As the Vice Provost, it is my honor to welcome you to the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning. If that name seems unfamiliar, it might be because we are pretty new on campus, but I promise that you have personally benefited from one of our three wonderful divisions — the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (DTEI), and the Division of Summer Session.

Our office was founded three years ago with the goal of affecting students’ academic and future success through campus and community partnerships. In other words, we want to leave an enduring impact through empowering education. To do so, we’ve focused on providing new opportunities for undergraduates and communicating evidence-based practices that faculty and staff then use to improve successful student learning.

Perhaps our largest division, the Division of Undergraduate Education encompasses many of our most popular programs that create unique communities of like-minded students on campus, such as the Campuswide Honors Program and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Our student enrichment programs focus on giving students a well-rounded college experience because creating challenges outside the classroom is one of the proven keys to success after graduation. That’s why places like the ANTrepreneur Center, where we support student startups, are so vital to setting UCI apart and creating an enduring impact that includes upward social mobility.

But while we encourage enthusiasm, we also acknowledge that many of our students struggle with the transition to life on campus, making our Student Success Initiatives and Freshman Seminars all the more important. Using a student-focused approach ensures that everyone who’s accepted to UCI feels like they have the tools and support system to finish their degree. Which is why these providing tools and support systems are such an integral part of the work that the DUE does on campus. Places like the Writing and Communication Center and Peer Academic Advising help students feel like they don’t have to go through it alone, that there are others like them.

Our Division of Summer Session has been immensely popular since its launch, offering over 800 courses, many online or interdisciplinary. This doesn’t just give students the opportunity to make up classes they had difficulty with during the year. It helps them to get ahead of the pack in their degree, dual major within five years, and ultimately gives students the opportunity not only to achieve and but to surpass their goals.

However, this shouldn’t minimize in the slightest all the work that the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation does behind the scenes. They are the true heroes here, working tirelessly so that the faculty is fully equipped with evidence-based practices that work in a real classroom. They sift through the data of pedagogical developments and engage in conversations with instructors in order to build confidence in instructional best practices like active learning and blended classrooms, changing UCI one classroom at a time.

I challenge you to take advantage of all OVPTL has to offer — to have faith in yourself, to go further, and to do more than you thought was possible. That’s how to get the most out of your time here with us at UCI. I hope you’ll trust me to help you on your journey.

Best wishes,

Michael Dennin

Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning
Dean for Division of Undergraduate Education
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