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CCCC Outstanding Teaching Award

Application Deadline: July 1, 2022

Purpose: Established in 2020, the CCCC Outstanding Teaching Award is presented annually to honor the discipline’s practitioners and make visible the best teaching practices of the field. The intent of this award is to honor teaching and CCCC members who do their primary work in the classroom every day. CCCC offers two awards each year—one for an Emergent Outstanding Teacher and the other for a Sustained Outstanding Teacher. For this year’s convention, we are not dividing the categories by years of teaching. Instead, we ask nominees to select the category that best fits their professional experience. We invite nominees to use the following criteria to distinguish the categories:

Emergent nominees are most likely to . . .

  • have previous experience in a non-college writing teaching setting but are relatively new to the college composition classroom (for example, prior experience teaching in K–12)
  • be early career applicants at any kind of institution of higher education; for those on the tenure-line, emergent nominees are mostly likely pre-tenure
  • be early or advanced graduate students without prior college teaching experience
  • have fewer than 10 years of experience

Sustained nominees are more likely to . . .

  • demonstrate a depth of experience through extended part-time or full-time college teaching or experiences in other relevant teaching contexts (like writing centers)
  • be post-tenure, for tenure-line nominees
  • have 11 or more years of experience

In the nomination materials, the nominee should indicate whether they would like to be included in the emergent or sustained category.

Eligibility: Educators are eligible to apply if they teach primarily during a student’s first year in college or in students’ first college writing classes, including:

  • first-year composition
  • basic writing
  • first-year seminars
  • accelerated learning
  • general education
  • developmental writing
  • other writing models that occur during a student’s first-year standing in higher education

The award is intended to recognize excellence in teaching and learning practices, and materials submitted should be designed for and used in first-year writing types of writing courses in students’ first year in college. Materials should reflect the applicant’s classroom practices (rather than materials generated for the purpose of writing programs or writing program administration more broadly).

Award Criteria: The award winners will be chosen by the committee based on evidence illustrating research-based practices; student learning among a diverse group of learners with multiple literacies and language practices; responsive teaching methods, assignments, and activities; an engaged classroom with thoughtful curriculum delivery; meaningful, informed, and fair assessment practices; and inspiration of students and other teachers. The committee will consider institution type, contact hours, number of students, populations and communities served, social justice pedagogy, universal design, and culturally sustaining pedagogies. During the two rounds of judging, committee members will rate nominations based on a rubric to generate a ranked list for discussion.

An outstanding teacher will provide evidence of the following:

  • research-based practices
  • an educational environment that promotes student learning among a diverse group of learners and values multiple non-hegemonic literacies and a wide variety of learners’ language practices
  • effective teaching methods, assignments, and activities
  • an engaged classroom that promotes student agency
  • thoughtful curriculum delivery
  • thoughtful, meaningful, informed, and fair assessment practices that are carefully theorized and articulated to students in democratic methods

The award recognizes instructors whose teaching and learning practices reflect the NCTE Definition of Literacy in a Digital Age, NCTE Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing, and CCCC Principles for the Postsecondary Teaching of Writing.

Award Specifics: Initial applications are due by July 1, 2022. The following materials must be submitted by the applicant in a single PDF document to

  • cover letter that introduces the committee to the candidate’s professional context, which might describe the nominee’s institutional working conditions and challenges, including one challenge or problem and how it was overcome (no more than 750 words)
  • critical reflection of teaching and assessment methods that respond to pedagogical situations and student learning; this reflection can describe how teaching and assessment have changed over time across different working and student environments (no more than 750 words)
  • statement of teaching philosophy (no more than 750 words)
  • single letter of support from any colleague who knows the nominee’s work
  • curriculum vitae

The selection committee will utilize this rubric for rating each applicant, and each application will receive 3 reviews.

The committee will choose 5–6 nominations for each category to move on to a second round requiring the following additional documentation. Semifinalists will be contacted in August 2022 with a deadline of September 15, 2022, for submitting these additional items:

  • portfolio of teaching materials (up to 15 pages) that can include selections from syllabi, assignments, other teaching materials that help the committee learn about the applicant’s teaching values and context, including:
    • an assessment philosophy and evidence of how that assessment is enacted (up to 10 pages, including teaching materials, sample student work, or other documentation)
    • a teaching observation letter from a colleague or other qualified individual
  • no more than three letters of support that speak to the candidate’s teaching (from, e.g., students, colleagues, or administrators)

The selection committee will then use this rubric to rate the semifinalists’ materials and select the final recipients.

The selection committee will also consider these values when reviewing applications:

  • institution type (e.g., tribal colleges, four-year residential, four-year urban, teaching-intensive, minority-serving, two-year colleges, open admissions, small liberal arts)
  • number of contact hours per term
  • number of students taught
  • populations and communities served (e.g., students with disabilities, nontraditional students, L2/language diversity, racially diverse)
  • teaching highlights (e.g., social justice pedagogy, attention to universal design, culturally sustaining pedagogy)
  • curriculum (e.g., mandated with assignments and textbooks, self-designed to reach stated program objectives, evidence of development over time and situation, use of available technology for student learning)

Award recipients will be notified by early February. Award recipients will be honored at the CCCC Annual Convention during the awards presentation and will receive a plaque and $500 for travel, classroom, or other educational funding. The recipients will also be honored at the Teacher-to-Teacher event during the CCCC Annual Convention and therein give a workshop, lead a discussion, and/or speak at the event.

E-mail questions

Outstanding Teaching Award Winners

Not awarded.

Jessica Kubiak, Jamestown Community College, NY
Bernice Olivas, Salt Lake Community College, UT

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