Rice began offering student-taught courses (STC) through the residential colleges in 2006 to provide undergraduates a chance to teach their fellow students about subjects in which they consider themselves to be an expert. Then-Wiess master Mike Gustin had heard about similar courses at the University of Virginia and the University of California-Berkeley and worked with Rice students to develop a pilot program. Today, the program continues to be a success. The CTE is committed to helping STC instructors excel, and can provide guidance to plan course syllabi and deliver course content.

Each semester a CTE Staff member and at least one current college Master will team-teach the COLL 300 course, which provides students with the knowledge and skills to develop an effective STC course proposal and become effective teachers in the classroom. More information about COLL 300 and the requirements for teaching a STC can be found here.

The variety of STCs at Rice is endless: Developments in Microfinance, Science of Happiness, Argentine Tango, Nature’s Photography, Orientalism in Disney, Art and Science of Craft Beer, Drumming Cultures of the World, Skateboarding Fundamentals, Vietnamese Language and Culture, Magical Worlds, Energy Industry Basics, Intro to Chess Theory and Programming for Beginners are just a few of the courses that have been offered in recent years!

Hear STC instructor Pierre Elias (Brown '11) talk about his experience with the program.

STCs are an important part of Rice’s culture of student-led initiatives. We are fortunate at Rice to have the opportunity to be not only students, but also teachers. STCs offer a new perspective on academics. Often, we can learn the most from our peers. Students at Rice have a wonderful variety of interests and areas of expertise, and STCs can be a great way for others to learn about something they would not usually have the opportunity to learn. Where else can you take a course like the 2011 STC on the theories and techniques of the dating game?
— Rice Thresher (October 2013)


At Rice University, teaching assistants (TAs) play an important role in the success of many of the university’s courses. Serving as a teaching assistant provides many benefits to the students and faculty as well as the undergraduate taking on this role. Directly assisting and working with one’s peers brings with it many rewards in addition to many responsibilities. The CTE’s Teaching Assistant training takes place in the first few weeks of every semester and is designed to provide students who are currently TAs or plan to be TAs in the future with the tools to be successful teaching assistants. Topics covered in the training include:

  • Social concerns and peer interaction
  • Time and schedule pressures
  • Grading and assessment of student learning
  • The instructor’s expectations of you
  • Your expectations of the instructor
  • Conducting a class
  • Making the most of your experience

Upcoming training sessions will be listed below.

The material presented at the TA training can be viewed by clicking the following image.