Essential Guides


Teaching Perspective and Philosophy
Faculty Teaching Responsibilities
Helping Students

Teaching Perspective and Philosophy

  • A useful perspective is that you not only teach content, you teach students. Be aware of student needs and the diversity of your backgrounds (for example, the various religious holidays students observe.) Students from different life experiences may learn best with different approaches to teaching.
  • This information is increasingly important given the University’s strategic focus on learner centered education.
  • You might also check out online resources that pertain to assessing teaching and learning and using technology in the classroom.
  • Try to arrange with your chair to minimize the number of separate courses you have to prepare.
  • The Learning page provides extremely helpful links relevant to teaching.
  • The Center for Excellence in Teaching provides resources and videos that help faculty become more effective teachers.
  • Other useful areas on campus that support teaching include the Center for Scholarly Technology.
  • Check out the Communities of Practice for additional ideas on teaching and learning.

Faculty Teaching Responsibilities

  • Make sure that you understand your teaching responsibilities. As detailed in Section 3b of the Faculty Handbook you must:
    • Meet your classes
    • Be accessible to students through regularly scheduled office hours
    • Grade work in a timely fashion
    • Provide a syllabus with a description of readings, grading criteria and schedule for turning in work
    • Allow students to evaluate your performance
    • Teach those classes assigned to you by your department chair.
    • Familiarize yourself with useful documents related to teaching including:
  • Ensure that you are aware of University policies that relate to teaching, such as:
  • You should meet with your chair (or the chair's representative) at least once a year to discuss teaching. Student evaluations should be discussed and used to improve performance. This meeting can be separate from, or combined with, your discussion with the chair about the teaching/scholarship relative load ("Spitzer profile"), and specific course assignments.

Helping Students

  • Students in difficulty may come to you. Please be aware of Vice President Michael Jackson's memo on helping students in difficulty.
  • The Center for Academic Support is the main resource and referral office for learning enrichment at USC. They can help students:
  • The Student Health Center provides medical services, counseling services, health promotion and prevention services, and health insurance to students on the University Park campus.
  • The Center for Women and Men offers assistance, information, and referrals to women or men at USC who are dealing with any kind of gender-based harm or abuse, or with issues related to sexual identity.

Disclaimer: This guide is for information only and is intended as a helpful set of links to the Faculty Handbook and other University Policies. It does not constitute official University policy, nor do linked pages, except for the Faculty Handbook and the Policies web page. Send suggestions for additional resources you would like to see listed to the Office of Faculty Affairs.