Graduate Student Programs

The Center for Teaching offers a variety of programs to meet the needs of graduate students entering the teaching ranks. All instructors will find participation in Center programs an avenue for exploration and discovery in a collegial setting.

Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO)

TAO prepares graduate students to assume their teaching duties with confidence by engaging them in interactive sessions about teaching methods and resources.

Online Orientation for International Graduate Students

The online orientation for international graduate students covers two topics: 1) teaching in the U.S. classroom and 2) the process of the language evaluations. This feature will be available in June 2009.

Teaching Certificate Program

The Teaching Certificate program has been designed to help graduate and professional students and post-docs develop and refine their teaching skills through three cycles of teaching activities, each consisting of inquiry, experimentation, and reflection phases. Participants who complete the program receive a Teaching Certificate from the Graduate School and the Center for Teaching.

International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP)

ITAP assists and supports international graduate students as they prepare for and begin their teaching duties at Vanderbilt. It is specifically designed for those international teaching assistants (ITAs) for whom English is not the first language and who have not completed a baccalaureate degree at an institution where English is the language of instruction.

Graduate Student Teaching Event for Professional Development (GradSTEP)

GradSTEP, held in January each year, is a one-day exploration of teaching, learning and professional development issues across the disciplines. All graduate and professional students, as well as post-doctoral fellows, are invited to attend.

Teaching-as-Research Fellows Program

As part of the CIRTL Network activities at Vanderbilt, the CFT co-sponsors the Teaching-as-Research (TAR) Fellows program for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields at Vanderbilt. Each fall, a number of TAR Fellows are selected to conduct projects exploring aspects of undergraduate education in their disciplines. Each Fellow works with a faculty mentor, and each project typically focuses on an undergraduate course taught by that mentor.


Throughout the school year, the Center organizes workshops facilitated by CFT senior staff, Graduate Teaching Fellows, University administrators and faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and invited guests.

  • The Teaching Workshop features practical, applied sessions on basic teaching practice in a variety of disciplines. While Vanderbilt instructors of all levels are welcome, most sessions are designed for those with little teaching experience.

  • Conversations on Teaching are occasional, informal, and topical. Sessions typically begin with a panel offering brief remarks, followed by open discussion with workshop participants.

Working Groups

Working Groups bring together small cohorts of graduate students who meet regularly to discuss either a specific teaching practice or a more conceptual set of issues. Topics for working groups have included course design, using visuals in instruction, and classroom response systems. CFT staff are also prepared to develop new working groups in response to graduate student interest.

Celebration of Teaching

The Celebration of Teaching is an annual tradition co-hosted by the Center for Teaching and the Graduate School to honor those who have won university- or school-based awards during the previous academic year and to recognize the graduates of the CFT's Teaching Certificate program.



Center for Teaching
1114 19th Avenue South
Peabody Box #183
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone 615-322-7290
Fax 615-343-8111


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