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Educating The Next Generation Of Engineering Professors: Cornell University's Teaching Fellow Program

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.171.1 - 1.171.9



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Paper Authors

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Jennifer M. Jacobs

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Elizabeth A. Eschenbach

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2655

Educating the Next Generation of Engineering Professors: Cornell University’s Teaching Fellow Program

Jennifer M. Jacobs, Elizabeth A. Eschenbach Cornell University/Humboldt State University


Opportunities for future professoriate preparation exist at some engineering graduate schools. The Graduate Teaching Assistant Development Program for the College of Engineering at Cornell University is a program developed and facilitated by excellent graduate student instructors called Teaching Fellows (TFs). These Teaching Fellows participate in an intense 6-week summer program to prepare for facilitating the TA Development Program in the fall. The summer program is organized and facilitated by a Head Teaching Fellow (HTF) and the Assistant Director of the Office of Instructional Support. The authors of this paper have both served as HTFs for the TA Development Program.

The experience of serving as a TF or HTF provides significantly more preparation than attending an introductory TA development program or serving as a Teaching Assistant. Before facilitating workshops, the TFs must refine their teaching philosophy, explore novel teaching ideas and pedagogy, develop workshops for novice TAs, and critique each other's workshops. This intense experience provides a strong teaching foundation for individuals who plan to teach as a part of their careers.


Many academics view Teaching Assistant development programs as one way to prepare the future professoriate. The College of Engineering at Cornell University, along with a number of other engineering institutions, offer or require Teaching Assistant training for novice engineering TAs. 3 These programs are geared for novice teachers, and as such, can only provide rudimentary advice.

A unique feature of the Cornell TA Development Program is that it is designed and executed by top graduate student instructors called Teaching Fellows (TFs). While preparing to execute the TA Development Program, TFs create a teaching support network and through peer review, sharpen their teaching skills. TFs improve their presentation styles, use a variety of teaching

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Jacobs, J. M., & Eschenbach, E. A. (1996, June), Educating The Next Generation Of Engineering Professors: Cornell University's Teaching Fellow Program Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6001

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