Support for New Faculty

Core program


The Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) follows a learning-centred model of reflective practice and development. New faculty members, whether limited term or tenure track, face a balancing act in their new jobs at Waterloo. Depending on experiences elsewhere, new faculty enter our programming with a variety of learning needs and initially are asked to make a formal plan with a CTE staff member. Where no prior independent teaching experience exists, the University asks that faculty undertake specific workshops to ready themselves for teaching Waterloo students. Some Faculties require attendance at their own specific orientations while others leave it to faculty members themselves to decide when and how to learn more about teaching. We invite new faculty members of any rank and role to attend our sessions, and in particular the sessions we’ve designed for them based on local surveys and broader scholarship in our field of teaching support.


Through participation in a selection of activities chosen in consultation with CTE staff, new faculty will:

  • Reflect on and thereby improve teaching practice in the context of their disciplines and theories about teaching and learning.
  • Create course or unit learning experiences and appropriate assessments for a variety of learners.
  • Develop their delivery skills in person and online in order to respond confidently to a dynamic and diverse environment.
  • Plan relevant and appropriate teaching development opportunities for themselves.
  • Take into account the socio-cultural, linguistic, intellectual and political diversity of learners and teachers.


To assist new faculty members in achieving the foregoing Outcomes, CTE has developed the following timeline covering the first five years of a faculty member's teaching practice.

Within the first year

Workshops or activities Duration Offered

Teaching Development Plan 

  • A reflective statement on personal teaching values and beliefs that will likely evolve over his or her career
  • An identification of immediate and longer term teaching development goals
  • A description of prior knowledge about teaching and learning in higher education, including practice-based and theoretical knowledge as well as any certification and training obtained prior to joining the faculty at Waterloo
  • A suggested timetable for the achievement of the short and longer term teaching goals, which may include activities such as:
    • participation in CTE events and workshops
    • departmental or university-wide mentoring programs
    • teaching observations (online or in-class)
    • conferences on teaching and learning within or across disciplines
3 hours:

1 hour of preparation;
1 hour meeting;
1 hour of follow-up.
At the faculty member’s request

Within the first year and half

Workshops or activities Duration Offered
  • These four workshops are mandatory for faculty members in Applied Health and in Engineering who have no equivalent training.
  • Depending on demand, staffing, and other factors, some of these may be offered as a package over one or two days or as single workshops spaced across the term. Intensive programming regularly takes place over two days in August and one day in January. 
Who are our learners 1.5 hrs Minimum twice per year
Classroom dynamics and engagement 1.5 hrs Minimum twice per year
Assessment for learning 2 hrs Minimum twice per year
Course design foundations 6 hrs Minimum twice per year

Within the first 2 years

Workshops or activities Duration Offered
Teaching Dossiers and Philosophy Statements 3 hrs annually

Year 2, 3, or 4

Workshops or activities Duration Offered
One of these three:    
24 hrs 3 times/yr

minimum 6 hours


  • Peer Mentoring (if available within department)
varies varies
Graduate supervision Series (six workshops) 12 hrs biennially
Learning community or pedagogical scholarship varies varies
Documenting teaching for promotion and tenure 1.5 hrs annually, March
One of these two:    
  • Teaching observations (online or in-class)
2-6 hours on request
  • Peer review program (if available within department)
varies varies


Ideally, faculty in limited term or tenure-track jobs will present evidence of their growth and development in a brief dossier. Reflective statements about principles and intentions should align with data gathered from students, self, and colleagues. The updated dossier presents an argument by the faculty member in support of his or her teaching effectiveness and may be used for annual review and/or promotion and tenure.

Other programming

Graduate Supervision Workshop Series

As of Fall 2015, this series of six workshops supports the preparation of faculty for Approved Doctoral Dissertation Supervisor status. Hundreds of faculty members have completed the series as of Spring 2024. Read the program description if you are seeking this status and watch for word from your Chair/Director to enrol using GoSignMeUp (typically we open registration 2-3 months in advance).

Syllabus Builder Workshop

You have your course design ready and now need to communicate it to students. What basics must be on your accessible syllabus in your Faculty, and what are the nice-to-haves? How do you achieve a course outline "voice" while also making sure you've covered all your course outline basics? We will have tools and expertise available so that you leave with a completed product.