Delta Pillars

The Delta Program in Research, Teaching and Learning is founded on three interrelated core ideas: the Teaching-as-Research approach is explored via Learning Community opportunities that are based on Learning-through-Diversity. These ideas (pillars) are the foundation of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), and national project and network of which Delta is a founding member.


By applying research methods—idea, experiment, observation, analysis, improvement—to the challenge of teaching, the Delta Program in Research, Teaching and Learning:

  • Brings the skills of research faculty to the ongoing investigation of student learning
  • Promotes innovation in teaching and measurement of student learning
  • Advances the role of instructors in the ongoing improvement of teaching practices

Learning Communities

Through collaborative activities and programs, the Delta Program creates a community of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty that will:

  • Support and validate growth in teaching and learning
  • Create a foundation for institutional change


Recognizing the common challenges in teaching and learning and the strength in bringing together diverse views, the Delta Program is:

  • Interdisciplinary—serving all science, engineering, and mathematics departments
  • Cross-generational—bringing together graduate students, postdocs, and both new and experienced faculty
  • Comprehensive—providing knowledge, practice, and community
  • Responsive—reflecting the broad range of responsibilities that face today's faculty
  • Inclusive—welcoming for a multifaceted and diverse group of people

How are these core ideas relevant to your teaching?

Activities hosted by the Delta Program address the questions that graduate students, postdocs, and faculty ask as they strive to become excellent professors.

I hope to teach for many years. Will I make a difference? Will my thousands of students/participants learn what I think is important?

Will I be a strong candidate for faculty Careers and NSF CAREER awards?

Why are there so few women and people of color in my classes/opportunities? Am I serving my students/participants well?

My funding agency is requiring broader impact of my research program. How can I respond successfully to these new demands?

Will my investments in technology increase student/participant learning?

I support the idea of outreach, but how can I do it well?

How can I balance my desire to be a better teacher with so many other demands on my time?