The course was developed at a university

Founded as the Substitute Teaching Institute at Utah State University in 1995, provides research-based training materials and services designed to improve student achievement when students are taught by a substitute teacher and to assist those who manage substitute teachers.

Geoffrey G. Smith

He is the director of the Substitute Teaching Division of and was the founding director of the Substitute Teaching Institute at Utah State University. He has been the principal investigator for the Substitute Teacher Educational Program Initiative (STEP-IN). He is the publisher of the Substitute Teaching Handbook. He holds an MBA in Public Administration and a Master of Educational Economics.

Jessica L. Smith

She is the Substitute Teacher Trainer at the Substitute Teaching Division of She has worked as both a permanent teacher and a substitute teacher. She trains thousands of substitute teachers nationwide through webinars, online, and onsite training.

Glenn Latham (1931-2001)

Dr. Latham was a professor emeritus of special education at Utah State University and served as a principal investigator at the Mountain Plains Regional Resource Center. His core principles and strategies are an integral part of the’s training.

Max L. Longhurst

Dr. Longhurst was the elementary education specialist at Utah State University. He writes, field-tests, and develops materials for substitute teachers and conducts seminars and training sessions for school personnel and educators. Having been in the classroom both as a permanent teacher and a substitute teacher, his experience provides practical applications for teaching and learning strategies.


The Substitute Teaching Institute at Utah State University (STI/USU) was established in 1995 to provide substitute teachers with handbooks containing “how-to’s” and classroom fill-in activities.

The U.S. Department of Education recognized STI/USU in 1997 with the first-ever awarding of federal funds for field-initiated research in the realm of substitute teaching.

STI/USU implemented research-based practices to improve recruiting, training, and retention efforts in school districts throughout the United States. STI/USU now operates as continues the research, distribution, and training as well as the mission which began at STI/USU.