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Explore Impactful Teaching

Lumen Circles Fellowships: Learning Communities for Effective Teaching

SUNY Point of Contact: Chris Price ( 

Lumen Circles Fellowships provide opportunities to connect with other faculty members as you explore effective instructional practices that support student success and apply them in your own teaching. Through the fellowship you can learn, share ideas, and develop professionally in the areas you want to grow. 

Lumen Circles Fellowships are available at NO COST to SUNY faculty and campuses. 

Lumen Circles work well for any faculty member, in any discipline, at any stage of career.  You do NOT need to use courseware to be eligible for this program. 

Read on to learn more and apply for a Lumen Circles Fellowship, offered in partnership with the SUNY Center for Professional Development, SUNY OER Services, and Lumen Learning.  


What is this Fellowship About?

This fellowship helps you grow as a teacher, with a supportive community around you.

Lumen Circles Fellowships invite you to collaborate with fellow faculty members through virtual learning circles. Together  you explore evidence-based practices, reflect on your teaching experiences, and share ideas and feedback.

Fellowships include:

  • 9-week community of practice with faculty from multiple institutions
  • Weekly activities to explore, apply, and reflect on effective teaching practices (~2 hours/week) 
  • Build on your strengths and develop skills to expand your teaching repertory
  • Set goals and track progress expanding your teaching practice profile 
  • Work asynchronously in a virtual platform (website) to fit your own schedule 
  • Earn a Lumen Circles Fellowship Certificate in Effective Teaching Practice

Choose a Theme: How would you like to develop as a teacher?

Lumen Circles Fellowships connect you with faculty members interested in growing professionally in the same direction you want to grow.  Upcoming themes include: 

  • New! Evidence-based Teaching with Generative AI: Learn how AI tools can help you personalize learning, enhance engagement, and provide students with valuable feedback, all while learning about and following evidence-based teaching practices. 
  • Active Learning: Explore evidence-based teaching practices to engage students more actively in the learning process, whether teaching face-to-face, online, or hybrid classes.  Learning by doing and experience-sharing will also enrich your understanding of how to make learning more interactive to support students’ success.
  • Belonging & Inclusive Teaching Fundamentals: Explore evidence-based practices that support student success by shaping the learning environment to recognize and build on all students' diverse experiences and strengths. Develop your ability to engage students and help them to feel seen, respected, and included as capable partners in the learning process.
  • Course Design for Student Success: Learn how to effectively design or redesign a course with proven methods and techniques that support student belonging, learning, and success. Build skills and knowledge around how evidence-based teaching practices help us to create an accessible learning environment for all students, how backward design aligns learning objectives and assessments, and how universal design principles build on student strengths, backgrounds, and ways of learning.
  • Evidence-based Teaching: Learn how to build a body of evidence in your classroom about how well your teaching and learning activities support student success. Explore backward design, learning outcome alignment, differentiated instruction, assessment design, and other evidence-based practices contributing to effective learning and teaching.
  • Online Teaching Foundation:  Designed for faculty newer to teaching online, this circle focuses expressly on the online modality and provides opportunities to explore and apply best evidence-based practices for teaching online, engaging students, and supporting their success.  (Note: You should be scheduled to teach a fully online class during this fellowship.) 
  • Teaching with OER & OER-enabled Pedagogy: Explore evidence-based teaching strategies in the context of using OER and OER-enabled pedagogy. Develop your teaching capabilities with techniques that apply the principles of open education to engage students and strengthen their success using openly licensed content. (Note: Prior to the fellowship, you should identify OER content you plan to use with students during your fellowship term.)


What SUNY faculty are saying about the Lumen Circles Fellowship Experience


Watch this video to hear recent Lumen Circles Fellows from the SUNY system discuss how the fellowship experience impacted their teaching.




SUNY Application Form: Lumen Circles Programs

Complete the form below to apply for a Lumen Circles Fellowship and/or the Success Accelerator Program.

Eligibility: Due to the focus on teaching effectiveness, Lumen Circles programs are for faculty who are actively teaching at least one course during the term of fellowship.

If your application is approved, you will be asked to commit to participating fully during the term(s) when you are accepted to this program. A limited number of seats are available, so apply now!


The information you provide in this form will be shared with our point of contact at your institution. From time to time, we may also send  you information, invitations to webinars and other events to learn more about Lumen Circles.


Lumen Circles Fellowship FAQs

How does the virtual learning circle work? 

Lumen Circles use a purpose-built platform for faculty professional development. To participate in your virtual learning circle, you'll log into the Lumen Circles website. There you will engage with the members of your circle and do activities designed to help you explore your circle theme and teaching choices. You'll practice new skills, share your experiences, and give feedback to your peers. A facilitator helps guide circle members, or fellows, through the process. 

How much time does it take? 

Lumen Circles Fellowships typically take place over eight or nine weeks. You'll spend on average 2 hours per week with fellowship-related activities. Most of the time you'll work asynchronously, fitting the fellowship activities into your own schedule. On a week where circumstances prevent faculty fellows from participating fully, there is an option to “take a break.”

Who's in my Lumen Circle and how will we interact? 

You'll join a virtual circle of 10-12 professors teaching similar disciplines, often at other institutions, along with a peer facilitator. Together you will reflect on your classroom work, connect it to evidence-based instructional practices, and provide feedback to each other. This supportive community becomes your sounding board, thought partners, and cheerleaders as you make gains in your teaching. 

What do I need to participate?

You need to be teaching a class during the fellowship. You'll also need a computer or mobile device with internet access. 

Who are the facilitators?

Lumen Circles facilitators are current and former college or university faculty members who have a strong interest and expertise in evidence-based instruction. They are trained by going through a similar process to the fellowship experience. Their purpose is to guide the circle through learning and reflection processes as you explore and apply effective teaching practices.