Thinking back to my own undergraduate experience, some of my most prominent academic memories come from experiences with quality instructors. This reflection is nothing new to higher education literature. In their comprehensive analysis, How College Affects Students, Mayhew et al. (2016) identified quality of teaching as one major means through which college influences student outcomes. For graduate students who desire to teach after graduating, it is critical to not only know your subject matter, but to know how to convey it to a variety of students.
The Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) seeks both to support and inspire a flourishing community of learning and to promote the integration of teaching, scholarship, collegiality, and service in a Christian environment. In short, our goal is to help equip those who currently teach and those who would like to teach to become better educators. We accomplish this goal through offering a variety of resources and programs for both faculty and graduate students. Here, I will highlight a few of our programs that are most suited to the context of graduate students.
For graduate students, one of our key programs is the Teaching Capstone in Higher Education (TeaCHE). Through TeaCHE graduate students can participate in a self-paced program, which occurs during a single academic year. This program is broken into five categories, concluding with a final reflective essay. More information about TeaCHE can be found on our website (the deadline to apply for the 2021-2022 academic year is October 1).
A second resource of interest to graduate students are our Seminars for Excellence in Teaching (SETs). These seminars are spaced throughout each semester, covering a variety of topics. This upcoming semester, our SETS will cover topics such as caring for students through teaching, interdisciplinary education, intervening in students’ learning-inhibiting beliefs, and alternatives for assessment.
Another opportunity to hone your teaching abilities is through the Foundations for Teaching Workshop. This two-day workshop provides participants the opportunity to reflect on their teaching style as well as the opportunities to have their teaching observed. Topics covered in the workshop include syllabus construction, course planning, teaching strategies, and classroom management.
A fourth resource, and our most recent addition, is the Professors Talk Pedagogy Podcast. In these podcasts, the ATL’s Dr. Richmann interviews faculty from across campus, looking to better understand facets of pedagogical practice. New episodes are released on a regular basis and the podcast is available on our website and Apple Podcasts.
More information, in addition to other resources such as our wide range of teaching guides, can be found on the ATL website. If you have a specific question about our resources or have an area in which you find the need for support in your teaching abilities, you can contact us at email@example.com. We look forward to supporting you as you aim to become more effective educators.
Mayhew, M. J., Rockenbach, A. N., Bowman, N. A., Seifert, T. A., & Wolniak, G. C. (2016). How college affects students: 21st century evidence that higher education works. John Wiley & Sons.
Austin Smith is a second-year PhD student in Higher Education Studies and Leadership and serves as the Graduate Apprentice for the Academy for Teaching and Learning. His areas of research include college student leadership, creativity, and campus traditions.