TEA Apple Awards

Teaching Excellence Academy


Join the TEAM!

The Teaching Excellence Academy is the flagship program of the Office of Faculty Development. Using a community of practice approach, the Teaching Excellence Academy is an opportunity for select faculty to meet with colleagues and an educational consultant to discuss teaching and learning and promote teaching excellence at the UCR School of Medicine.

We are now accepting applications for next year's cohort. The committee meets in July to select participants who are notified in late July or early August. The program begins in September, but you can apply at any time throughout the year. 

To nominate a future Teaching Excellence Academy member, please fill out this form: Teaching Excellence Academy Nomination form 

To apply for the next cohort in the Teaching Excellence Academy, please fill out this application: Teaching Excellence Academy Application

What is a community of practice?

A community of practice is a group of people who share an interest in a topic and gather together to engage in collective inquiry, exploration, and reflection.

Who should apply?

The Teaching Excellence Academy is primarily intended for mid-career or other faculty with some knowledge and experience with teaching and learning. The program is open to anyone with a UCR faculty appointment whether they are teaching didactic lectures, case-based learning, clinical skills, doctoring, or in a clinical setting. It is generally not intended for faculty completely new to teaching.

Applying to the Teaching Excellence Academy

The application process for the Teaching Excellence Academy beings in July and the program begins in October. To be considered for the program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements.

  • Have a faculty appointment at UCR at the time of application and throughout the program.
  • Be nominated by the chair of your department or a member of the leadership team of the UCR School of Medicine.

What are the Benefits?

The benefits of participating in the Teaching Excellence Academy are numerous. They include:

  • Opportunity to learn more about teaching and learning and work on continuous improvement of your teaching skills.
  • Receive support and assistance from a small cohort of experiences professionals.
  • Opportunity to present at the annual Quality Improvement Conference.
  • Recognition by the vice chancellor of the School of Medicine at an annual ceremony.Completion of the program and entry into TEAM will be taken into consideration for merit and promotion.
  • Entry into TEAM (Teaching Excellence Academy Member) which makes you part of an elite and growing group of faculty members who are recognized for their teaching expertise.

About the Application

The application period is now open! The committee meets in July to select participants who are notified in late July or early August. The program begins in September.

  • You may apply at any time.
  • Complete an application form and indicate the individual who will be nominating you.
  • Ask your nominator to complete the nomination form.
  • Briefly describe your intended transformational project. The project idea can be at an early stage.
  • Upload your curriculum vitae or resume.
  • Deadline: Applications must be submitted by July 31, 2024, for consideration in next year's cohort.

What am I Expected to Do?

Since the Teaching Excellence Academy is a community of practice approach to faculty development, there are certain expectations of faculty members who are selected to participate. These expectations include:  

  • Because each member of the cohort is an important part of the learning experience, we ask that all participants commit to attending all sessions unless an emergency prevents attendance. The program consists of eight 2.5-hour sessions held from September to May. Due to heavy schedule commitments, we will not hold a session in December. Sessions are held in the Medical Education Building on the campus of UCR from 6 – 8:30 p.m. Dinner and parking are provided for each session.
  • There is an expectation that participants complete pre-work and come to each session prepared to actively participate. This content is not overly burdensome, requiring only 30-45 minutes of preparation time, but ensures that each session is effective and high yield.
  • Each Teaching Excellence Academy participant completes a transformational teaching project during their academy year, reports on the results at the Conference on Teaching and Learning, and submits the work for publication.
  • Teaching Excellence Academy members agree to identify as such in all UCR related communications.

What Will I Learn?

Each cohort helps determine the focus of the sessions. Topics may include:

  • Foundations of curriculum and how what factors are considered as medical school curriculum is created and delivered.
  • Teaching and learning theory and an exploration of how it relates and can be used to inform teaching in medical education.
  • Instructional strategies and exploration of best teaching practices including a shift from a traditional teacher-centered paradigm to a learner-focused approach to teaching.
  • Assessment and grading and strategies for assessing learner performance in both the classroom, lab or clinical setting.
  • Learning climate and inclusive teaching methods to ensure all students are being given an equal opportunity to benefit from their medical education.
  • Leadership and mentorship skills and exploration of personal leadership within an academic medicine environment and principles for effective mentoring.

What it takes to remain a member in good standing:

After completing the first year of the Teaching Excellence Academy, participants graduate to become part of the TEAM (Teaching Excellence Academy Member). Members in good standing have completed all the requirements of the Teaching Excellence Academy.

To remain in good standing and part of the TEAM, individuals are expected to participate in one or more of the following activities on an annual basis:

  • Attend a TEA function - such as the graduation event, the TEA symposium, or presentations at the Conference on Teaching and Learning.
  • Provide service to the TEA - that service might include:
    • Speaking at new faculty orientation or another event about the program.
    • Participating in the TEA Operations Committee which selects the cohort each year.
    • Co-facilitating a faculty development session.
    • Guest speaking at one of the Office of Faculty Development sponsored programs such as the Culture in Academic Medicine series, the Mentorship series, etc.
    • Serving as a mentor through the faculty mentorship program.
    • Serving as a trained teaching observer.
    • Publishing research related to teaching and learning.

Our Travel Grant Award!

The Office of Faculty Development provides Teaching Excellence Academy travel grants. Five grants of up to $2000 are available annually.

The grants are available to any cohort. Eligibility includes the following criteria:

  • Teaching Excellence Academy Member in good standing.
  • Paid UCR faculty or staff member. Unfortunately, no volunteer faculty are eligible even if they are a Teaching Excellence Academy Member in good standing.
  • Travel grants must be used and distributed within the fiscal year granted.
  • Travel must be to a conference related to teaching in medical education. This can include specialty conferences that address teaching i.e., Society for Teachers of Family Medicine.
  • Grant funds cannot be used for any purpose other than conference travel.
  • All travel grant monies will be used to reimburse travel expenses following conference travel. No monies will be used to pay expenses prior to travel.
  • Travel grant funds can be used for registration, transportation, lodging, and meals. No other expenses will be reimbursed. 
  • Travel expenses must adhere to UCR policy.

What our TEAM Members Say

Dr. Adowa Osei
Before TEA, I was all over the place in my teaching of students and residents. Now, I can confidently say that I have teaching philosophies and a pack of tools /resources to draw from.
Adwoa Osei, M.D
Dr. Gregory Guldner
We have revamped our didactic series in order to bring the principles discussed in Make it Stick to our program. Residents are now running out and studying using flashcards and we have integrated quizzes into our didactics for spaced repetition.
Gregory Guldner, M.D.
Thanks for everything. I'm definitely a more confident, enthusiastic, open-minded, and thoughtful educator. You helped inspire that.
Nina G. Ruedas, MS, LMFT


Announcing our Cohort 6: 2023-2024!