The GTF Project
Upon discussions with faculty and students, it had become apparent that one subsection of our faculty had been virtually unrecognized. Here at John Jay, we have dozens of GTFs--Graduate Teaching Fellows--who are actively pursuing PhDs at the CUNY Graduate Center and teaching in many departments here at John Jay. These students are often in their second through fourth year of graduate study. We also have many adjunct lecturers who are pursuing their PhDs at the CUNY Graduate Center (and other local schools as well), and they often walk into the classroom to teach for the very first time right here on our campus.
In the GTF/Grad Adjunct Project, we work to ensure that these members of our faculty have the skills needed to enter a classroom for the first time. During the intersession, the group meets and learns how to design a syllabus with appropriate benchmarks, assignments, and in-class techniques to ensure learning outcomes are met. The idea of the "model syllabus" is introduced. Basic pedagogical technique is introduced, as are basic questions about teaching. We discuss best practices, "war stories" with veteran faculty, and basic policy and procedure. Sometimes, everyone will practice the first 15 minutes of their first or second class and have a group critique.
As the semester progresses, educational theory is introduced.
Because many of these faculty members are at John Jay College for a limited time, and are our students as well, we want to give them the tools they need to succeed as they enter the next phase of their professional lives. Guest speakers are a frequent part of this series. This past semester featured talks about how one obtains a tenure-track job, the academic job-market, the publish or perish debate, a discussion on what assessment means as both an institution and when a faculty member is evaluated, in addition to faculty stopping in to share their experiences in academia.
For the sake of building a sense of community, registration is at the start of each semester only. A stipend is provided. Please contact Jessica Kovler for details.