College Sector Educator Award – Retired

The College Sector Educator Award recognizes individuals at Canadian colleges and equivalent institutions (polytechnics, cégeps, institutes, etc.). The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) created this prestigious award to celebrate individuals who promote and support the development of their peers and/or the Canadian college sector with regard to teaching excellence.
This Award was retired as in 2017, the eligibility to apply for a 3M National Teaching Fellowship was changed and it is now open to any individual currently teaching at a Canadian university or college, regardless of discipline, program, level, or term of appointment. All post-secondary institutions in Canada (universities, colleges, cégeps, polytechnics) are included.

Description of Award

The College Sector Educators Community (CSEC) is a group of peers dedicated to quality education across our post-secondary sector. Our teaching award differentiates itself from other teaching awards by focusing on recognizing those who have made quality efforts to promote and support the development of their peers with regard to teaching excellence. This support can be both one-to-one and one-to-many.

Evidence that might support a nominee’s claim would be participation in activities that support the teaching excellence of peers, such as leading workshops, presenting at conferences, mentoring, participating on academic committees, being active in academic associations (such as the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Educational Developers Caucus, College Sector Educators Community, etc.), publishing research related to teaching, and leading program teams in responding creatively to constraints, etc. These activities could  be local, regional, provincial, national and/or international in scope. Please see details in the application procedure.

The award will be open to any educator actively teaching in the college sector. While it may be assumed that any educator who is providing peer coaching/leadership around teaching is him/herself an excellent educator, the award submission criteria also includes a requirement to provide evidence of consistent teaching excellence through student and supervisor feedback data, and/or letters from supervisors.


Awards are open to all individuals who have a primary appointment within a Canadian college sector institution at the time of submission (i.e. does not teach/work primarily at an educational institution other than a college sector organization), regardless of discipline, level, or term of appointment. Applications in French or English are welcomed.

Application Procedure

Applications for this award are limited to 25 pages.  The application should be prepared by the nominee except as noted below (2. and 6.) and must  include the following:


Personal Information—includes contact information, educational background, current position, institution’s media relations contact information, etc.


Official Nomination Letter from Senior Management—person responsible for your institution’s academic program (e.g. Vice-President Academic, Program Director)


Approach to Peer Leadership


a.   Philosophy statement related to college education, teaching goals, and academic leadership in either a  formal or informal role


b.  Reflections on college teaching, with specific examples, especially regarding the role of peer support/knowledge sharing


Evidence of Sustained Teaching and/or Peer Leadership Activities—over the past five years or more


a. Activities providing support/mentoring/coaching to peers (individually or in groups)


b. Leadership of program teams or task groups in relation to curriculum or teaching topics, especially where creative approaches were taken to retain or to improve academic quality in the context of constraints or challenges


c. Scholarly activities contributing to the knowledge base about college teaching/learning (informal or formal research into teaching/learning, presentations, publications, etc.)


d. Participation in teaching-related professional development (conferences, courses, workshops, professional associations)


Evidence of Consistent Excellence in Teaching Practice
(i.e., student/supervisor evaluation results; awards or other recognition)


Letters of Support—from two peers, specifically in support of this nomination


Selection Process

Nominations will be reviewed by a sub-committee appointed by the STLHE Board of Directors, comprised of the College Sector Educator Award Program Coordinator and members of STLHE.  Each Committee member will serve for a minimum of two years.

Award Recognition

Award winners will:

  • Be announced via a press release issued by STLHE
  • Receive recognition at the annual STLHE Conference in June for their exemplary contributions to the college sector.
  • Receive a certificate in recognition of his/her contribution to teaching excellence and peer leadership.
  • Receive a free one-year membership in STLHE the year he/she wins the award or the following year if membership has already been paid in the year in which the award is won.
  • Receive $1,000 towards expenses associated with attending the 2015 STLHE Conference in Vancouver, BC.
  • Attend a one-day scholarly pre-conference retreat at the STLHE conference to celebrate their exceptional achievements and to provide an opportunity to share their experiences and ideas.

Questions about the Award

Please contact the Chair of the Standing Committee for Awards at