TATTO ensures that each student’s education as a scholar is balanced with thoughtful and thorough preparation in the art of teaching. With the help of TATTO, Emory graduates enter professional life, whether or not that includes classroom teaching, with the skills of competent and confident educators.
Emory's TATTO program is a degree requirement for all PhD students. It is a graduated experience that introduces graduate students to teaching in a graduated manner. Teaching responsibility increases as skills grow.
The four stages of the TATTO program provide graduate students with credible training and optimal teaching experience, while ensuring that they are not overtaxed with teaching responsibilities. No student may serve more than a total of four semesters in any combination of teaching assistantships and associateships during his or her first four years at Emory.
- The first stage of TATTO is a short course offered in late summer, before the fall semester begins. It should be taken immediately prior to a student’s first teaching experience. Faculty for this course are 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. 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.
- In the second stage, departments provide training that addresses intellectual problems and teaching strategies from the perspective of particular disciplines. Students register for the departmental 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.
- The teaching assistantship, the third stage of the TATTO program, varies from department to department. The defining characteristic of the teaching assistantship across all departments and programs is a controlled, carefully monitored initial teaching opportunity. The teaching assistant is closely supervised by a faculty member who provides continuing guidance and evaluation. During the semester of the teaching assistantshp, the student registers for TATT 605.
- The teaching associateship, the fourth stage of the TATTO program, advances the graduate student to a teaching opportunity with greater responsibilities. The graduate school favors a co-teaching model for this stage, one in which the graduate student and a faculty member collaborate in all aspects of a course. In many departments, 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. During the semester of the teaching associateship, students register for TATT 610.
Students who demonstrate exceptional teaching ability may be eligible to apply for appointment as Dean’s Teaching Fellows. To be eligible for consideration, a student must have completed all graduate school and departmental requirements except the dissertation and must have been admitted to PhD candidacy. Dean’s Teaching Fellows have complete responsibility for one course in the award year.
The Registrar notes TATTO credit on student transcripts. TATTO credits document fulfillment of the degree requirement.
- The graduate school TATTO summer course, the teaching assistantship, and the teaching associateship do not count toward the total number of credit hours required for the PhD.
- The credit hours for the departmental course do count toward the total number of credit hours required for the PhD, but not toward the minimum 20 hours of course work.
The nature of a teaching assistantship varies from department to department. The defining characteristic of this position across all departments and programs is a controlled, carefully monitored initial teaching opportunity. A teaching assistant may be responsible for 10 to 12 hours per week of discussion or laboratory supervision.
The teaching associateship advances the graduate student to a teaching opportunity with greater responsibility than the teaching assistantship. Most often the teaching associate will co-teach a course with a faculty member. In many departments, the graduate student and faculty cooperate on all aspects of a course, from syllabus design to final grading. Occasionally, a teaching associate takes full responsibility for an entire class.
Students fulfill teaching associate duties as the final mandatory stage of TATTO. (Note: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Emory University ’s accrediting body, requires that graduate students must have completed at least 18 semester hours of graduate credit in their teaching field before they are the teacher of record for a course.)
Teaching assistants and associates may not take on instructional responsibilities outside those required by TATTO without the approval of the dean of the graduate school. Students may not exceed more than a total of four semesters in any combination of teaching assistantships and associateships during the first four years at Emory without the approval of the dean.
Under rare circumstances, students with significant prior college teaching experience may request exemption from some TATTO requirements through their directors of graduate study.