Academic Senate (with aerial photo of campus in background)
Photograph 2003 by Alan Nyiri, courtesy of the Atkinson Photographic Archive.

Distinguished Teaching Award
Entry Steps

Entry Steps
Go to https://atmysenate.ucla.edu/. Login using your UCLA ID. Select the Awards tab. Select Distinguished Teaching Award. Please convert documents to PDF format before uploading.

1. COVER LETTER FROM THE NOMINATING DEPARTMENT (NO MORE THAN THREE PAGES—SINGLE SIDES)

This letter should be written by the department chair and is critical. It should describe as completely as possible what it is that makes the candidate’s teaching distinguished as opposed to good or merely adequate. To be most effective, the letter should serve as a guide or index to the subsequent dossier, alerting the reader to the most important elements (specific comments, letters and abstracted phrases). If negative comments are included (see 6) they can be addressed in the cover letter.

If appropriate, the letter should describe why a candidate is to be considered for the undergraduate mentorship award or for citation for distinction in graduate teaching or the art of teaching.

TOPICS TO COVER: An example of topics, which can be conveniently arranged under subheadings include: teaching evaluations, number and types of courses taught, impact on students (personal and academic), contributions to teaching, teaching innovations, and community outreach.

Since normal teaching loads vary by department, the letter should include an explanation of how the candidate's teaching load compares to the department norm.

2. A TWO-PAGE CURRICULUM VITAE

The judges need a concise presentation of the nominee’s education, teaching experience, other teaching awards, publications, service, and other significant contributions. If you choose to, you may summarize this information using a biographical format. Please include the nominee’s home and office phone numbers.

3. A LIST OF COURSES THE NOMINEE HAS TAUGHT

Please include the course titles, whether the courses were primarily for major or non-majors, required or not, course enrollments, the number of student evaluations received, and the average student evaluation scores (if standard forms are used). If possible, please include the department score averages. Please include the relevant teaching score averages for the Academic Unit in which the particular courses were offered. For those wishing to be considered for the Undergraduate Research Mentorship Award, this section should also include factual evidence of outstanding mentorship as outlined in the section on criteria.

4. A TEACHING STATEMENT. EACH NOMINEE MUST WRITE A BRIEF (NO MORE THAN THREE PAGES) STATEMENT OF TEACHING DESCRIBING CONTRIBUTIONS MADE AS A TEACHER

Nominees may describe their scholarly approach to teaching through such examples as:

• Innovative techniques developed to evaluate student learning and to provide feedback
• A course created or a curriculum he or she revised
• Examples of effective advising and mentoring techniques
• Innovative teaching techniques shared with other teachers
• How the learning process extends beyond the classroom
• Creative ways that research or public service has been used to illuminate teaching
• Any projects or grants related to instruction, in which the nominee has been involved
•Efforts to promote inclusivity in the classroom                                                                     

5. A LIST OF WRITTEN COMMENTS FROM STUDENT EVALUATION FORMS (NO MORE THAN THREE PAGES)

Only include the written comments that clearly contain important information not adequately presented elsewhere in the dossier.

6. NO MORE THAN FIVE LETTERS OF SUPPORT (ONE TO TWO PAGES EACH)

- Letters solicited on behalf of the candidates are definitely encouraged. Care should be taken to solicit letters that are representative of the range of courses taught by the nominee.
- Letters could be written by current and former undergraduate and graduate students.
- Letters could come from colleagues, such as faculty, teaching assistants, academic deans, other associates and also may come from anyone else in the community or in his or her profession who supports the nomination. Faculty and Associates may be in a position to evaluate goals, intellectual level, integrity, overall organization and effectiveness of the nominee.
- Letters could be written by Alumni. Alumni have the advantage of seeing the nominee’s teaching through a greater time span, and from the perspective of a different stage of life.
- Letters should discuss the instructor’s success in and dedication to teaching and give specific examples of how the instructor fulfills the program’s criteria. Letters of support should be addressed to the Academic Senate Committee on Teaching, but sent to the nominee’s Department Chair.

7. OTHER SUPPORTING EVIDENCE

- Course syllabi (maximum three)

- Textbook authored or co-authored by the nominee (Optional : Forward hard copy of textbook to Annie Speights, Academic Senate, Box 951408, 3125 Murphy Hall)