2.5 TATTO Program

The four stages of the TATTO program (Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity) provide students with a capped credible and optimal teaching experience. With few exceptions, no student may teach more than a total of five semesters in any combination of teaching assistant and associates positions during his or her first five years at Emory. TATTO 600 and 605 must be completed before applying for candidacy.

  1. The first stage of TATTO is a short course offered in late summer. It should be taken immediately prior to a student’s first teaching experience. Faculty for this course is drawn from among the best teachers across the University. The syllabus covers general topics of importance to all students, including syllabus writing and grading, lecturing and leading discussions, the use of writing as a pedagogical tool, the conduct of lab sessions, and the use of new technologies in the classroom. Because the summer course is offered between semesters, it is credited to a student’s transcript the following fall when students register for TATT 600. TATT 600 must be taken prior to the assistantship and associateship.
  2. In the second stage, programs provide mentoring and guidance that addresses intellectual problems and teaching strategies from the perspective of particular disciplines. Students register for the program-teaching course, offered as a regular course through the Registrar’s course listings. Optimally, students enroll in this course at the same time they participate in their first teaching opportunity, the teaching assistantship.
  3. The teaching assistantship, the third stage of the TATTO program, varies from program to program. The defining characteristic of the teaching assistantship is a mentored initial teaching opportunity. A faculty member who provides continuing guidance and evaluation mentors the teaching assistant. The student registers for TATT 605 during the semester of the teaching assistantship.
  4. The teaching associate position, the fourth stage of the TATTO program, advances the student to an advanced teaching opportunity. The Laney Graduate School favors a co-teaching model for this stage, one in which the student and a faculty member collaborate in all aspects of a course, from syllabus design to final grading. In many programs, graduate teaching associates are largely responsible for teaching a course of their own design. In all cases, teaching associates can expect attentive mentoring and evaluation. Students register for TATT 610 during the semester of the teaching associate position. (Note: Not all students in science programs participate in the fourth stage of TATTO.)

Students who demonstrate exceptional teaching ability may be eligible to apply for the Dean’s Teaching Fellows award. To be eligible for consideration, a student must have completed all Laney Graduate School and program requirements (except the dissertation) and must have been admitted to PhD candidacy. Dean’s Teaching Fellows have complete responsibility for the course they teach. The Laney Graduate School offers a number of these merit-based fellowships to students, usually in their fifth or sixth year, on a competitive basis.

(A) TATTO Credit

The Registrar notes TATTO credit on transcripts, which documents fulfillment of the degree requirement. Under rare circumstances, students with significant prior college teaching experience may request exemption from some TATTO requirements. In such cases, the student’s DGS should submit a written request for exemption to the Laney Graduate School, outlining the extent of the student’s prior teaching experience. If the experience closely matches a given TATTO requirement, that requirement may be waived. However, the first stage, the Laney Graduate School TATTO summer course, is required of all doctoral students, without exception.

(B) Teaching Assistants and Associates

The graduated stages of the TATTO program are intended to ensure PhD students are properly prepared for various instructional roles and that a student’s opportunities to learn in the classroom grow with experience. TATTO prepares our students to apply this education in a variety of professional settings both inside and outside of the academy.

The terms teaching assistant and teaching associate designate a student’s progress through the TATTO program. Teaching Assistant experience varies from program to program. The defining characteristic of this opportunity across all programs is a mentored initial teaching experience. A Teaching Assistant may be responsible for 10 to 12 hours per week of discussion, laboratory supervision, etc. The Teaching Associate experience advances the student to a teaching opportunity with greater learning experiences, sometimes in a co-teaching arrangement with a faculty member. In some programs, the student and faculty cooperate on all aspects of a course, from syllabus design to final grading. In other programs, a teaching associate has the opportunity to learn from teaching an entire class with ongoing mentoring.

In compliance with recommendations of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, students may not be the instructor of record for a course before they have completed at least 18 semester hours of graduate credit in their teaching field.

Teaching assistants and associates may not take on additional instructional responsibility without the approval of the Dean. A student should not be a teaching assistant or teaching associate for more than five semesters during his or her first five years at Emory without the approval of the Dean. Students wishing to teach more than five semesters as either a teaching assistant or teaching associate should submit a letter of request to the Dean explaining their rationale for desiring these additional educational opportunities.

Last modified: 8/7/2017