Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Associates in Teaching Program

Important Dates

The deadline for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 course applications is February 1, 2024.  We hope to share final decisions by early March. Please note that there is one deadline for both semesters.

We recommend beginning your application process as soon as possible, since the February 1st deadline pertains to all materials. That includes the application itself, as well as the required letters of support, along with approval from advisors and Directors of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies – meaning that multiple people will need to be aware of and contributing to your application through our application portal.   

This webpage covers information about the program and eligibility for participation. To learn more about the application process, visit our “Application Materials and Procedures” page


The competitive Associates in Teaching (AT) program, offered in collaboration between the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, allows Ph.D. students to expand their range of teaching experiences and responsibilities in conjunction with a faculty co-teacher.

Through the Associates in Teaching program, doctoral students collaborate with a faculty member to conceptualize or redesign, plan, and deliver an undergraduate course. The faculty member offers intensive mentorship and guidance throughout the co-teaching experience, which is a key benefit of the program.


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, and/or other teaching practices enlisted in that course.


There are three categories for eligibility, pertaining to the graduate student, the faculty co-instructor, and the course itself.

Eligibility of graduate students:

You are eligible to apply for the program if you are a Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and if you meet the following qualifications:

  • You will have advanced to candidacy by the time the course will be taught (note: the application may be made before advancing to candidacy).

  • Your thesis advisor and Director of Graduate Study (hereafter, DGS) have agreed to submit written approval.

  • You demonstrate a commitment to effective teaching through your statement about why you wish to teach in the program (see Application Materials and Procedures).

  • You are in good academic standing, as confirmed by the DGS.

  • You will complete your teaching in the program by the end of your sixth year of GSAS funding (or within the COVID-extension, if applicable).

  • You have taught for at least one semester (at Yale or elsewhere) before the semester in which you plan to teach through the AT program.

Funding and Notation Details: The AT program substitutes for one semester of required or stipendiary teaching within the graduate student’s regular stipend years (note: it does not extend the funding clock). Graduate students will be appointed at the rank of Part-Time Acting Instructor (PTAI), which makes them instructors of record alongside the collaborating faculty member.

At the conclusion of the course, the notation “Associate in Teaching” and the title of the course will be recorded on your transcript.

Eligibility of faculty members: 

Both instructional and ladder faculty are eligible to teach courses through the AT program. Faculty must provide evidence of success in teaching and working with teaching fellows in the portion of the application describing a history of effective mentoring (see Section 1, Application Materials), and through the DGS’s letter of support. Visiting faculty members, regardless of rank, are not eligible to participate in the AT program.

Eligibility of proposed course: 

Undergraduate courses of all types and formats, with the exception of First-Year Seminars, are eligible for the AT program. The course:

  • may be new or existing, if the course is going through a significant redesign;

  • must divide the work of course design equally between the faculty member and you, regardless of whether the course is new or redesigned;

  • must have a high likelihood of enrollment, and the proposal must provide strong evidence or rationale to that effect;

  • must be taught in a truly collaborative fashion between the faculty member and you, with the faculty member mentoring you throughout the semester to ensure teaching happens at a co-equal level.

Note: Many graduate students choose to teach courses closely related to their dissertations. However, because experience designing and teaching introductory and intermediate courses is highly beneficial for graduate students on the academic job market in most fields, we encourage you to consider courses at that level in order to gain broader teaching experience in your fields.

What to Expect 

We recommend getting started on the application process as soon as possible, for several reasons:

  • this program involves collaborating on the design and the delivery of a course, and the application should include a provisional syllabus;

  • faculty leave schedules rotate;

  • you will need approval and letters of support from multiple parties; and

  • there may be multiple potential faculty co-instructors for particular course topics.

A conversation with your DGS, DUS, and/or advisor early in your graduate career can help you identify your options.

Below, we outline the responsibilities for graduate student and faculty participants.

Expectations for Graduate Students:

As a graduate student participating in the AT program, you should….

  1. 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 your involvement. In the case of teaching existing courses that are being redesigned, you might participate in:

    • refining and/or reconceptualizing the learning goals 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;

    • and/or the development of instructional technology.

  2. 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 (typically about half). In the case of a seminar course, you will take responsibility for a reasonable percentage of discussions. Wherever possible, you should co-lead discussions or share in the delivery of lectures.

  3. Attend all class meetings to observe and reflect on the faculty member’s teaching. Regular attendance allows you to participate in discussions about teaching.

  4. In lecture courses that use teaching fellows, you should not supervise teaching fellows nor in any way replace the supervisory responsibilities of the faculty member. You should, however, participate in all scheduled meetings of the course, including team meetings with teaching fellows, even if not in a supervisory capacity.

Expectations for Faculty:

Faculty members should…

  1. Fully involve you, the graduate student applicant, 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:

    • refining and/or reconceptualizing the learning goals 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;

    • and/or the development of instructional technology.

  2. Fully involve you in the delivery of the class. This may mean allowing you to prepare (with guidance) and deliver some percentage of lectures, or lead a meaningful number of class discussions (typically about half). When possible and appropriate, faculty members may want to lead class together. In any case, the faculty member should always be present and remain attentive to your teaching. Joint feedback and reflection should occur on a weekly basis.

  3. Assume ultimate responsibility for the logistical aspects of the course in line with Faculty of Arts and Sciences guidelines, including:

    • acquiring a room,

    • ordering books,

    • and preparing resources. 

  4. Shepherd the course through the university course review process and make sure the course is appropriately listed and advertised.

    • The faculty member should arrange for a new course to be approved through the Course of Study Committee (a process that should be coordinated through the hosting department).


Application information can be found here.

Primary Contact 

For questions about the program, please contact askpoorvucenter@yale.edu


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)