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Approaching the Job Market

Are you getting ready to go on the academic job market? The CTL offers a number of ways to help graduate students effectively develop their teaching and provide evidence of their teaching experience in applications and interviews. As you get ready to go on the market, take advantage of programming and services to refine your teaching portfolio, teaching statement, diversity statement, syllabi, and other evidence of the teaching skills you’ve developed at Columbia.

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Approaching the Job Market

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Teaching Development Program

CTL’s Teaching Development Program (TDP) helps you to cultivate, document, and articulate your teaching development across the arc of your graduate school career. Graduate students can participate in the TDP program on either of two tracks: Foundational or Advanced. Completion of a TDP track earns a letter outlining track competencies and certifying completion from the CTL, and is noted on Columbia transcripts for doctoral students in Arts and Sciences, SEAS, Mailman, Nursing, Journalism, Social Work and GSAPP, as well as MFA students in the School of the Arts. Advanced Track participants build digital teaching portfolios on a WordPress platform supported by CTL and Columbia University Libraries. Learn more.

On-demand Resources


CTL publishes several detailed guides that are available whenever you need them, in order to help you plan and start standard components of an academic job application. Engage with them on your own time, then come to analysis sessions (see below) for live conversation.

Intro to the Teaching Statement

A teaching statement takes time to brainstorm, draft, and revise. This is why the CTL has designed this self-paced resource to introduce you to the teaching statement—one of the most frequently requested teaching materials on the academic job market—and help kickstart the writing of your first draft. Access module.

Intro to the Diversity Statement 

The diversity statement is a recent addition to the suite of materials hiring committees may ask for you to submit for academic job applications. These statements are often deeply personal and, as a result, can take a lot of time and effort to craft, elaborate, and revise. The CTL has designed this self-paced resource to introduce you to the diversity statement as a genre and help you begin the process of ideating and crafting the first draft of your statement. Access module.

Intro to the Teaching Portfolio 

This module is designed to support you in compiling your teaching portfolio, a set of materials that complements your teaching statement to represent your teaching. A teaching portfolio takes time to collect, curate, and revise. Thus, this CTL self-paced resource is designed to help kickstart the assembly of your portfolio and to support you as you continue to add to and iterate on your teaching portfolio in the future. Access module.



Workshops to prepare for the job market

Building Your E-Portfolio

What counts as evidence of your teaching practice and how can you best organize it for the job market? This workshop, limited to graduate students on the Advanced Track of the Teaching Development Program, emphasizes best practices for showcasing teaching development through visual and verbal media, showcases examples and templates, and helps participants to plan and design their own portfolio, hosted for free via Columbia University Libraries’ Columbia Digital Sandbox initiative.   Check for upcoming workshops.

Syllabus from Scratch

Drafting a syllabus for the first time? This two-part series will introduce you to the key elements of an effective syllabus and help you define learning goals and assessment methods that will promote student learning in your course. Check for upcoming workshops.

Careers in Educational Development

Curious about the field of educational development as a career trajectory? Come hear from the CTL’s Assistant Directors (ADs) and Learning Designers (LDs) about our recent paths to careers in educational development and early experiences in this growing field.  Check for upcoming sessions.

Recurring intensives


Teaching Statement Online

The CTL is pleased to offer a new, online opportunity to learn about, write, and revise a teaching statement in order to enter the academic job market successfully. The Teaching Statement Online intensive (TSO) is designed to let you work from home or wherever you do your best writing. Working 2-3 hours per week, this four-week program moves participants step-by-step through the writing process. Participants who complete the program leave with a completed draft of their teaching statement and receive multiple rounds of feedback from CTL Teaching Consultants and peers. Learn more.


CTL seminars and institutes that help on the job market


Every semester CTL runs multi-session seminars that help graduate students to plan, draft, share, and revise artifacts that are helpful on the academic job market, such as:

  • Well-designed syllabi (Innovative Course Design Seminar, Evidence-Based Teaching in Science & Engineering, Transforming Your Research into Teaching)
  • Thoughtful diversity statements (Inclusive Teaching Seminar)
  • Innovative learning activities linked to learning objectives that can be included in portfolios (Innovative Teaching Summer Institute, Collaborative Learning Seminar)
  • Research plans for targeted assessment of learning that can be included in portfolios (Assessing Teaching & Learning seminar)

To learn more about what seminar is running this semester and how to apply, visit the Seminars and Intensives for Graduate Students page.



Individual Consultations

Sign up for a teaching consultation to receive individualized feedback from CTL staff on your teaching portfolio; teaching, diversity, and research statements; syllabi; and any other teaching materials as you prepare for the job market. Learn more.

Teaching Observations

Teaching observations give you an opportunity to receive direct feedback on your classroom instruction by a fellow trained graduate student. Through this service, you will gain better insight into what it’s like to be a student in your class, how you were successful as an instructor, and new approaches you might try in your teaching. Learn more.

Looking Forward

Not yet on the academic job market, but wondering how to prepare for a faculty position? It’s never too early to attend any of these programs and services! Sign up for the CTL email list to receive updates on other opportunities to dive deeper into your teaching.

The CTL is here for graduate students.

The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning provides an array of support for graduate students in both their current and future teaching responsibilities.