The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Stand-Alone Teaching Opportunities and On-Line Education

The University Without Wall's On-Line Education (CPE) and the Residential Academic Program (RAP) in cooperation with the department offer courses that graduate students organize and teach. The departmental chair develops, with counterparts in CPE and RAP, just which courses are to be taught in anthropology during the fall and spring semesters, the January term and during the summer sessions. Then the chair makes an announcement in AnthroCentral and the Mini-Memo calling for applications to teach CPE courses. There are also occasionally stand-alone sections of departmental courses offered during the regular semester, though these are often created on an ad hoc basis in response to enrollments and student demand.

There will be two calls per year for standing-alone teaching opportunities. The first call will usually be in the spring, at the same time as the call for TA applications. This call will include applications for RAP for the following academic year, for UWW/CPE courses for the summer and fall, and stand-alone teaching opportunities in the Department for the fall. The second call will be early in the fall semester and will include applications for winter and spring UWW/CPE courses, and stand-alone teaching opportunities in the spring. The stipend for UWW/CPE courses is directly related to the size of enrollment; if enrollment is too low, the UWW/CPE may cancel the course.

The following guidelines apply to all regularly scheduled stand-alone teaching opportunities in Anthropology offered through the Department.


  • A. The chair will place a call for applications in the Mini-Memo and AnthroCentral at least three weeks in advance of a deadline. That call will indicate: which courses are to be offered; the deadline for submission of applications; that the applications must be hand-delivered (or faxed) to an office staff person; and those materials necessary for a complete application.

  • B. The submission deadline will be prior to a scheduled Graduate Study Committee meeting at which the applications will be considered.

  • C. The call for applications will be made twice per year, as indicated above. The chair will work with UWW/CPE and RAP staff and the Graduate Study Committee to plan which courses will be offered in any given semester. The application deadlines will appear in any departmental master calendar.

Application Process

  • A. Each applicant will submit:

    1. a completed application form;

    2. an up-to-date curriculum vitae;

    3. a completed teaching inventory form;

    4. syllabi for any and all courses, including newly proposed courses, for which the applicant wishes to be considered; and

    5. a letter of intent which will minimally state, in rank order, those courses the applicant wishes to teach and why. This letter may also discuss financial exigencies.

  • B. All applications will be received and kept together in a central location to be determined by the chair.

  • C. There will be no limit on the number of course syllabi an applicant can submit for any given semester.

  • D. Applicants will promptly receive a receipt for their application. This can be a form letter handed to the applicants when they apply.

  • E. If there are advertised courses for which no one applies, or if a successful candidate declines an offered position, a second call for applications for that position will be made, whenever necessary.

The Criteria for Selection

  • A. Priority for teaching stand-alone courses will be given to graduate students in good standing enrolled in the Department. To be in "good standing" an applicant may not have more than one "Incomplete" course. Applications from candidates not enrolled as graduate students will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

  • B. In keeping with the letter and spirit of the GEO contract, no applicant holding a fellowship, TA, RA, or other position covered under the GEO contract will be discriminated against during the application and/or selection process for DCE positions, provided that the applicant is in good academic standing and is making sufficient progress toward his/her degree. However, if an applicant holds a fellowship which prohibits such employment, the terms of the fellowship will be honored.

  • C. If there are any questions concerning an applicant's academic standing or progress toward her/his degree, the applicant, the GPD, and the applicant's advisor will determine if it is in the best interest of the applicant to teach a UWW/CPE course.

  • D. A graduate student member of the Graduate Study Committee who has applied for a stand-alone teaching position cannot participate in the selection process. The Grad Caucus will appoint a replacement, as it does for the TA ranking procedure.

The Selection Process

  • A. In order to ensure wide accessibility to UWW/DCE courses, the Graduate Study Committee will attempt to place as many qualified applicants in positions as is possible. In order to ensure that qualified candidates are given the opportunity to gain critical teaching experience and that no one student monopolizes a given course, applicants will not be given priority to teach the same class more than four times. In addition, no applicant will be given priority to teach more than one stand-alone course during any given session.

  • B. If there is more than one application for a given course AFTER a consideration of 4.A. The Graduate Study Committee will use the following criteria to rank the candidates for each course being offered (using the following criteria in rank order):

    1. Teaching experience and quality of instruction will be weighted equally. The Graduate Study Committee will prioritize applicants with teaching experience in the following rank order: instructing that particular course; independent instruction of other courses; working as a TA in that particular course, and being a TA in other courses. The quality of the syllabus and the quality of the applicant's teaching evaluations on file in the department will also be considered.

    2. Letter of Intent.

    3. Professional Development. The Graduate Study Committee will review each applicant's CV to determine which applicant has the strongest professional experience in the area of the proposed course and in related areas.

  • C. In considering all of these applications, the Graduate Study Committee will follow all employment guidelines stipulated by the university and GEO.

Notification of Selection

  • A. The Graduate Study Committee will notify all applicants of its decision within three weeks of the application deadline.

  • B. Each successful applicant will be appointed a faculty mentor to assist and advise in the design and instruction of their course or courses.

  • C. In order to make the application procedure a learning experience for graduate students, at an applicant's request, the GPD will notify the candidate of the specific reasons why her/his application was unsuccessful. This may be done verbally in a meeting of the candidate with the GPD and other faculty members of the Graduate Study Committee or through written notification.

  • D. If the Graduate Committee disqualifies an application, that applicant must be notified of the reason or reasons. This may be done verbally or through written notification as outlined above in 4.C.