GSAS Teaching Scholars Program

The GSAS Teaching Scholars Program is a professional and academic development opportunity that affords advanced doctoral students in Arts & Sciences programs the opportunity to design and teach a course in their area of expertise during the academic year in preparation for the job market.

In considering whether to apply for the GSAS Teaching Scholars Program, students should consult their director of graduate studies.

“The Teaching Scholars Program has been fantastic for the doctoral students in our department, giving them a leg up on the job market and the rare chance to teach a specialized course. The undergraduate students have also greatly appreciated the lively topics and strong teaching of those selected for the program.”
—Ellie M. Hisama, Professor of Music (Music Theory and Historical Musicology)

Program Policies and Eligibility Requirements
  • Doctoral students must be in an Arts & Sciences program and have fulfilled all MPhil degree requirements and passed their prospectus defense by the time they would begin their appointment as Teaching Scholars.
  • Students may not apply to be a Teaching Scholar for the year in which they are first eligible to receive their Dissertation Fellowship. That is, students may not postpone a Dissertation Fellowship to be a Teaching Scholar.
  • Students must be within the seven-year limit for GSAS funding during their term of service.
  • Courses taught by Teaching Scholars will have an enrollment limit of fifteen students, with the minimum enrollment prescribed by each department for course viability.
  • No student may be designated a Teaching Scholar more than once in his or her graduate career.
  • The supervising faculty sponsor or DGS will commit to visiting the class at least once during the semester and will meet with the student afterwards to offer guidance and feedback on pedagogical performance.
  • Teaching Scholar appointments may not be deferred to a later year.

Process

  • Departments make the final selections of the Teaching Scholar proposals they wish to present for consideration. Proposals are first evaluated and ranked within the department.
  • Directors of Graduate Studies and their faculty selection committee may only advance to GSAS a number of proposals that does not exceed 10 percent of the post-MPhil funding-eligible population in any given year. 
  • GSAS subsequently submits all of the endorsed proposals to the undergraduate COI for final review. The expectation of GSAS and the COI is that once any additional COI feedback is incorporated, all courses will be approved to be offered in the coming year.
  • Teaching Scholars are appointed for one full academic year: for one semester, they teach their Teaching Scholar course; in the other semester, they serve as Teaching Fellows in an assignment determined by the department upon assessment of its curricular needs. Students in the sciences may serve as Teaching Scholars for a single semester if that would allow for their discharge of their research commitments.
  • Departments must consider their nominations for Teaching Scholars in the context of their overall Teaching Fellow needs. In other words, a department may not request additional Teaching Fellow appointments from GSAS in order to cover needs created by its Teaching Scholar nominations.

Students are encouraged to work with the Center for Teaching and Learning to craft the proposal and syllabus before submitting.

Compensation

For the year in which they teach, students will receive an appointment as a Teaching Scholar in one semester and as a Teaching Fellow in the other; this appointment for the academic year will include tuition, a combination of stipend and salary ($28,290 for the 2017-18 academic year; the 2018-19 amount is $29,350), as well as facilities and health fees—in other words, the standard Teaching Fellow appointment package.

Deadlines

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 – Deadline to submit your proposal for a 2018-19 academic year course to your DGS.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 – Deadline for DGSs and DAAFs to submit departmental selections to GSAS.

How to Apply

A complete application includes the following:

1. A completed application form:

A. Proposed course summary, which includes the following:

  • Course title
  • A one-paragraph course description, suitable for the course bulletin, including any prerequisites
  • Rationale for proposed course and its role in the departmental curriculum, with emphasis on innovative aspects of the course

B. Proposed course details, including the following:

  • Full course description, including designation of main topics, themes, sections of the course
  • Top course learning objectives, specifying specific skills and expertise that students will gain
  • Identification of any unique resources (at Columbia or elsewhere) engaged by the course

C. Applicant teaching profile, which includes the following:

  • List of teaching experience, both formal and informal, to date
  • Description of teaching development activities at Columbia and elsewhere
  • Description of your teaching strengths, strategies, style – anchored by example(s) or representative anecdote(s)
  • Brief indication of the relation of proposed course to your research

2. Syllabus, to include:

3. Representative sample of recent evaluations of your teaching, if available 

4. A course approval form, completed by the course instructor with assistance from the department, if necessary. Note: Signatures on this form are not required. The purpose of this form is to assist with the departmental submission process (described below).

Departmental Submission Process

Departmental selections must be forwarded by DAAFs to GSAS using Course Inventory Management (CIM):

  1. School: Please select “Columbia College AND School of General Studies.”
  2. Department: Please select “Teaching Scholars Program” (NOT your department’s name).
  3. Attach syllabus: Please attach the entire Teaching Scholars application (NOT just the syllabus).
  4. Complete the rest of CIM form and then click “Start Workflow.”
Selection Criteria

Proposals for the academic year are evaluated by the respective departments, using the following criteria:

  • Fit of the course with department's curriculum and programmatic needs
  • Quality of the student's previous teaching performance
  • Overall intellectual quality of proposal
  • Quality of course content, student learning activities, and assessment of student learning
  • Proposer's ability (based on his or her academic track-record) to deliver the proposed course while continuing to make satisfactory academic progress toward the degree

Successful proposals are submitted by departments to GSAS using Course Inventory Management (CIM). GSAS then forwards all of these proposals to the undergraduate COI for final review. Confirmation of Teaching Scholars will be completed by early March of each year for the following academic year.