Established in the early 1980's, CETL was one of the first teaching and learning centers both in the state of Georgia and nationally. During its existence, past CETL Directors have initiated both on-campus and statewide programs designed to enhance teaching and student learning such as the Georgia Conference on College and University Teaching, the journal Reaching Through Teaching, KSU Faculty Leadership programs that provide an in depth focus on teaching-related issues, and a year-long New Faculty Success program.
Based upon recommendations from two CETL leadership initiatives, during 2000-2001, CETL was restructured to expand its ability to develop teaching-related programs and initiatives that enhance faculty instruction and student success. Starting in Fall 2002, a full time CETL Director was appointed. In addition, two Associate Directors provide leadership in advancing strategic institutional initiatives. At the same time, CETL implemented its Faculty Fellow model, recruiting faculty members from academic departments with a half time release to focus on specific teaching and learning initiatives. In 2006, CETL added a third Associate Director to meet the mandates of SACS and of the Board of Regents about academic program support. In 2010, CETL grew again, adding two Instructional Designers to in order to support online learning, and expanding its focus to Graduate Teaching Assistant training.
Through the years, CETL has acted as an incubator for leadership on campus, spearheading several initiatives that have then grown into their own offices and institutional roles, such as the Center for Distance Learning, and the Chief Diversity Officer. This has in turn allowed CETL to shift its focus on other emerging issues. The current Associate Directors focus on Mentoring for Faculty and Student Success, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and Graduate Student Support and Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity. The current Faculty Fellowships are in the areas of Community Engagement, Creativity and Innovation, and Adjunct Faculty Support. At the same time, CETL has increased its visibility and reputation at the state, national, and international level. Current CETL staff members have sat on the board of directors of the Southern Regional Faculty and Instructional Development Consortium, the National Council on Undergraduate Research, the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education, and the International Consortium for Educational Development.