Promoting and supporting excellence in teaching is the primary aim of the Teaching Commons, which provides a range of opportunities for faculty to reflect and advance their teaching practices.


Course Design Workshops


The Teaching Commons offers a Course Design Workshop in May, typically in the week following graduation. Following is the description from the most recent workshop.

Are you planning a new course for next year, or would you like to give your present course a tune-up or a complete makeover? What better time to lay the groundwork for an excellent, well-planned course than the week after graduation before you even realize that summer has begun! In this two-day workshop, we will explore critical principles of course design recommended in several widely-recognized sources. The format for the workshop will include time to apply these principles to one of your specific courses. We will work on developing and aligning student learning outcomes, teaching strategies, learning activities, and learning assessments for your course. Participants will receive readings and tools, and first-time participants will receive a copy of Teaching At Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors, by Linda Nilson. This workshop is open to full-time and part-time faculty and instructors.


Individual, Confidential Teaching Consultations

Confidential Teaching Consultations provide an opportunity for faculty to learn more about the strengths of their current teaching practices, as well as areas for growth, through a systematic process undertaken with a colleague experienced with peer consultation.

Faculty may engage in a teaching consultation to answer their own questions regarding their teaching, or in response to feedback from students, or from their department chairs or colleagues.

Teaching consultations begin with a meeting to determine what the faculty member hopes to achieve, the specific tools and procedures to be utilized during the consultation, and the form in which the results will be summarized for use by the faculty member. Note that all information regarding a consultation is confidential. Participating faculty may choose to share the results of their consultation with others.

To learn more or to schedule an initial meeting, please email


Support for Part-time Faculty

Part-time faculty play an important role in the mission of the College, and we strive to provide the information and support you need to be successful in the classroom. Part-time faculty are invited to participate in any programming or services sponsored by the Teaching Commons, and the Teaching Commons provides additional resources designed specifically for part-time faculty.


Distinguished Teaching Award

Teaching excellence has always been the focus of Carthage, and the College has always had a core of caring and stimulating teachers. In 1967, the Board of Trustees voted to recognize formally superior teaching by creating the Distinguished Teaching Award. It established a confidential committee to review nominations from students and select one faculty member for this special commendation. The Distinguished Teaching Award has now become an annual tradition. Each spring at the Honors Convocation, a Trustee announces that year’s winner, whose name is engraved on a plaque in Lentz Hall.