The English Ph.D. program puts a great deal of emphasis on graduate student teaching as an integral part of a Ph.D. candidate's training and professional identity. The training our students receive in teaching and the variety of teaching experiences we offer have served our students very well when they have come to look for their first faculty positions.
At the end of their first year of graduate study, students participate in an intensive summer training program, and beginning in their second year, they teach one course per semester for the Writing, Speaking, and Argument (WSA) Program. The WSA Program emphasizes discipline-based writing across a wide variety of disciplines and provides consistent mentoring for its instructors. Each graduate instructor designs his or her own syllabus, reflecting the student's own passions, interests, and emerging expertise. Enrollment in writing courses is limited to 15 students.
In addition to their work in the WSA Program, advanced graduate students have the opportunity to teach courses within their fields of specialization through the College’s Teaching Fellowship Program, the Susan B. Anthony Teaching Fellowship, and the English Department's summer school curriculum.
The Dean’s teaching Fellowships are awarded annually by the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering to support advanced graduate students in their training as teachers. The first Teaching Fellowships were awarded for the 2007-08 academic year. English Department nominees have been very successful in this fellowship competition. English Department students serve as TAs who are mentored by faculty in departmental courses at all levels of undergraduate study; this is an invaluable experience to be involved at all levels of course preparation and instruction. Recent recipients include:
In the summer following the first year of graduate study, our PhD students begin extensive training and mentoring by the WSA Program in preparation for teaching one section each semester of Reasoning and Writing in the College (WRT105). WRT 105 courses are small sections (capped at 15 students) that satisfy our primary writing requirement. In close consultation with the WSA Program, instructors design WRT 105 courses that organize their students’ writing, research, and analysis around a handful of key texts and interpretive questions.
Our graduate students’ WRT 105 courses this semester include:
Our advanced graduate students often apply for Dean’s Teaching Fellowships. These fellowships allow them to serve as TAs alongside English Department faculty in courses at all levels of undergraduate study. This is an invaluable opportunity to receive mentoring at all levels of course preparation and instruction. This year’s Dean’s Teaching Fellowship recipients are working with faculty in introductory lecture courses in American Studies and in Media Studies, and in an advanced seminar in Victorian Studies.