About UCF CASTL
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The University of Central Florida has obtained CASTL Leadership designation in the area of Undergraduate Research, bringing to this confluence of SoTL and Undergraduate Research a strong institutional and faculty commitment to both.
- UCF has made a significant commitment to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and Undergraduate Research. This is evidenced by UCF’s progress in the following areas:
- Approximately 200 paid undergraduate research opportunities per year
- Five NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) sites
- A series of workshops for students interested in research
- The annual UCF Research Week that includes the Showcase of Undergraduate Research in which 252 students participated in April 2009 and were awarded more than $10,000 in scholarships (www.showcase.ucf.edu)
- The UCF Undergraduate Research Journal (www.urj.ucf.edu)
- UCF Summer Research Academy that introduces 100 students (50 incoming Associate’s degree transfer students and 50 rising sophomore students) to UCF research faculty and their laboratories or studios
- A five-year NSF STEP program (called UCF EXCEL) that will support 150 second-semester sophomore students in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics to serve as research assistants
- Travel support for students presenting papers in excess of $15,000 in 2008-2009
- UCF clearly understands the nature and significance of SoTL and has made significant progress toward recognizing SoTL. This is demonstrated by the many faculty who have engaged in numerous SoTL events supported by internal collaborations across disciplines and colleges:
- ten faculty awards university-wide ($5000 raise to base salary), and the many resources provided through the Faculty Center of Teaching and Learning (FCTL) (www.fctl.ucf.edu).
- faculty SoTL publications, the establishment of an electronic SoTL journal by the FCTL, and workshops on SoTL research design development, definitions, and journal outlets. The FCTL offers two faculty development conferences per year, including a SoTL track; faculty participation is about 90 per winter conference and 160 per summer conference. UCF’s Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness (RITE) provides support with SoTL data analysis and research.
- cooperation and coordination with other institutions to further the scholarship of teaching and learning. The university’s SoTL events regularly bring faculty members from different disciplines and colleges together in joint projects, and relevant university support units cooperate and coordinate for SoTL events.
- sponsoring faculty travel to attend SoTL meetings and conferences such as ISSOTL (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) to establish collaboration across institutions.
Commitments to Action
UCF’s institutional commitment to support all actions necessary to participate in the Leadership Program is detailed in the letters from President John Hitt and Provost Terry Hickey. As elaborated in this website, UCF commits to fund travel to make possible UCF’s presence at CASTL convenings, increase the visibility of SoTL, create public occasions to share progress and impact, provide technical support for an institutional website, further development of the institutional leadership for SoTL, and develop and support effective assessment plans. UCF is also committed to sponsor regional or national meetings and, in conjunction with a publishing house, to publish a monograph with research findings on SoTL as it pertains to undergraduate research. Also, UCF will hire a Director of Undergraduate Research, who will report to the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Studies.