Teaching Experience Requirement

CCT participants should have at least one semester in a formal teaching role that takes place after enrolling in the CCT program (i.e. previous teaching experience is not applicable). Teaching and observations should be completed in the same term to fulfill program requirements.

A formal instructional role can include the following:

  • Being the instructor of record of a class

  • Being an officially designated TA who leads a discussion, lab or recitation section that meets regularly (at least four times) throughout the semester with you as the primary leader/facilitator of those meetings

  • Being a guest lecturer on at least four separate sessions, each at least an hour long, in the same term or semester and working with that course's instructor of record

  • Other types of teaching experience approved by the CCT program director before the term in which it occurs.

Teaching experience should be documented with the Teaching Experience Form (PDF).

A formal instructional role cannot include the following:

  • Being a guest lecturer in a class where the instructional contact is less than four contact hours, spread out through the term (e.g., two guest lectures in the week a lecturing professor is at a conference would not qualify
  • Teaching assistantships limited to grading, office hours, or administrative tasks

Although the program director can help identify opportunities, students in the CCT are responsible for securing their own teaching or TAing experience to meet program requirements described here. Given the varying TAing and teaching expectations for graduate students across departments at Duke, please explore your options early. For example, two paths beyond a TAship in your home program might be the Bass Instructional Fellowships or being an IOR at Durham Tech.

Observation Requirement (Teaching Triangles)

The teaching observation is typically facilitated through Teaching Triangles, a peer-observation program for graduate student instructors and TAs that is held every semester, including Fall, Spring, Summer I and II.

A Teaching Triangle consists of three instructors who:

  • Complete a training orientation in peer teaching observation practices (Teaching Triangles orientation)
  • Observe at least one class taught by each triangle partner (a total of two observations)
  • Reflect on the class observation experience
  • Share observations and reflections with partners
  • Share observation experience with participants as a whole group (final meeting)

The steps above are spread over a single semester and completed well before finals begin. Participating in Teaching Triangles is not a time-intensive commitment and should not have a negative effect on your research, dissertation, or time to graduation.

To participate, register for a Teaching Triangles orientation session offered at the beginning of a semester in which you will teach or TA. See the professional development calendar for currently scheduled Graduate School workshops, including Teaching Triangles orientation.

Participation in Teaching Triangles includes a requirement to have successfully completed or be concurrently enrolled in at least one class in college teaching, departmental training or previous teaching/TAing experience.

It is possible, with prior arrangement with the CCT program director, to complete this outside of Teaching Triangles if the CCT student is observed by at least two people who provide brief written feedback. Observers can be faculty from the participant’s department or a related program, Graduate School staff, trained peer graduate students, or others as approved by the CCT program director. Students should also conduct at least two observations of other faculty or graduate students teaching. 


Hugh Crumley, PhD
Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs
Director, Certificate in College Teaching