Materials from last week's 10th annual Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) conference are now going up on CTools and CRLT's PFF Conference webpage. We're excited to be able to share videos of panels, session handouts, presentation notes, and supplementary materials from the wide range of sessions featured at this year's conference. As materials are added to the sites over the coming week, participants can review what they learned at the conference, and anyone can find out about sessions they weren't able to attend. (For copyright reasons, some resources will only be available on a CTools site open to those who registered for the conference.) 

At the conference, co-sponsored by Rackham Graduate School, The Career Center, International Center, and CRLT, job seekers Conference participantsgained insight into faculty worklife and learned about what it takes to get an academic job at different types of institutions--and to be successful once there. Presenters included faculty and administrators from liberal arts colleges, community colleges, smaller regional universities, and major research institutions, including U-M.

In STEM fields, postdoctoral positions are frequently the launching point into the professoriate. Yet many postdocs have two or fewer terms of teaching experience when they begin applying for academic jobs. CRLT and Rackham Graduate School have collaborated to create a unique opportunity for U-M postdoctoral scholars to build their skills in teaching in the sciences: the Postdoctoral Short-Course on College Teaching in Science and Engineering (PSC). 

CRLT is currently accepting applications for the fifth offering of the PSC. The course will take place on Monday mornings, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, March 11th through April 22nd.  Applications are due November 1, 2012.
Photo of Chad HershockThe PSC was developed and is primarily taught by CRLT Assistant Director, Chad Hershock. In order to flexibly accommodate the demanding research obligations of U-M’s postdocs, he developed the course using a “flipped class” model.  Before each of the seven sessions, participants watch short video podcasts and complete preparatory, online assignments to establish basic mastery of teaching and learning concepts.  During face-to-face meetings the postdocs engage exclusively in hands-on, experiential learning, practice applying the concepts, and participate in reflective discussions.  Both online and during class, the instructors model research-based teaching strategies, so that participants may experience these approaches from the perspectives of their future students.  Short-course topics include:

As teachers at an institution committed to "global engagement," how can U-M instructors best facilitate students' international experiences and connections? And how can we enable students to make meaningful differences in the world? Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Kathleen Sienko has been a campus leader on these questions, developing programs that take students around the world as well as programs that enable students here in Ann Arbor to make and mobilize global connections utilizing the resources of the internet.

Search committees around the country are asking:  "What's your philosophy?"  Research shows that a majority of academic search committees, at all kinds of institutions, ask for a statement of teaching philosophy at some point during the application process--sometimes as a part of the initial application, and sometimes later, after the selection committee has narrowed the field of candidates.  Whether you're in the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences, odds are good that you'll need such a statement as part of your dossier if you're planning an academic job search.  

Photo of a pen and paperWhat can you do to make sure your teaching philosophy is an asset in your application? CRLT has many resources to help you develop and refine your statement. 

I've written it -- what's next?

If you have a solid draft and would like to make it more effective, you may be interested in attending "Revising Your Teaching Philosophy," a CRLT workshop on November 7, 2012. This workshop is especially useful if you are headed for the academic job market within the next year.