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Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars (SGTS)


The SGTS program is one with a long history beginning over 20 years ago. Over the past two decades, hundreds of graduate students have gone through the program and have successfully prepared for and taught summer courses for our undergraduate students. The program is great in that it provides an excellent opportunity for advanced graduate students to obtain faculty-mentored teaching experience, while at the same time increasing the number of Summer Session course offerings to undergraduate students.

The program has recently been restructured. This year we are moving to a registration process vs. a nomination process. The program components, registration criteria, and funding opportunities are described in detail below. Advanced graduate students are invited to register for this professional development program.  


 SGTS Program Components

  • SGTS Training
  • Engage with a mentor
  • Summer Course Commitments

 Registration Criteria

  • Enrollment into the SGTS program is limited to students who have not previously participated in the SGTS program.
  • Preference will go to students with a confirmed teaching assignment for Summer 2024 and who have an identified teaching mentor. There is a goal to balance registration across schools, and ensure all departments are represented. Aside from that, students will be accepted based on the order in which they sign up until the enrollment limit is reached.
  • Please see the sections below for additional criteria pertaining to the training and teaching pieces of the program.

 Scholar and Mentor Recognition

  • In the Fall quarter following the teaching assignment, the SGTS committee will select up to 5 scholars and 5 mentors to receive recognition as outstanding summer graduate teaching scholars and mentors. Recognized scholars will receive a $1000 stipend.  Recognized mentors will receive $1000 in a discretionary fund.

SGTS Training

SGTS Training Requirements and Components:

  1. Graduate students must have a proposed summer course to teach with department approval (see course criteria and confirmation details below).
  2. Graduate students will register for the pedagogy program offerings led by the Engaged Teaching Hub of the Teaching and Learning Commons. Students have three options they can choose from.
    • Option one: Complete the Introduction to Teaching course (offered in the winter) and the Course Design Series (offered in the spring).
    • Option two: Complete the Introduction to Teaching course (offered in the winter) and the Advanced College Teaching: Equitable Course Design and Instruction (offered in the winter and spring quarters).
    • Option three: Complete the Advanced College Teaching: Equitable Course Design and Instruction (offered in the winter and spring quarters). If choosing this option, note the foundations of teaching prerequisite learning outcomes. 
  3. At the conclusion of the training, students will complete a post-teaching survey.

 Student Compensation after completing (#1-3):

  • Students will receive $500 as a stipend upon completion of the course-prep sequence (by July)
  • Students will receive a certificate of completion for Student-Centered College Teaching & Course Design

Course Criteria

Course Criteria for Teaching Scholars

Students should work with their departments to select appropriate courses. For courses outside the student’s home department, students will need to obtain approval from the department that hosts the course. Students should note that each department has different processes and policies for approving and assigning courses. Please connect with department coordinators for additional questions.   

Please note that not all eligible registrants will be selected if there are limited course options or enrollments within their proposed department. 

Students must submit this course confirmation document for their program registration to be complete. 

  1. Academic Senate policy allows graduate students to teach existing courses, but not courses offered for the first time. Please note the criteria for Associates-In to teach upper division courses. For suggestions on course selection, here is a link to the Summer Session Five-Year History Report. This report lists courses that have been offered during the summer session over the past five years, along with their enrollment history. The courses are organized by department.
  2. Summer Session policy for approving a proposed course requires an enrollment history of a minimum of 15 students in summer session, or 45 students if the course was taught in fall, winter, or spring quarters within the past two years. 
  3. Summer Session courses may be canceled for low enrollment and the appointments may be voided. Low enrollment has historically been set at a minimum of 15 students. If a course has low enrollment, Summer Session will contact the department by the enrollment checkpoint date to determine if the course can move forward (Summer Session 1 – 6/3/24, and Summer Session 2 – 7/8/24). Please propose courses carefully, choosing those with a historically successful track record. You can use the Summer Session Five-Year History Report to check summer enrollments for every class offered during the past 5 years. 
  4. Students should avoid selecting courses where enrollments exceed 60 students. In these cases, larger courses may need to be split between two sections. Please connect with your department if you are considering this type of course, and contact the Division of Undergraduate Education if the course is projected to have high enrollments.

Eligibility Criteria to Teach in the Program

Eligibility Criteria to Teach in the Program
  1. SGTS participation does not guarantee a teaching position. Summer Associate Teaching appointments must have an application submitted through the IA system by the department and approved by GEPA.
  2. The program is only available to current graduate students. Students should be registered full-time for the Spring quarter prior to teaching Summer Session and/or intend to enroll full-time in the succeeding Fall quarter.
  3. Students need to Advance to Candidacy for the Ph.D/MFA degree by the end of Winter 2024.
  4. Students should have TA experience, complete with TA evaluations, prior to the SGTS program.
  5. Priority will be given to graduate students who will be Associates-In for the first time. Please visit the Academic Senate and the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) website for policy on appointing graduate students as Associates-In.
  6. Students who are scheduled to receive their degree prior to the Summer Session teaching appointment (Summer Session I – 7/01/24 and Summer Session II – 8/05/24) may not be selected because the teaching status would change from an Associate-In to a lecturer or another category. If you feel you may graduate prior to the summer session appointment, please connect with the Division of Undergraduate Education to go over the dates. 
  7. Per University and GEPA financial support policy, students must be registered in a given quarter in order to receive financial support for that quarter. Students on an academic Leave of Absence are not eligible to receive financial support from the University.

Summer Course Commitment

Graduate students who complete the SGTS training and have confirmed teaching assignments for the summer quarter will be given the title of Summer Graduate Teaching Scholar.

Summer Graduate Teaching Scholar (SGTS) Responsibilities:

SGTS Reflection Statement:

All Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars must submit a 1-2 page reflection statement at the end of the summer that describes: 

  • Their growth as a teacher, and how they achieved this growth.  
  • What their goals for the course were, and how they designed the course to achieve these goals. 
  • What worked well 
  • What did not work well/Areas for improvement 
  • Mentor support: What worked well and how the support could have been improved.  Note: This part of the reflection will not be shared with the mentor unless the scholar gives permission to share. 
  • Reflection statements are due at the end of September. Submission link coming soon.

SGTS Acknowledgement:

  • Students will be named Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars
  • Students will receive a Letter of Recognition of Expertise in Teaching
  • Students will receive Associate Instructor wages for teaching the course

Mentor Responsibilities

Mentoring Responsibilities

Students should work with their research advisors to identify appropriate mentors. Mentors must be Academic Senate members. Examples of mentors include committee chairs, faculty advisors, course instructors, etc. 

  • Check Ins: Mentors are expected to attend one mentor check-in session with the Teaching and Learning Commons during the spring quarter.
  • Meetings: Mentors are expected to meet with their mentees at least 5 weeks prior to the start of the course to help the SGTS mentee prepare for their course. They are also expected to meet their mentee at least weekly throughout the duration of the summer session course.
    • Meetings Funds: Mentors will have $50 to take their mentee to lunch/coffee during one or more of their meetings.
  • Observations: Mentors are also expected to observe at least one class the scholar teaches and provide either written or in-person feedback, or both.
  • Administration: Mentors should also provide support, materials, guidance, etc. on an ad hoc basis as needed.

Mentor Contract:

The mentor contract lists the mentoring responsibilities and confirms the mentor's participation in the program. Students must submit the mentor contract for their program registration to be complete.

Mentor Reflection Statement:

Mentors must submit a reflection statement at the end of the summer that describes:

  • How they supported their scholar
  • What their scholar did well and their growth as a teacher
  • Areas where the scholar can continue to improve
  • Areas where they, as a mentor, would like to grow and improve their mentoring support

Mentor Compensation:

  • Reflection statements are due at the end of September. Submission link coming soon.
  • Upon submission of the reflection statement, mentors will receive $200 in a discretionary account (by the end of October).

Scholar and Mentor Recognition

In the Fall quarter following the teaching assignment, the SGTS committee will select up to 5 scholars and 5 mentors to receive recognition as outstanding summer graduate teaching scholars and mentors. Recognized scholars will receive a $1000 stipend. Recognized mentors will receive $1000 in a discretionary fund.

Award criteria:  


  • Deep engagement 
  • Thoughtful in their course 
  • Took advantage of multiple supports/resources 
  • Engagement in the SGTS community 
  • Growth as a teacher 


  • Quality of mentoring support. 
  • Quantity of mentoring support. 

Review process:   

  • No separate application or nomination will be required.  The SGTS Committee will consider the scholars’ and mentors’ end of summer reflections and engagement in the SGTS activities both before and during the summer.  

Testimonials from Past Scholars

Testimonials from Past Scholars
  • The SGTS program definitely helped me become a better teacher faster.  The framework of thinking about course design through learning outcomes (LOs) was a real game changer for me, and all of the specific instructional skills and activity ideas were immensely helpful. I did not use all of them in the teaching I did immediately following the course, but that's because there were so many! I'm sure I'll continue to draw on them in the years to come.


  • It isn't possible to be effusive enough about this program. I have no doubts that having success as an instructor of record will be a huge plus on my resume. This has also proven to be a great capstone for my overall teaching experience as a grad student. 

    SGTS has been a fundamental part of my experience at UCSD. I love my dissertation work, too. But this measures up to that in terms of value and growth.


  • There's a first time for everything, including teaching at the college level. I see that many job postings for teaching positions now require college teaching experience (and being a TA doesn't cut it). This begs the question: how do you get any type of teaching experience at the college level if the jobs that offer this experience has a requirement for the job itself? Seems like a conundrum to me. 

    I know of very few other schools that offer a program like SGTS and I'm really grateful to have been part of this program. This program distinguishes UCSD from all of the R1 institutions for promoting teaching as a part of graduate education. Not only did I get experience teaching a college course, but I also got detailed feedback from my graduate teaching consultant and faculty mentor about my performance as instructor. I'm much more confident now when I apply for teaching positions after I graduate knowing that I have some experience under my belt.


  • SGTS definitely helped me prepare to teach my first course as well as build my confidence to teach my own class. It was extremely valuable, and I don't think I would have completed the summer course unscathed without it.

    Most importantly it showed me that teaching isn't a gift, but a skill that can be honed.


  • SGTS introduced me to the realities of the teaching market and to how teaching functions beyond delivering information or providing feedback. That it is a space to have theories and specific styles. It has been a huge asset and totally changed the way I approach my students and class planning.


  • This is an extremely valuable program considering how academia actively de-emphasis teaching for research, especially for graduate students. Having a group of people that values teaching and trains you to be as prepared as possible for it is an essential part of becoming an academic, and should be prioritized even more in light of how undervalued GOOD teaching is. Even though some of the material felt like common sense at times, I would have been insanely overwhelmed without the structure provided by the program, as well as being connected to peers all going through this at the same time. Just going through this experience knowing that there's somebody there to help you and empathize with you was very comforting, even if you don't end up using a lot of the resources. Having the weekly conversations and an observation also made sure I was on track, otherwise I can easily see how a course can spiral out of control in the extremely tight summer scheduling. Having gone through this as a graduate student, I'm a lot more confident in my ability to do it as a career if it came to that.

The SGTS registration link will remain open until Tuesday, November 28, 2023 or until the enrollment limit is reached (whichever is first). All students who register will receive correspondence prior to winter break. Department Chairs, mentors, and departmental contacts will be notified of any registered students prior to winter break. 

For questions, please contact Hailey Caraballo, Analyst for the Division of Undergraduate Education (

 Register Here