The Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning


Our Mission

The Sheridan Center seeks to provide a place where all learners can grow, interdisciplinary collaborations can form, and educators can experiment with different modalities of teaching and learning.

At the core of our work is a commitment to educational excellence, equity and access through evidence-based, reflective practices. Through educational partnerships at Brown and globally, we advance the university’s mission and create teaching and learning communities dedicated to improving learner success and supporting educators’ professional growth.

Who We Serve

Our programs, services and resources are available to all members of the Brown teaching and learning community, including full-time and part-time faculty, postdoctoral fellows, teaching fellows and teaching assistants, undergraduates, staff and administrators.

What We Do

Major initiatives of the Sheridan Center include:

  • The Brown Learning Collaborative, offering rigorous academic courses for undergraduate teaching fellows and evidence-based course design institutes for faculty and GTAs, to enhance student learning in key liberal arts skill areas, such as writing, problem-solving, and research.
  • Inclusive teaching, embedded in Sheridan programs and offered as customized workshops for departments, drawing upon pedagogical research in the disciplines.
  • Writing, academic tutoring, and English language expertise to offer direct support to students and to develop peer fellows and tutors, as well as faculty and department practices to help all students succeed as learners and communicators.
  • Interdisciplinary learning communities, such as certificates on reflective teaching and course design, a Junior Faculty Fellows program, dissertation writing groups, and course design institutes on anti-racist teachingdata science, and problem solving.
  • Assessment and research support for program review, cross-institutional grants supporting educational innovation, and initiatives to enhance teaching and learning at Brown.

We also offer:

  • Confidential consultationsclassroom observations; early student feedback; consultations on inclusive teaching, course design, writing pedagogy, assessment, student evaluations, and graduate and undergraduate TA training.
  • Services to enhance student learning – academic tutoring, conversation partners program, and classroom-based writing workshops on topics such as peer review.
  • Programs on teaching - orientations for instructors and students, certificate programs, institutes, disciplinary and interdisciplinary workshops.
  • Educational research and assessment – collaboration on course and curricular assessment, consultations on the scholarship of teaching and learning, assistance with evaluation sections of postsecondary educational grants. The Center also has a resource library open to the Brown community.
  • Community - programs and projects that bring together faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and undergraduates from across the disciplines.

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Our Impact

Our 2022-23 Annual Report documents the Center's activities, outcomes, scholarship, and the people who support our work. Please also see this document for our Departmental Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DDIAP), which documents the Center's contribution to Brown's Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion.

The Sheridan Center's one-page evaluation matrix summarizes how we evaluate our programs and services. For the literature basis behind our practice, please see Faculty Development Improves Teaching and Learning.


We value and promote approaches to teaching and learning that emerge through sustained research and investigation.
We believe that we are our most innovative and effective when we bring together varied perspectives, foster the open exchange of ideas, and celebrate each other’s expertise in an interdisciplinary community.
We create strong foundations for lifelong learning through the habits of observing, taking stock, and planning intentionally for growth.
We support the university’s diversity, inclusion, and equity goals through a strengths-based approach that recognizes that this work must be a thread that weaves through the fabric of what it means to teach and learn at Brown community.

Statement of Confidentiality

At the Sheridan Center, we strive to create an environment that openly celebrates teaching and learning, where individuals have agency over how to make visible their successes, and where they can honestly and vulnerably discuss challenges. We understand that some interactions of the Sheridan Center are of a sensitive nature and we recognize that individuals might not wish to have their interactions, or the nature of their conversations, disclosed outside of the Sheridan Center. In all cases, we follow state and federal law, as well as university policy, including data privacy policies and mandatory reporting guidelines.

Individual consultations are confidential interactions. Exceptions might include information regarding an undergraduate student consultation that is required to be disclosed to an academic dean or others, if law or policy apply. As we take a formative, non-evaluative approach to our work, we do not write letters to evaluate faculty as teachers, mentors, or advisors for the purposes of tenure, promotion, or ongoing review.

Participation in group-based interactions (such as roundtables, course design institutes, and certificates) is sometimes considered to be public (e.g., names and departments of participants might be listed on the Sheridan Center’s website or annual report, or recognized at university award ceremonies). At times, select events are recorded and photographed, but this will be announced at the start of the event so that attendees are notified and can participate accordingly. 


In 1987, former Dean of the College Harriet W. Sheridan founded the Center for the Advancement of College Teaching to establish an interdisciplinary forum dedicated to improving the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning at Brown and to prepare graduate students for faculty careers. Since her death in 1992, the Center, comprised of its staff working in collaboration with its advisory groups and faculty, post-doctoral and graduate students from across the University, has supported the professional development needs of the entire Brown teaching community.

In 1997, the Brown Corporation renamed the Center “The Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning” in her memory. From 2003-2016, the Center was located in the Frederick Lippitt and Mary Ann Lippitt House at 96 Waterman Street. The Center moved to the fifth and seventh floors of the Science Library building in 2016, coincident with its integration with the Writing Center, tutoring, and English language support.

In 2020, the Sheridan Center integrated with the Science Center, as well as Digital Learning & Design, and moved to report to the Office of the Provost. To learn more about the Center’s history, see Artful Teaching: A Brief History of the Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, 1987-2007.