Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Associates in Teaching Program

Important Dates

The deadline for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 course applications will be February 10, 2017. Find out more about the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 courses.

The competitive Associates in Teaching (AT) program, offered in collaboration between the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Teaching and Learning, allows advanced Ph.D. students to expand their range of teaching experiences and responsibilities.


Experience shows that this program, begun in 2009, provides a dynamic cooperative teaching experience for graduate students and faculty members both, with the faculty member offering direct feedback on curriculum, leading discussions, lecturing, demonstrating, or whatever teaching practices enlisted in that course.

Through this program, doctoral students work jointly with a cooperating faculty member to conceptualize or redesign, plan, and deliver an undergraduate course.


Ph.D. students in their first to sixth years in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are eligible to apply. The Ph.D. student’s thesis advisor and DGS must approve the application prior to review.

Ph.D. Student: Although most applicants will have completed a year of teaching at Yale at the time of application, applications from students with less teaching experience will be accepted. Students must demonstrate successful teaching, have advanced to candidacy, and be in good academic standing. Finally, there must be evidence that serving as an Associate in Teaching (“AT”) will provide a meaningful experience that is specific to the student’s development as a teacher.

Associates in Teaching positions are not only for advanced students. We encourage students to consider the AT program while in their teaching years because it provides excellent preparation for future teaching assignments. During a student’s teaching years, appointment as an AT will constitute a term of required teaching fellowship as specified in the student’s letter of admission. If the student has completed his or her teaching fellowship, the AT appointment will provide a stipend at the level of PTAI for that term. In either case, at the conclusion of the course, the notation “Associate in Teaching” and the title of the course will be recorded on the student’s transcript.

Faculty: Ladder faculty members are eligible to teach courses with an AT. Faculty must provide evidence of success in teaching and working with teaching fellows. Visiting faculty members, regardless of rank, are not eligible to participate in the AT program.

Course: Undergraduate courses of all types and formats, with the exception of Freshman Seminars, are eligible for the AT program. A course with an AT must provide the graduate student with the full range of experience in course design and classroom teaching appropriate for that course. ATs may participate in teaching new courses or existing courses that are going through a significant redesign. In either case, the application must provide strong evidence that the proposed course will have a healthy enrollment. Only courses in which both the faculty member and the AT are available for continuous guidance or mentoring will be considered.

Because experience designing and teaching lecture courses is highly beneficial for graduate students on the job academic market in most fields, we encourage applicants to consider lecture courses at the introductory or intermediate level that will give graduate students experience teaching broadly in their fields.

What to Expect 

Expectations for Students:

ATs should play a significant role in planning and designing the course rather than simply participating in the delivery of a course that has been fully designed prior to their involvement. In the case of teaching existing courses that are being redesigned, ATs might participate in:

  • Course reconceptualization
  • Review and inclusion of new texts
  • Structure and overall content of lectures
  • Design of new labs, written assignments and exams
  • Creation of new in-class activities
  • The development of instructional technology

ATs should play a significant role in the delivery of the course. In the case of a lecture course, this will mean preparing and delivering a reasonable number of the lectures for the semester. In the case of a seminar course, ATs will take responsibility for a reasonable percentage of discussions. Wherever possible, faculty members and their ATs should co-lead discussions or share in the delivery of lectures.

ATs should attend all class meetings to observe and reflect on the faculty member’s teaching and to participate with the faculty member in the discussions about teaching that are the cornerstone of this program.

In lecture courses that use teaching fellows, the AT should not supervise teaching fellows nor in any way replace the supervisory responsibilities of the faculty member. ATs will participate in scheduled meetings of the AT program.

Expectations for Faculty:

Faculty members will fully involve the AT in designing or redesigning the proposed course. This process should begin no later than the beginning of the semester immediately preceding the teaching of the course and include:

  • Reflection on the learning objectives of the course
  • Decisions about texts and topics
  • Development of lectures, in-class discussions and activities
  • Development of written assignments, problem sets and labs
  • Development of tests, quizzes, and papers

Faculty members should develop a way for ATs to be fully involved in the delivery of the class. This may mean allowing the AT to prepare (with guidance) and deliver some percentage of lectures, or lead a meaningful number of class discussions. When possible and appropriate, faculty members and ATs may want to lead class together. In any case, the faculty member should always be present and remain attentive to the AT’s teaching. Feedback and reflection between the faculty member and the AT should occur weekly.

Regarding logistical aspects of the course such as acquiring a room, ordering books, and preparing resources, faculty members should involve ATs but take the lead and assume ultimate responsibility. The sponsoring department must approve courses accepted into the Associates in Teaching Program; this takes the form of a brief letter of support signed by the Director of Graduate Study (DGS). The Course of Study Committee must approve new courses through the usual means.

It is the faculty member’s responsibility to shepherd the course through each of these reviews and make sure the course is appropriately listed and advertised. Faculty members will participate in scheduled meetings of the AT program and submit a reflective statement to the program at the end of the course.


Application information can be found here.


Letterman & Dugan: Team Teaching a Cross-Disciplinary Honors Course: Preparation and Development College Teaching, Vol. 52, No. 2 (Spring, 2004)
Letterman & Dugan: Student Appraisals of Collaborative Teaching College Teaching, Vol. 56, No. 1 (Winter, 2008)