Teaching Awards Candidate Packet Preparation

In an effort to make the selection process go smoothly, we have prepared guidelines and requirements to aid in the preparation of the information packets used by the selection committees. Packets should include the following:

  1. Teaching Fellow Award Consent Form

    (tenured faculty only)

    The Alumni Foundation requires the candidate’s signature on this form in order to be considered for a Teaching Fellow Award. If no form is included, the candidate will be considered for the other awards.

  2. Teaching Philosophy

    A teaching philosophy is more than a statement of beliefs about teaching and learning. (1 page maximum)
  3. Biographical Sketch

    Appointments (reverse chronological order)
    Evidence of Growth and Development as an Instructor
    The items listed should demonstrate the broader impact of the individual's professional and scholarly activities specifically related to university teaching and student learning.
    (2 page maximum)
  4. Letters of Support

    (6 pages total)
    1. Current Undergraduate Student Letters (3 students, 1 page each)
      Current undergraduate students are those who have taken an undergraduate course with the candidate in the previous three semesters during which the candidate taught; inclusive of students that have graduated. Letters from graduate students are only appropriate if the student took a course with the instructor as an undergraduate. Letters from graduate TAs are not appropriate.
    2. Former Undergraduate Student Letter (1 student, 1 page)
      Each candidate is limited to only 1 letter from a former undergraduate student. A former undergraduate student is one who took an undergraduate course at Penn State from the instructor =4 semesters ago. Former students include current Penn State students and students that have already graduated. Letters from graduate students are only appropriate if the student took a course with the instructor as an undergraduate. Letters from graduate TAs are not appropriate.
    3. Head, Director, or Colleague Letter (1 page)
      Typically written by a department or division head, Professor-in-Charge, or senior colleague from the same or related field. Letter author must have observed the instructor in an undergraduate classroom (or performed an analogous review in an online course) and be able to provide specific examples and a strong rationale for the award candidacy. The Selection Committee prefers original letters written for the award packet, not repurposed peer evaluation letters.
    4. Campus or College Letter (1 page)
      This letter should describe why the campus or college supports this nomination; the letter need not provide an executive summary of the candidate’s packet. Writer may be head, associate dean, director of academic affairs, dean, or chancellor.
  5. SRTE Summary Table

    Include only undergraduate courses (000, 100, 200, 300, 400-level) Please use SRTE table template (provided).
  6. Syllabus

    1 sample syllabus. Copy a course document; no modification or explanatory text necessary.
  7. Assignment

    1 sample assignment. Copy a course document; no modification or explanatory text necessary.