As part of its ongoing efforts to bring undergraduate student learning to the highest possible level, the Teagle Foundation dedicated resources towards preparing graduate students, as future faculty members, to teach effectively in a wide variety of higher education settings through its Graduate Student Teaching in the Arts and Sciences (GSTAS) initiative launched in 2010. This initiative was informed by a listening held in August 2009 with graduate school deans, faculty, directors of teaching and learning centers, and graduate students on possible strategies to ensure that future faculty members enter the academic workforce equipped with new knowledge and tools about how to bring student learning to the highest levels.
Funded projects fostered collegial communities of practice for both faculty and graduate students around teaching and learning; enabled graduate students to examine research on learning and apply it as instructors; and established institutional plans for sustainability of these programs. Grantees were primarily research universities where many future faculty members receive their training. Over 200 faculty and over 1,100 graduate students from 33 institutions benefited from activities sponsored by the Teagle-funded projects under this initiative.
In April 2014, when funded projects were at the rough mid-point, grantees came together in a Teagle-sponsored convening to share early lessons on how to support graduate students become better teachers both as individuals and as members of communities of practice. Key themes that emerged from the convening discussion are available here.
Lessons learned from the initiative-wide external evaluation are available here.