Faculty Roles and Responsibilities


Lecturers are the primary instructors for courses and an invaluable component of the faculty community at the School of Professional Studies (SPS). SPS operates under a scholar-practitioner faculty model, which enables students to learn from both research-focused full-time faculty as well as from executive and industry experts who are successful practitioners. Throughout the semester, Part-time Lecturers are expected to:

  • Lead class lectures and breakout sessions.
  • Ensure academic quality and academic integrity.
  • Provide subject matter expertise.

For more information on the Lecturer position please view the Lecturer Overview.


Associates are hired into a faculty line that supports the course Lecturer, assisting with course facilitation and instruction. Associates typically serve in course sections that have at least thirty enrolled students (see Course Support policy) and require content-specific expertise in the subject area. Serving as an Associate is an excellent opportunity to bolster teaching skills while building a relationship with Columbia University. Although Associates report directly to the Academic Director of the program, their responsibilities are delegated by the course Lecturer. Associates serve as facilitators and, when requested by Lecturers, are expected to:

  • Provide support to the Lecturer of the course.
  • Assist with ensuring academic quality and academic integrity.
  • Contribute subject matter expertise and lead breakout sessions.

For more information on the Associate position please view the Associate Overview.

The Associate Handbook

The Associate Handbook gives Associates important information to prepare them for serving as Associates in the classroom, including: information about the students and faculty at SPS, key policies and guidelines pertaining to the Associate's job responsibilities, best practices regarding communicating and working with the course Instructor, and an overview of opportunities for professional development. This Handbook is written for Associates, but can also be useful for Lecturers and Academic Directors to learn more about the Associate position. 

More information can be found in the Associate Handbook.

Lead Faculty

Lead Faculty are appointed to serve in courses that have 4 or more sections due to high enrollments. Lead Faculty serve as mentors and leaders to their Course Faculty Team (all Lecturers, Associates, and TAs working with a course in a given semester) and are expected to:

  • Provide oversight, mentorship, and support to the Course Faculty Team across sections.
  • Ensure academic quality and academic integrity.
  • Promote consistency across sections.
  • Facilitate continuous improvement of course content and instructional methods.

For more information on the Lead Faculty position please view the Lead Faculty Overview.

Staff Associates

Staff Associates are Subject Matter Experts who are contracted to create fully complete, ready-to-teach courses. Staff Associates partner with an SPS Instructional Designer and are supported by the Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) team to bring the course from concept to a student-ready structure. A typical course development project has an average expected workload of 5-7 hours per week. Part-time faculty who have an active Lecturer appointment may also develop new course content as outlined above. In such cases, a revised contract is issued to the part-time Lecturer.

For more information on the Staff Associate position please view the Staff Associate Overview.