Communication Within the Curriculum (CWiC) is Penn’s public speaking tutoring program. Undergraduates are trained to assist their peers with presentations assigned to them by professors who affiliate with CWiC. Critical Speaking Seminars are an important part of the program. Each year, CWiC supports two doctoral candidates in the School of Arts and Sciences who want to develop new courses that are built around oral communication. In the critical speaking seminar, public speaking is not a peripheral part of the course, but rather, an integral part of understanding the course’s issues.
Course Requirements:

  1. At least half of the course grade is based on two prepared oral presentations.
    1. Individual presentation—at least 15 minutes
    2. Group presentation—at least/about 5 minutes speaking time per group member
  2. Students will meet with an undergraduate CWiC Speaking Advisor outside of class at least twice—at least one rehearsal for each of the two required presentations.
  3. Students’ graded presentations will be video-recorded, and they will watch the recording of the first graded presentation and discuss with the instructor.

Prior teaching experience is preferable, but it is not necessary. When reviewing applications, preference will be given to (1) candidates who communicate a desire to learn oral communication teaching and assessment methods, (2) proposals that thoughtfully integrate oral communication into the course, (3) applicant's and department's commitment to promoting the course.
Fellowship Requirements:
1.     During the 2024-25 academic year, applicants mus be in their final year of doctoral work in the School of Arts and Sciences. CWiC Fellows are expected to complete their dissertations spring or summer, 2025.
2.     The Fellow will teach 2 sections of an original/new course in their subject area (at the introductory level)—one in fall semester and one in spring. Enrollment is capped at 16 students per section/seminar. 
3.     In order to reach the enrollment cap of 16/seminar, the courses must be promoted by the home department and the Fellow. Specifically, the Fellow’s home department must do the following:
a.     Roster a CWiC affiliated seminar open to all Penn undergraduates each semester. The fall seminar must be rostered by May 2024.
b.     Promote the course among its undergraduates by posting it on the department web site and e-mailing it to a list of majors, for instance. This should happen as soon as the course is rostered in May, in subsequent emails promoting the deptarment's fall courses, and by advanced registration for the following spring semester.
4.    CWiC Fellows participate in about 8 professional development meetings with the Associate Director of CWiC. The informal training sessions serve to assist the fellows in course development, including syllabi, assignments, and assessment instruments, and activities. Issues related to developing a culture for effective student speaking will also be discussed.
5.    CWiC's Associate Director observes a class session in the fall and in the spring.
Fellowship Payment:
Doctoral students should not hold any other employment while they are CWiC Teaching Fellows. The goal of the fellowship is to offer a doctoral student financial support and an opportunity to develop an innovative course while completing a dissertation. A CWiC Fellow’s compensation includes the following:
1.     A stipend of $39,425 for the 10-month fellowship in 2024-25.
2.     Penn’s health insurance benefit for Teaching Assistants.
3.     Dissertation tuition and fees are covered. 
Fellowship Application:
Review the CWiC web site to understand our program and view past critical speaking seminars.
I. Apply here:
II. Applicant’s Attached pdf: When you submit your application form online, attach your remaining application materials (below) as one pdf.
1.     Cover letter—Addressing the following prompts:
a.     Describe your teaching experience.
b.     Describe any experience you have with oral communication assignments.
c.     Explain why you want to teach a course focused on student speaking.
d.     Explain how oral communication assignments can help students learn the subject of your course.
2.     Course proposal—In your course description, include course objectives, possible readings, and types of oral communication assignments you are considering. A syllabus is not necessary, for this is a new course.
3.     Curriculum vitae
III. Faculty Recommendation—One Penn Faculty Member’s letter, submitted online. Letters that speak to an applicant’s communication abilities and work with undergraduate students will be particularly helpful. Recommenders, submit your letter here.
IV. Department Agreement
The chairperson of the applicant’s home must complete this brief online form verifying that the home department will be responsible for rostering introductory-level course
1.     as a seminar capped at 16
2.     as a CWiC course for fall and spring semesters
3.     open to all undergraduates
And, promoting the course to its list of majors. 
Estimated Timeline:

  • Friday 4/12—applications DUE
  • Monday 4/22—interviews with selected candidates
  • Monday 4/29—Fellowship recipients contacted
  • August/September 2024—participation in syllabus and first-class-session preparation meetings (scheduled when Fellows are available in August/September)
  • Fall semester 2024—teach one section of seminar, participate in professional development meetings, Dr. Weber observes one class session
  • Spring semester 2025—teach one section of seminar, participate in professional development meetings, Dr. Weber observes one class session

 For additional information, please contact Dr. Sue Weber at More information about CWiC can be found at: