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WTF / WTS Program Details

The WTF&S program is OPID’s signature professional development program. While the program traces its roots back to the early 1980s, by 2000 it began focusing intentionally on promoting the Scholarship of Teaching and learning (SoTL), following the lead of the Carnegie Scholars program of the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL).  In 2005 the program won the TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Certificate of Excellence.  An in-depth study of the program in 2012–13 found that 96% of former participants reported a positive impact and one-fifth reported a “transformational positive impact.”  The perceived benefits of the program included not only improvements in teaching and learning but also enhanced opportunities for scholarship, collaboration, and leadership. (Voelker & Ryan, 2013).*

The WTF&S program offers UW faculty and teaching academic staff a unique opportunity to collaborate with other exceptional teachers from across the UW System and from various disciplines.  Many participants have found that the experience reenergized their work and even transformed their approach to teaching and learning.  Collaboration with colleagues from diverse perspectives lies at the heart of the program.  In addition to discussing illuminating works selected from the pedagogical literature, Fellows and Scholars are guided through the process of completing a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) project with input from fellow participants and the program co-directors.  OPID encourages applications from eligible faculty and staff that are open to new ideas and learning from others.

Each UW Institution may name two participants to the 2015-16 WTFS Program. Each participant will receive $4,000 in financial support from their institution and a $500 S&E grant from OPID.

To Apply: Each UW Institution has its own application process.  Please contact your Provost's office for application forms and campus deadlines.  For additional information on your campus application process please contact your OPID Administrative Representative.  OPID Representative contact information can be found at .

The UW System/OPID deadline for receiving campus selections is November 15, 2014. For additional assistance, please contact Brandon Clementi at, (608) 890-3282.

 *See David Voelker and Ryan Martin, “Wisconsin Teaching Fellows & Scholars Program Assessment Project: Final Report,” August 15, 2013.  Available on the OPID website homepage ( ).



  • Attendance at four OPID-sponsored events throughout the year:
    • Faculty College - May 26-29, 2015, UW-Richland
    • Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars (WTFS) Summer Institute - June 15-19, 2015, UW-Madison (Location TBA)
    • WTFS Winter Retreat - January 11-12, 2016
    • 2016 Final WTFS Spring Meeting and Public Poster Session - April 2016 (Location TBA)
  • Completion of a SoTL project with dissemination of results in a professional forum
  • Recording of SoTL project's progress on electronic poster throughout the program year


  • Evidence of excellent teaching
  • Knowledge of and interest in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
  • Demonstrated success in disseminating teaching and learning innovations
  • A record of campus leadership on issues of teaching and learning
  • The one difference between Fellows and Scholars is career stage:
  • Fellows: Full-time, untenured faculty or teaching academic staff with at least one year teaching at their current institution
  • Scholars: Tenured faculty or teaching academic staff with at least five years of teaching experience at their current institution

Value to 

The Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars Program benefits the institutions in the following ways:

  • Raises the profile of teaching on the campuses;
  • Calls campus attention to the importance of student learning and excellent teaching;
  • Identifies and rewards a cadre of quality teachers who model and publicly demonstrate outstanding teaching, share their knowledge and expertise, and become leaders at their institutions and throughout the System;
  • Invests in the creation of long-term, productive relationships between instructors and their institutions, thus helping to retain the best and the brightest;
  • Builds Scholarship of Teaching and Learning involvement on each campus; and
  • Responds to requests made over the years to OPID from administrators and faculty to find ways to reward and to address the needs of faculty and instructional staff who are at the mid-point of their careers.

Surveys reveal that a significant number of former Fellows have received outstanding teaching awards. Many have become leaders in faculty development efforts on their own campuses, and have been instrumental in connecting their institutions to national efforts to support excellent teaching and the national SOTL initiative.