Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching: Evaluation

Nominations will be evaluated by a committee of distinguished faculty, including past winners of the Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The Committee will be evaluating nominations based upon evidence of all four of the following:

  • High intellectual standards and rigor reflected in course design and instruction
  • Currency in the field reflected in course content and evidence-based instructional practices
    • Some examples are content that includes the latest developments in the field; discipline-endorsed pedagogical practices; a pattern of investment in teaching development training; etc.
  • Teaching strategies that encourage active student participation in the teaching-learning process 
    • Some examples are active learning strategies; innovative uses of technology/multimedia that enhance student learning; engagement with students outside of class/office hours; practices that encourage student questions, student-to-student teaching or peer-review; etc.
  • Incorporation of teaching practices that foster equitable and inclusive educational experiences
    • Some examples are syllabus language, course policies, and practices that are inclusive of students from all backgrounds; efforts to provide access to no- or low-cost, ADA compliant materials; course material from diverse scholars; applications, cases, and imagery represent diverse experiences; etc.

The committee will also be evaluating nominations based on evidence of one or more of the following:

  • Exceptional effort in providing enriched learning experiences
    • Some examples are exposing students to eminent leaders in the field, field trips, or immersion experiences; engaging students in theory development, experimentation, replication studies, or unsolved problems in the field; industry-based class projects or expositions; participation in public service or policy development; student-community partnerships; class projects that address societal barriers and increase access to opportunities; etc.
  • A pattern of inspiring students to further their learning or take action toward change
    • Some examples are a pattern of students changing their major, engaging in further education or scholarship in a discipline, joining community action groups, pursuing public service, engaging in student leadership, etc. as a direct result of their work with the nominee.
  • A pattern of significant impact on student development and outcomes, as measured by the discipline
    • Some examples are student licensing exam performance; student award and grant winners; student publications or presentations; student placement in highly sought after internships, expositions, artistic performances, graduate programs, jobs, etc.
  • Engaging students in scholarship, particularly in programs where this opportunity is relatively rare
  • Leadership in teaching practices or curriculum development that has wide impact at USC, beyond the nominee’s own students
    • Some examples are leadership resulting in changes in a department’s student outcomes or patterns of improvement in colleagues’ teaching experience; leading transformative teaching initiatives for high-enrollment, multi-section GE courses; leading evidence-based program curriculum revision; use of data to inform curricular adjustments to better serve students, etc.
  • Leadership in teaching development of colleagues that enhances teaching excellence within the department, school, or university
    • Some examples are a key role in planning/implementing teaching initiatives; facilitating teaching development programming; serving as a peer-reviewer of teaching evaluation for colleagues, etc.
  • Extraordinary, unique, or pioneering contributions to excellence in higher education teaching (beyond USC)
    • Some examples are a serving as a highly sought-after expert in inclusive teaching practices in higher education; developing a widely-adopted teaching approach in a discipline; authoring of a widely-used book on innovative, evidence-based higher education teaching practices; etc.

Nomination packets include evidence from formative or summative evaluations from at least one of following sources:

  • A school’s established peer-review teaching evaluation processes
  • Letters from peer-reviewers who have observed or reviewed the nominee’s teaching first hand
  • Evidence established by external reviewers used in the school’s peer-review teaching evaluation process

Additional information on the Associates Awards for Excellence in Teaching can be found at

All materials must be received by October 6th, 2023. Nominations are for a single year’s cycle only.

Please fill out the Associates Award nomination form, and contact if you have any questions.

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