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Teaching Release Program for NTT Faculty

UMSL sponsors teaching releases for professional development for experienced, non-tenure track faculty with teaching responsibilities.

The teaching leave consists of a course release for up to two courses of three credit hours or the equivalent (e.g., six workload units for Optometry faculty) over the course of the academic year. These teaching releases allow the faculty member sustained time to strengthen their teaching skill set or undertake substantive curriculum or course development. Faculty are eligible to receive their full salary while they are on a reduced teaching load due to these teaching releases.

Examples of such work include but are not limited to:

  • Carrying out a major overall or update of one or more existing courses
  • Adapting an existing course into a new teaching mode
  • Organizing the revision of a curriculum or course sequence for a program, interest area, etc.
  • Developing a new course that is part of the curriculum of the applicant’s program
  • Taking part in professional development activities or training to develop a new skill or instructional competency needed within the applicant’s program 

Teaching releases are awarded on a competitive basis and go to those faculty who, in the judgement of a selection committee and the Provost, demonstrate the greatest potential for course or curriculum development. Major criteria that affect the determination for granting a leave are the applicant’s previous accomplishments, the quality of the proposal submitted (including documentation of preparation), and the potential contributions the completion of the proposal would make to the mission and programs of the applicant’s unit as well as to the applicant’s professional development. The releases may be taken in a single semester or distributed across the fall and spring semesters. At the conclusion of the last semester in which a teaching releases is awarded, the faculty member must provide a short description of what they accomplished along with evidence of productivity.


NTT faculty at the Associate or full Professor ranks with teaching or course development responsibilities (i.e., associate and full teaching professors and associate and full clinical professors with responsibilities related to overseeing students and developing curriculum) and six or more years of full-time service (or twelve 16-week semesters) at UMSL in a full-time teaching role. An applicant’s assigned workload must include at least six assigned credit hours or the equivalent for the semester(s) to which the release will be applied. Faculty can reapply for subsequent leaves six years (or twelve 16-week semesters after a prior teaching release has concluded).

Application Process

The deadline to apply for teaching releases for the 2025-26 academic year is October 11, 2024. 

Faculty should submit applications through the link below. To apply, applicants will need to:

  • Complete the brief, online application form (name, email, faculty rank and start-date)
  • Confer with the head of their unit to establish that any course or curriculum revisions that are being proposed will be part of the unit’s course schedule within the year following the teaching release.
  • Upload a 1-2 page description their plan for the teaching leave that addresses each of the following topics:
    • What you plan to do and what the anticipated outcomes are
    • How the project you complete or training you will receive will benefit you, your students, your unit, or the university; applicants who are proposing new courses should explain the role of the course in the curriculum and any steps they have taken to help ensure that the new course would be approved.
    • What existing resources you would use to complete your plan successfully (e.g., supports from the UMSL CTL or UM System Missouri Online)
    • Any previous experience or preparation you have done that will help your plan be successful
    • Which semester(s) the course releases will be used
  • A current resume/C.V.; This may be either a standard resume/C.V. in Word or PDF format, or a PDF file of the applicant’s MyVita C.V.
  • Applicants may upload up to three supporting documents that total approximately six pages (such as acceptance letters to instructional development programs, letters of support, bulletin descriptions of courses to be revised, etc.)
Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee. Faculty who are being awarded these leaves will be notified by early December.

Selection Criteria

Successful applications will be submitted by applicants who met the eligibility criteria and will have a clear and specific description of the tasks the faculty member plans to carry out and what they will have done by the time the teaching leave is completed. The primary selection criteria are:

  • Value and potential impact of the anticipated outcome(s) to meet specific teaching or service needs of the applicant’s unit(s); value and impact can be established in a variety of ways, examples of means of making this case include, but are not limited to, the number of students affected, the range of students affected, the need for the proposed revision or course, and the role or centrality of a course in the program. Faculty who are proposing a new course should explain the role of the course in the curriculum and why the course is needed.
  • Documented preparation for the proposed project(s). Faculty members who are proposing to develop new classes or revise classes are strongly encouraged to consult with relevant resources, such as the staff from UMSL’s Center for Teaching and Learning or UM System’s Missouri Online, and to submit information about the resources they would use to support the project. Applicants who are proposing a new course should explain any steps they have taken to help ensure that the course will be approved when it goes through the curriculum approval process.
  • Applicant’s productivity (quality and quantity of teaching and service) as reflected in the submitted curriculum vitae, proposal, and supporting documents. Applicants are encouraged to highlight relevant previous experience or activities that will contribute to the success of the proposed project.