PFL_compass_1015Interested in becoming a faculty member?  Gaining teaching experience?  Being mentored by a distinguished faculty member?  Building a network?  Crafting your professional brand?

The PTP program is a nationally-recognized program designed to give exceptional doctoral students an immersive mentoring, teaching, and future faculty preparation experience. Established in 1993, the PTP program is the premiere program in the Graduate School’s professional development initiative, Preparing Future Leaders. PTP provides Fellows with a hands-on teaching opportunity under the direction of a distinguished faculty mentor recognized for their teaching skills. PTP is one of only two professional development programs that recognizes successful Fellows with a formal transcript notation as evidence for their hard work and achievement.

Acceptance into this program is highly competitive. Every year, the selection committee makes tough decisions to select the new PTP Fellows. PTP is a year long program consisting of two major components: regular workshop meetings and the mentoring relationship with your faculty member. Fellows also teach with their mentor, complete a peer observation, and conduct a professional development project. At the conclusion of the program, each fellow completes a teaching portfolio detailing his or her work and reflections from participating in the PTP program.

Applications are now open for the 2016-2017 PTP Program! Applications are due Friday, March 4 by 5pm.  For more information, refer to this page

1.  Sign up for an information session
2.  Go to the PTP Moodle Application Page 

Program Components


The program sponsors nine workshops for fellows and their mentors throughout the academic year.  Many of the workshops require fellows to complete reading or writing assignments in preparation, and all fellows are required to attend at least seven of the workshops. Dates and times of workshops will be determined over Summer 2016. Applicants should plan their observation and teaching courses to ensure that they can meet the PTP attendance requirements. Beginning in 2010-11, fellows selected for PTP will be required to complete the FIT Introduction to Teaching workshop before participating in the PTP program, unless they have completed significant professional development activities in teaching.

Mentoring Relationship

In conjunction with a faculty mentor they select, applicants develop a detailed plan for the PTP year. This plan covers two semesters: an observation semester and a teaching/co-teaching semester. During the observation semester, the fellow observes an undergraduate course taught by the faculty mentor. (Note: the fellow cannot be enrolled in this course.) Over the course of this semester, the fellow will participate in activities that will prepare him or her for teaching the following semester, such as meeting regularly with the faculty mentor, completing structured reflections on the observations, developing course materials (homework assignments or exams), grading, or holding office hours. The details of these arrangements are up to the fellow and faculty mentor.

In the second semester, the fellow teaches or co-teaches an undergraduate course, taking on significant instructional responsibility for the class. (Note: the fellow may not teach or co-teach a graduate course.) In addition to the teaching responsibilities, the fellow should continue the mentoring relationship, including activities such as seeking regular feedback. Although the details of the arrangement are up to each fellow-mentor pair, a formal observation of the fellow’s teaching by the mentor is required.

Teaching Portfolio

Each fellow develops a teaching portfolio documenting the professional development experience of the PTP year. This portfolio includes a statement of purpose, a statement of teaching philosophy, artifacts of teaching, and a reflective summary on the PTP experience, among other materials. Among the artifacts of teaching are a formal observation report of the fellow’s teaching by his/her mentor as well as a formal report on the fellow’s teaching completed by a PTP peer. The artifacts of teaching may also include such items as student evaluations of instruction, evidence of course planning and preparation, videotapes of teaching, course materials developed, and samples of student work. Fellows selected for the PTP program are provided with a detailed checklist of materials required for the portfolio as well as support in compiling the portfolio materials. The program coordinator provides detailed feedback on the portfolio upon the fellow’s completion of the program.

Professional Development Project

PTP Fellows will complete a professional development project as a part of their PTP program. Mimicking pursuing professional development opportunities as a faculty member, Fellows will propose a project that will contribute to their own professional development, be documented in their teaching portfolio, and shared formally with with the PTP fellows, via presentation, reflection, or demonstration.

Participant Eligibility and Funding Details

In order to participate in the program, applicants must be:

  1. Enrolled as doctoral candidates
  2. Have completed 18 graduate credit hours in their major prior to the teaching semester
  3. Be in good academic standing in their department
  4. Be at a point in their doctoral program when they have sufficient time to work with a faculty mentor.
    Note – The selection committee will give preference to those applicants with at least 30 graduate credit hours and a competitive GPA.

The selection committee will also consider applicants’ prior teaching experience and commitment to professional development in teaching (as demonstrated through, for example, participation in Fundamentals in Teaching (FIT) workshops, participation in the Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching (CoAT) program, or completion of a semester-long pedagogy class such as EAC 786, Teaching in College). Beginning with the 2010-2011 cohort, those selected as PTP fellows will be required to complete the FIT Introduction to Teaching Workshop before they participate in the PTP program. (You can consult the current semester’s lineup of FIT workshops to see future offerings of the workshop and register online.) Some PTP applicants may be exempt from this requirement if they have completed the CoAT program or a semester-long pedagogy class, for example.

Up to 20 doctoral students are selected for the program through a University-wide competition each spring. Contingent on the availability of funding, each of the fellows selected in the competition will receive a $500 stipend ($250 at the end of each semester, in January and June). Fellows who finish the program late due to a delay in their observation or teaching semesters will receive the second portion of the award after all requirements have been fulfilled. Note that students who hold an SPA appointment during their PTP participation may not be eligible for the stipend.

The PTP program is only open to PhD students. If you are a master’s student looking to enhance your teaching skills, you can consider two other teaching programs offered by the Graduate School: the Fundamentals in Teaching (FIT)workshop series and the Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching (CoAT).

PFL_logo_compass_081613Trying to decide which program best suits your needs? You can compare our programs or email us with any questions at

PFL_logo_compass_081613Curious to see who has participated in the past, and where they are now?  Check out our PTP Alumni listing and success stories.

Course Credit Option

With the agreement of the faculty mentor and the student’s graduate advisor, a student may receive up to 3 hours course credit for the teaching semester of his or her participation in the Preparing the Professoriate program, under the course number designated for doctoral supervised teaching experience (885).The course prefix should be that of the faculty mentor’s department, and the course will be S-U graded. Before granting course credit, the faculty mentor and student should agree on what additional assignments, if any, will be required in addition to the teaching portfolio. These might include an annotated bibliography of scholarship on teaching in the discipline, a research article on teaching, and/or other projects. Students interested in pursuing this option should contact their DGPs once they have been selected for the PTP program.


If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services, or other accommodations to participate in this program, please contact Benoit Sabourin ( or at 513-3130 during business hours to discuss accommodations.