Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Eberly Center Student Partners (ESP)

The Eberly Center is committed to values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) and student-centered support for CMU instructors in their teaching. To increase our own DEIB, we are launching a new program to integrate the perspectives and talents of student partners into our 1-on-1 work with instructors. 

Eberly Center Student Partners are paid undergraduate and graduate students who work in partnership with CMU instructors receiving Eberly Center fellowships to help design, implement, and assess a teaching innovation. ESPs collaborate closely with Eberly Center consultants. An ESP’s role is to bring their perspective and lived experience to the table to help design meaningful, student- and DEIB-centered, learning experiences. Student partnerships have existed at other institutions for decades and rich scholarship informs their implementation and describes their positive impacts (Cook-Sather, Salmeron, and Smith 2023; Addy et al. 2023; Cook-Sather et al. 2021). Some scholars consider co-creation a High Impact Practice (POD Conference 2023) that is central to increasing equity for students on campus (Bie et al. 2023)

ESPs are paired with instructors to be thought partners in their design of a course element. ESPs are NOT teaching assistants to whom grading or course preparation work is delegated. ESPs bring in their perspective as a student to help co-create designs or teaching elements. ESPs and instructors work together for a few weeks up to a semester. The frequency and number of meetings vary based on the types of projects that are being designed. 

Projects vary in form and length and may include: 

  • Designing a student-centered inclusive syllabus 
  • Observing classroom sessions focused on DEIB teaching practices
  • Designing assignments or learning activities through a DEIB focus 
  • Supporting instructors implementing projects investigating the impacts of generative AI on students’ learning and experiences.

Eberly Student Partners also form a community of practice that meets twice a month to discuss their work and learn about evidenced-based teaching and learning and DEIB principles. The community of practice may address the following topics (among others) as a cohort: 

  • Finding your voice as a student partner
  • Creating and providing effective feedback
  • Discussing DEIB student perspectives
  • Implementing Generative AI in the classroom 
  • Becoming a reflective practitioner

Are you interested in collaborating with instructors to help shape educational experiences and enhance DEIB at CMU? Are you interested in how assignments or course activities are designed? Do you want your experience as a student to be heard? 

If you said yes to any of these questions, becoming an Eberly Student Partner might be for you!

ESPs are compensated positions, paid hourly, without tuition or other fringe benefits. In 2024, undergrad partners will receive $20/hour and graduate partners $25/hour. ESPs are required to participate in 10 hours of paid training. Training starts after Spring Break 2024 with projects starting the following Summer (May/June) and/or Fall. Hours will vary per semester based on project and ESP availability. Over a semester, ESPS can expect to work 2-3 hours a week on average, with some weeks exceeding that amount and others with fewer hours (including regular cohort meetings). 

Working as a student-partner will also help you learn the following transferable skills, useful in a plethora of professional paths: 

  1. Effective communication: You will have to communicate with professionals, learn to discuss your viewpoints and experiences, and provide effective feedback on the ideas or actions of others. 
  2. Collaboration with diverse people: You will collaborate with instructors to create assignments and course projects as a partner and with fellow student partners to create knowledge and skills together. Your faculty partners and your fellow student partners will likely come from backgrounds that differ from yours and you will learn to work across that difference. 
  3. Professionalism: This position will bring you many opportunities to excel at being professional: in your communication with colleagues and faculty, contributing to meetings, organization and project management, and more.
  4. Observation skills: You will learn to conduct classroom observations and look at interactions between people through an DEIB lens. This will help you analyze interactions around you with inclusion at the forefront. 
  5. Reflection: You will be reflecting on your experiences as students, on teaching and learning, and your experience as a student partner. Reflection is the cornerstone of being an engaged and self-aware professional. This will help you think and understand why you do what you do, know what you know, and make the decisions that you do. 

Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Recruitment for Spring 2024 has now ended. We will update this page when a new recruiting cycle starts. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Faculty and instructors

Currently, our faculty partners are limited to GAITAR fellows and PITF fellows. If you would like to learn more about our program, please contact us at


Addy, Tracie M., Hamna Younas, Pelin Cetin, Fatimata Cham, Monica Rizk, Chidiebere Nwankpa, and Manuela Borzone. 2023. “The Development of the Protocol for Advancing Inclusive Teaching Efforts (PAITE).” Journal of Educational Research and Practice 12 (0).

Bie, Alise de, Elizabeth Marquis, Alison Cook-Sather, and Leslie Luqueño. 2023. Promoting Equity and Justice Through Pedagogical Partnership. Taylor & Francis.

Cook-Sather, Alison, Tracie Marcella Addy, Anna DeVault, Nicole Litvitskiy, Anna DeVault, and Nicole Litvitskiy. 2021. “Where Are the Students in Efforts for Inclusive Excellence? Two Approaches to Positioning Students as Critical Partners for Inclusive Pedagogical Practices.” To Improve the Academy 40 (1).

Cook-Sather, Alison, Diana Salmeron, and Theodore Smith. 2023. “Humanizing STEM Education through Student-Faculty Pedagogical Partnerships.” Frontiers in Education 8.

POD Conference. 2023. “Co-Creation as a High Impact Practice for Equity.” In . Pittsburgh, PA.