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In a highly competitive employment environment, the development of good teaching skills is a fundamental asset. The Graduate Student Teaching Initiative at the University Center for Teaching and Learning offers a variety of resources to prepare graduate student instructors to meet their teaching goals and responsibilities from the first day of class through the job search process.

For New Teaching Assistants: The New Teaching Assistant Orientation is offered twice a year, in January and August, and is required by the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences for all students who will be Teaching Assistants for the first time in the ensuing semester(s). This one-day event is designed to introduce the basic information needed for classroom success to graduate students in their first semester as a TA at the University of Pittsburgh.

For Independent Instructors (and those planning to make a career of University Teaching): FacDev 2200, the University Teaching Practicum, is a three-credit graduate seminar is offered every semester. The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences requires that this course be taken concurrently by all graduate students who are teaching independently for the first time. A mainstay of the University’s commitment to both graduate and undergraduate education, the Practicum is a practical introduction to teaching. New instructors are encouraged to share concerns and experiences through class discussions, and assignments encourage graduate student instructors to create and improve classroom materials including syllabi, student assignments, and lesson plans. Coursework is structured around the construction of a marketable teaching portfolio.

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