Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Faculty Teaching Academy

With endowed support from an anonymous benefactor, the Poorvu Center launched the Faculty Teaching Academy (FTA) 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 inclusive teaching as excellent teaching. 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 full-time 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:

Program Completion Funds

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. Please note that these funds are not intended to purchase standard equipment that departments are expected to provide for faculty (such as desktop computers or laptops). Due to spending restrictions for the gift that funds this program, the funds need to be spent while holding an appointment at Yale and fund disbursement requests must be submitted at least thirty days prior to departure from Yale.

Program details

Two teaching-focused events

The teaching-focused events can include Poorvu-sponsored workshops and discussions or a department-sponsored discussion of disciplinary teaching.

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-intensive Summer Institute

Each year the Poorvu Center offers its Course (Re)Design Summer Institute. The institute may differ in focus from year-to-year, 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, National Institute on Scientific Teaching, Folger Shakespeare Library Scholarly Programs, Humanities Intensive Teaching and Learning, Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education, Mathematical Association of America’s Project NExT). Eligible faculty members may participate in one of these options as an alternative to the Poorvu Center Course (Re)Design Institute and use it to complete component 1 of the FTA program. Participants may also, with Poorvu Center input, identify and participate in an alternative not listed above.

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. Enrollment is not limited to those in the Faculty Teaching Academy program and more information can be found here.


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.  

Final program portfolio

The final program portfolio will consist of four pieces, outlined below. While there are no specific word count requirements, suggested lengths and potential questions to consider are included to provide a starting point. 

  • A reflection on one’s teaching development over the time period, as well as thoughts about future teaching development
    • 500-1000 words
    • Starting point: What is important to you in your teaching? Have your teaching values changed at all since joining Yale? How do you continue to reflect on inclusivity in your teaching? What do you whish to explore or work on with regard to your teaching?
  • Participant’s course evaluations with reflective commentary on student ratings and comments
    • Course evaluations can be taken from one or more than one course
    • Reflective commentary can be provided directly on the course evaluations or articulated as a separate piece of text
    • Starting point for reflective commentary: What surprised you about the evaluations? What feedback reflected your teaching approach?
  • A representative syllabus that portrays individual teaching and learning principles
    • Ideally the syllabus will articulate teaching and learning principles and goals
  • Student work examples that document learning, with reflective commentary on how the assessment reflects student development
    • Work examples might be: weekly/homework assignments, papers, projects in a variety of media forms
    • Please include multiple student work examples though the number is at your discretion. For instance, you might include a sampling of final projects or you might include three assignments from across the semester from a sampling of students to demonstrate students’ learning
    • Starting point for reflective commentary: How does the students’ work demonstrate progress towards the course learning goals? What in the students’ work aligns with your expectations for their learning? What surprised you about the students’ work?

How to Register

You can register for the Faculty Teaching Academy and keep track of your progress in the program using this FTA checklist. Please contact the Teaching Development and Initiatives team at faculty.teaching@yale.edu with any questions.