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Evaluation of Graduate Faculty Teaching



to define the requirements for the evaluation of Graduate Faculty teaching.


Academic Goal

to assure that members of the Graduate Faculty who teach courses provide instruction that is consistent with the high-quality standards expected by Penn State programs and the Graduate School.



all faculty members engaged in teaching graduate courses.

Policy Statement

  1. Individuals in Tenure-Line positions who are appointed to the Graduate Faculty and teach graduate courses are to be evaluated through the processes in place in their academic units for evaluation of faculty teaching.
    1. In cases where a Tenure-Line member of the Graduate Faculty is teaching a graduate course that is offered by a graduate program outside the faculty member’s home unit, the Head of the graduate program that offers the course is responsible for coordinating with the faculty member’s unit leader to ensure evaluation of the faculty member’s teaching in that graduate course through student and peer evaluations, as may be appropriate.
  2. If any individual in a full-time Non-Tenure-Line position who is nominated for Graduate Faculty membership has no evidence of formal classroom teaching experience, then if approved, the individual must be supervised for one semester by a member of the program's Tenure-line Graduate Faculty.
  3. Academic units to which full-time Non-Tenure-Line members of the Graduate Faculty are appointed are required to provide newly appointed members with an orientation that familiarizes the individual with all relevant academic policies and procedures of the University, Graduate Council, and the Graduate School, and that inculcates a shared understanding of graduate-level instruction and expectations for the quality of that instruction; of appropriate graduate-level course objectives and methods for assessment of graduate student learning; of appropriate graduate-level assignments and work products; and of other standards for graduate teaching and learning at Penn State.
  4. Graduate Faculty who are in full-time Non-Tenure-Line appointments will be evaluated by means of student evaluations (SRTEs) each time a course is taught.
    1. In addition, peer evaluations by Tenure-Line members of the Graduate Faculty in the respective program must be conducted the first time a graduate course is taught, and every three years thereafter, assuming no concerns are raised.
    2. Any time a concern is raised through student or peer evaluations, peer evaluations must continue on an annual basis until adequate improvement is achieved.

Revision History

  • Editorial revisions to remove the terms "fixed-term" and "standing" as a result of changes to AC21 Definition of Academic Ranks, July 1, 2021.
  • Approved by Graduate Council, May 6, 2015. Effective date: Fall 2015.
    • New policy.
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