LSU CxC Wins National Award for Innovative Faculty Support Programming
As one of the first programs of its kind in the nation, LSU Communication across the Curriculum (CxC) has long been recognized for academic innovation, but the Delphi Award is the first to specifically honor CxC’s progressive work in transforming faculty support and LSU’s institutional culture surrounding teaching excellence.
“Receiving national recognition for the work CxC does allows us to celebrate the dedicated LSU faculty who are committed to their students’ continued development,” said Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, CxC Faculty Chair. “It is a privilege to share this honor with our entire CxC community.”
LSU CxC is a holistic program that simultaneously elevates teaching excellence, fosters deep content learning, and advances students’ communication skills within the disciplines and across the campus. High-quality student learning experiences begin with high-quality teaching, which is why CxC invests heavily in collaborating with, cultivating, supporting, and empowering faculty communities across ranks and disciplines. “One of the things I most respect about CxC is its unparalleled commitment to supporting faculty irrespective of status, rank, discipline, or budget lines,” said Dr. Matt Lee, LSU Vice Provost of Academic Programs. “CxC is clear in its mission to advance the communication skills of undergraduates, and they understand the only way to do that is to support the faculty who are on the front lines of student learning.”
LSU CxC has always recognized that faculty of all ranks play a pivotal role for students—in obvious and less obvious ways—fostering spaces for meaningful connection, critical engagement, and efficacy in unpacking and addressing challenges in a rapidly changing world. This is why CxC seeks to support this work. Launched in 2005, CxC began as part of a quality enhancement plan for LSU's accreditation and has since emerged as a robust program being implemented by 300+ faculty members across 10 colleges impacting more than 16,000 undergraduates each academic year. LSU CxC works to improve the written, oral, visual, and technological communication skills of all LSU undergraduates. The unique LSU CxC model supports integrated communication-intensive learning within disciplinary courses, along with co-curricular student coaching, training, and recognition programs. “It’s a contemporary and more effective way of approaching college teaching and learning. In C-I courses, LSU students are learning the course content—science, history, engineering—while simultaneously learning how to better communicate within their field,” said Dr. Rebecca Burdette, director of CxC. “Learning, practicing, and applying communication skills in the context of a discipline rather than in isolation not only helps students build skills faster, it also deepens their understanding of the subject matter.”
Within its first five years of operation, LSU CxC was named the sole recipient of the 2010 Program of Excellence Award by the National Conference on College Composition and Communication, with commendations stating that LSU had “set the bar to which other universities should aspire.” Today, despite considerable budget challenges plaguing Louisiana and its flagship institution, LSU CxC is an institutionalized high-impact program that directly supports student retention and graduation outcomes.
“The faculty collaborations forged through CxC are essential to LSU’s ability to deliver high-impact teaching and learning across the disciplines and at-scale,” said Dr. Matt Lee, LSU Vice Provost of Academic Programs. “CxC is built on a for-faculty-by-faculty mindset that directly benefits our students, and that’s not something you find at just any university.”
The work faculty are doing in the classroom to integrate communication-intensive teaching and learning is impacting students’ success. A recent longitudinal study of 15,000 LSU undergraduates revealed that students who complete three or more LSU C-I courses are two times more likely to graduate within six years.
The Delphi Award, funded by the Teagle Foundation through the USC Pullias Center for Higher Education in collaboration with the Association of American Colleges & Universities, recognizes U.S. colleges and universities who are establishing forward-thinking faculty models to support the rapidly changing landscape of higher education. In its award announcement, Delphi noted LSU CxC’s work in creating unprecedented inclusive communities of cross-rank, interdisciplinary faculty within a large research university.
“Many non-tenure track professionals come to academia with years of field experience but are often unfamiliar with methods of instruction and lacking in classroom experience,” explains Dr. Harold Toups, professor of chemical engineering. “CxC has made it possible for non-tenure track faculty members like me to make significant contributions to LSU at all levels with beneficial outcomes for my department, college, and the university. As a result, my teaching competency and personal satisfaction have grown and allowed me to develop both the mind and heart of a teacher.”
The unique design of CxC is such that LSU faculty from all ranks and disciplines are simultaneously creating, leading, contributing to, and benefiting from the campus-wide CxC program.
“I continue to be amazed by the dedication and determination our faculty put into their courses and the students they mentor, inside and outside the classroom,” said Dr. Troy Blanchard, dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences. “Their collaboration with CxC makes this possible.”
About LSU CxC
LSU Communication across the Curriculum (CxC) is a dynamic academic excellence program led by an interdisciplinary faculty collaborative whose mission is to advance the written, oral, visual, and technological communication skills of all LSU undergraduates. LSU CxC’ signature programming includes Certified Communication-Intensive Courses within the disciplines, interactive Communication Coaching Studios, the LSU Distinguished Communicator Medal, LSU Communicator Certificate, Annual LSU Faculty Summer Institute, and TEDxLSU. For more information about LSU CxC, visit cxc.lsu.edu.