The Teaching Fellows Program was implemented in Spring 2013. The goals of the Teaching Fellows Program are to inspire SRJC students interested in teaching or a related educational career, and to provide Fellows with real-life, practical experiences to enrich their understanding of the joys and challenges of being an educator.
Each year, approximately twelve pairs comprised of one student Fellow and one Faculty Mentor are selected to participate. Fellows and their Mentors apply to the program as a team, and each team is selected via a competitive process. Each Fellow receives a stipend that is made possible by a generous donation from a member of our community. Faculty Mentors may count their hours of participation toward their professional development or College service obligation, or toward Professional Growth Increments.
The program is campus-wide and serves a diverse group of students who are considering a profession in education. Fellows come from many disciplines, from the Liberal Arts to the Natural Sciences, and have goals that include kindergarten teaching, high school counseling, and university professorships. Fellows represent a range of backgrounds, ages, and levels of preparation, and this diversity of backgrounds and goals has contributed to the richness of Fellows’ experiences.
During the year-long program, each Fellow works on a project(s) designed with a faculty member in a specific discipline, to experience the world of the teaching profession and other careers in education. Fellows may gain experience with tutoring students, designing course lessons and materials, giving lectures, and evaluating student work. Regardless of the specific tasks and projects they take on, they all gain experience with and insight into meeting the educational needs of SRJC’s diverse student body.
In addition, each year participating Faculty Mentors design and facilitate monthly cohort meetings for the Fellows. Recognizing that working in an educational institution is complex and engages the whole person, Mentors design the cohort meetings to provide an opportunity for Fellows to explore philosophical, psychological, emotional, and other aspects of teaching, counseling, and librarianship. Cohort meetings also typically address nuts-and-bolts issues of applying for jobs, interviewing, and career options. Past cohort meeting topics have included cultural diversity, the tenure process, academic freedom, active learning, the Socratic Method, and developmental psychology.
The Teaching Fellows Program Steering Committee is comprised of faculty members representing the Academic Senate, the All Faculty Association, and former Program participants, as well as the Director of Scholarships and a dean who provides administrative support. This Steering Committee meets regularly to provide leadership, planning, and facilitation for all processes and policies related to the program.
Reflecting our commitment to creating the best program possible, each year the Steering Committee solicits, considers, and responds to the constructive feedback that Fellows and Mentors provide. Past Fellows have shared the following comments about the Program:
- “This experience has been extraordinary. I have gained confidence in public speaking. I can’t really pick the most memorable because the whole program has been.”
- “I have truly enjoyed the entire program! My mentor has included me in entire aspects of her teaching….I have knowledge of how to prepare lectures, assisting in the execution of exams, and creating assignments. I enjoyed the challenge, and it taught me the importance of an organized and detailed class structure and material.”
- “Being able to convey material to a group of people is an exciting thing to do and fulfilling. I was able to sit in on interviews for new faculty.”
- “My most memorable learning experience has been the process of learning how to be a teacher….learning to write syllabi, creating exam questions and assignments, to grading papers, which taught me about education from the other perspective: the teacher.”
- “I found the cohort meetings very valuable. I learned from other fellows and mentors…I noticed common themes from group sharing, which provided an excellent learning experience to help solidify what works and what does not work.”
- “It was good that professors from different departments were able to present on same or different topics as it allowed for a breadth of information to be presented.”
- “The student participation was fun and helped all of us as we were able to talk about our experiences, successes and failures, and evaluate different possible outcomes as a team.”
- “Every mentor that led the meetings brought their own perspective or recommendations regarding the topic of discussion, which was very helpful in gaining a wide spectrum of insights about what teaching is and how to be a ‘good’ teacher.”