Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Faculty Teaching Academy

With endowed support from an anonymous benefactor, the Poorvu Center launched the Faculty Teaching Academy program. The goal of the program is to engage faculty in structured conversations in communities of practice with peers, in which participants advance their knowledge of scholarly approaches to teaching excellence. Faculty will learn, practice, and extend foundational teaching skills and articulate a self-development trajectory for subsequent teaching growth. The initiative focuses on development of high-impact teaching for faculty in their first three years of teaching at Yale, inclusive of newly hired full-time ladder faculty, as well as lecturers and lectors who hold multi-year appointments or one-year renewable appointments. According to the gift indenture, all new faculty who regularly teach Yale College undergraduates are eligible to participate, including those whose primary appointment is in a professional school.

Program Design

Completion of the program requires notification of your intent to participate and completion of all of the following components, in no particular order with the exception of the final program portfolio, during a two-year period initiated during the initial three years of hire. The components are as follows:

The program is open to both ladder faculty and lecturers as described above. Faculty who commit to full participation by completing all six components during a two-year period will receive a $3,000 contribution to their research accounts or professional development accounts upon completion of the program. Due to spending restrictions for the gift that funds this program, Yale can only distribute the funds to faculty with a current appointment at Yale. The funds need to be spent while holding an appointment at Yale.

Program details

Teaching-intensive Summer Institute

Intensive training at Yale will be offered every summer via a small number of Summer Institutes. These Institutes may differ in focus, but all will share a similar overarching framework and encompass the following components:

  • Programming over an intensive period (e.g. three days, or five mornings), with full-time participant attendance
  • Engagement with core ideas of pedagogy: how people learn, inclusive teaching practices, student assessment, with attention to disciplinary variation
  • Attention to collegial discussion and interaction
  • Applied teaching project development
  • Development of individual post-program plan

Other intensive training options:

A number of high-quality teaching institutes focus on higher education pedagogical development (e.g., Yale Center for Language Study pedagogy workshops, Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching, Folger Shakespeare Library Scholarly Programs, Humanities Intensive Teaching and Learning, Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education). Eligible faculty members may participate in one of these options as an alternative to the Poorvu Center teaching-intensive institute, and use it to complete component 1, with prior approval by the Poorvu Center.

Six-session learning community

This program component is offered  each fall and spring term, providing recurring options for faculty to join. The learning community will be built around structured sessions that engage faculty with peers on a range of high-impact practices and relevant topics.  For the fall 2020, the Poorvu Center will be offering topic-specific learning communities.  Faculty can use the Learning Community Enrollment Form to sign up. Enrollment is not limited to those in the Faculty Teaching Academy program.


Peer classroom observations

Faculty can arrange to observe other classes on their own or through Faculty Bulldog Days.  The two observations must be of two different faculty members to see different approaches.  

Individual teaching consultation

Click on the following link to sign up for a teaching consultation. Please be sure to indicate that you are requesting an instructional consult as part of the Faculty Teaching Academy program in the “Details of Request”.

Teaching-focused events

The teaching-focused events can include Poorvu-sponsored discussions (e.g., Teaching and Learning Discussions, Vision2020 events, Course ReCalibrate) or a department-sponsored discussion of disciplinary teaching

Final program portfolio

The final program portfolio will consist of the following four sections:

  • Individual’s course evaluations with reflection/annotation of student ratings and comments
  • A reflection on one’s teaching development over the time period, as well as thoughts about future teaching development
  • A representative syllabus that portrays individual teaching and learning principles
  • Student work examples that document learning, with reflective commentary on how the assessment reflects student development

Program Assessment

The Poorvu Center will measure program outcomes to continually improve our offerings and ensure that faculty needs are met. We will use measures such as participants’ confidence in future teaching, their ability to access and apply teaching and learning resources, and alignment of student outcomes with course goals, as well as the value of individual program components. We will also examine completed program portfolios for evidence of individuals’ development as educators, as seen in relevant artifacts. To determine the program’s reach and impact over time, we will track participant demographics and the extent to which participants continue to engage with the Poorvu Center and the teaching community at Yale.

How to Register

Please contact Victoria Hallinan, Associate Director of Faculty Teaching Initiatives at faculty.teaching@yale.edu to register. Questions regarding this program are welcome