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Teaching Excellence Program

Faculty-Student Partner Program

The Faculty-Student Partner program is a pedagogy-focused collaboration between a professor and a Lewis & Clark College undergraduate who is interested in learning more about best practices in education. The student is not enrolled in any of the professor’s courses that semester, and the collaboration typically focuses on one particular course. Student partners are paid to attend the course and provide constructive feedback to the professor on a weekly basis. Importantly, student partners do not act as teaching assistants or work directly with their peers. Instead, the student’s goal is to take careful notes on what they observe in the classroom and to work in partnership with the professor by sharing reflections and exchanging ideas about how to improve the course and the professor’s pedagogy in a once a week meeting. This provides an excellent opportunity for a faculty member to get real-time feedback and for a student to learn more about teaching and professional collaboration more generally.

TEP’s program is modeled after the student consultant program developed by Dr. Alison Cook-Sather (Director of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges) and is one of a number of such programs currently underway at campuses in the United States and Europe, including at ReedOberlin, and Carleton Colleges. TEP successfully piloted the Faculty-Student Partner program in the Fall of 2017 at Lewis & Clark. (For more information, please feel free to contact TEP’s Fall 2017 participants: Professors Anne Bentley, Rachel Cole, Todd Watson, and Ben Westervelt.) 

Faculty can choose to invite a former student to be their partner, or TEP can help faculty find a student partner who is well suited for (or has experience with) this role. Students are paid for their time, and they can expect to work an average of 6 hours per week in the partnership (including time spent observing classes). All partners (faculty and students) will participate in a half-day training workshop the semester before the start of their partnership. 

During the semester of the partnership, the expectation is for faculty to meet with their student partners once a week. In addition, the student partners will meet every week with the TEP directors. The weekly student-faculty discussions are based on the student partner’s observational notes of the class, whereas the weekly meetings between student partners and the TEP directors provide training to the students on how best to observe and communicate ideas with their faculty partners.

Read more about Faculty-Student Partner duties and responsibilities.

Interested in participating in the Faculty-Student Partner Program?

Please complete the following interest form. The program is full for the 2018-19 year.  TEP is accepting requests for the 2019-2020 academic year.