Winter Term Visitor Guidelines

Middlebury College divides its academic program into two twelve-week semesters in the Fall and Spring, and a four-week Winter Term in January.

During Winter Term, students take a single, intensive program of study. They may pursue internships or independent projects, or they may take one course of the more than one hundred courses offered each Winter Term. Most of these Winter Term courses are taught by regular Middlebury faculty, but several dozen courses each year are offered on a one-time basis by visiting winter term instructors..

These visitors may be academics from other institutions, artists, or professionals in a variety of fields. Recent winter term visitors have included a lawyer, a journalist, a librarian, and a diplomat.  Often, they are friends of the college – alumni, parents, relatives of faculty and staff – with professional expertise they wish to make available to current students.  Some are members of the college staff accustomed to supporting student learning outside of the classroom, whose specialized training presents an opportunity to support student learning inside the classroom, as well.  As a group, these visitors from near and far contribute a vibrant array of courses to students’ Winter Term options.

Winter Term courses may take a variety of forms. Some may resemble courses offered in the fall and spring semesters, while others are more experimental in format. Winter Term courses are offered for credit and are generally graded A-F, just like fall and spring courses. Some satisfy major or distribution requirements, others do not. Most are designed to be accessible to the entire student body, without prerequisites or restrictions.  But all Winter Term courses are expected to be as rigorous and demanding as any other course offered at Middlebury College.

Winter Term courses meet for a minimum of eight contact hours per week. There is some flexibility in course scheduling, but the course must meet at least three times weekly, preferably four. If it meets only three times, they may not be three consecutive days. The intensive nature of Winter Term courses requires concentrated effort from students, and the more that effort can be distributed throughout the week, the better student performance is likely to be. It is expected that the material covered will be roughly equivalent to what might be covered in a twelve-week course.

To Apply

The procedure for applying to teach a Winter Term course at Middlebury is as follows: potential visitors are asked to complete a Winter Term Course Proposal Form for Visiting Instructor and submit it along with a curriculum vitae, resume, or description of background and experiences relevant to the course you are proposing.  Proposals are due on the first Friday in April. The deadline for Winter Term 2020 is Friday, April 5, 2019. It is our preference that proposals are submitted electronically, in a word document format (please be sure that you include your home mailing address and email address on your CV).  Proposals will be reviewed by the Curriculum Committee, which is chaired by the Dean of Curriculum. You may find it helpful to visit our searchable course database to review Winter Term courses offered in the last year. Submission of a Winter Term course proposal does not guarantee approval.  Receipt of your submission will be acknowledged with a brief email within a few weeks of the due date.

Review Process

The Curriculum Committee reviews Winter Term course proposals.  In addition to the quality of the course proposal, the committee considers a wide range of factors, including the extent to which the course contributes something new versus duplicates existing courses, feedback from across campus regarding student interest and curricular needs, the balance of new versus “tried and true” courses, diversification of courses within and across disciplinary lines, and practical constraints such as budgetary implications and availability of specialized teaching spaces like labs and studios.  The Curriculum Committee is therefore evaluating not only each course proposal individually, but also the entire slate of Winter Term courses as a whole. 

You will be notified of the Curriculum Committee's decision in mid-June. If your course is approved, you will receive a contract letter, stating the standard stipend for Winter Term courses and other pertinent information.  

Please note that the standard stipend is different for members of the Middlebury staff who teach Winter Term courses.  We welcome the exciting contributions that staff colleagues make to the curriculum, but also recognize that staff continue to be responsible for their regular duties, and continue to be compensated for that work.  For that reason, when a staff colleague’s course proposal is approved, and the relevant supervisor gives permission for it to be taught, the college pays a modest stipend in thanks to the colleague, on top of their regular pay. 

Academic Administration
Old Chapel
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753