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The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in Engineering (CRLT-Engin) at the University of Michigan invites applications for an Instructional Consultant position focused on engineering graduate student instructor development. 

Applicants should hold a PhD in engineering, engineering education, or other STEM-related field. Applicants with extensive experience will be considered for an assistant director title. A full position description can be found on the University of Michigan careers site (information below). Candidates from groups historically underrepresented in faculty development are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and CV (bundled as a single .pdf) to: 

http://careers.umich.edu/job_detail/133600/instructional_consultan (UM.Jobs posting number 133600)

The close date for applications is Tuesday, November 22, 2016.

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer.

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Ann Arbor Campus

The recent incident of hate speech that occurred at U-M is part of a disturbing national trend. A recent article in Inside Higher Education referred to “an epidemic of racist incidents at campuses across the country.” These upsetting events in combination with the heightened rhetoric of the election campaign have the potential to increase the stress levels experienced by members of the campus community, especially those from groups targeted by hate speech. It is useful to keep in mind that such incidents may still be on students’ minds when they enter your classroom, and that such incidents take a toll on faculty and GSIs as well.  What can instructors do?

  • Acknowledge the incidents: Research conducted in the wake of national tragedies, such as 9-11 or Hurricane Katrina, indicates that students find it helpful when their instructors simply acknowledge traumatic events, recognize that students might be experiencing distress, and show extra support (Huston & DiPietro, 2007).
  • Prepare to engage with the incident proactively or in response to student concerns: CRLT has developed a web page with guidelines for discussing incidents of hate, bias, and discrimination that can help you prepare. The site offers strategies for planned discussions, as well as suggestions for responding to challenging conversations when they arise spontaneously. For example, we provide sample discussion guidelines instructors have found helpful in both planned and spontaneous discussions of difficult issues.
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Photo banner of the IPE Leadership Fellows

In recent years there has been a growing emphasis on education that crosses disciplinary boundaries and teaches students to work on teams. In the health sciences, this is due to an increased awareness that collaborative care is a reality for students after they graduate from any numer of health science programs. Interprofessional education (IPE)as defined by the World Health Organization and adopted by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative,

"occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes."

In January 2016, the University of Michigan’s Center for Interprofessional Education launched a new Interprofessional Leadership Fellows program. This program was developed so that health science professionals with a strong interest in interprofessional education and practice might become change agents for IPE efforts on campus and beyond.  The sixteen IPE fellows making up the inaugural cohort represent the following U-M health science schools: Read more »

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CRLT is accepting applications through Monday, February 22, for the May Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Seminar. Interested graduate students can learn more about the program here. In this guest post, past participant Katy Peplin (Ph.D. candidate in Screen Arts and Cultures) shares reflections from 2015 seminar participants:  

Photo of Katy PeplinAfter participating in the Preparing Future Faculty Seminar in May 2014, I was lucky to be able to work with the team that facilitated the seminar in 2015. I loved the chance to contribute to a program that was so deeply useful for me, and I loved seeing how valuable the program was for others even more. You’re welcome to read my own thoughts on why I found the PFF experience so valuable, but here are reflections from some of the May 2015 Seminar participants:  

“PFF gave me exposure to what faculty life really looks like (in terms of family, work/life balance, tenure expectations, teaching loads) - at U of M but also at different types of institutions. I had the opportunity to ask questions of U of M faculty that I might not be comfortable asking my advisors, and it was immensely valuable to see what faculty life looked like at other types of institutions.”

“The PFF seminar was an invaluable experience!  It demystified much about professional academic life including the workings of the tenure process, dimensions of faculty work-life balance, and differences between institution settings. And it helped me enormously to clarify and crystallize my own pedagogical values and approach.  I would highly recommend it to others.”

“PFF broadened my horizons, showing the real challenges of the job market but also equipping us to confront them.”

“As a STEM person with little-to-no teaching experience, just having an awareness of much of the teaching related methods and pedagogies was very helpful. It was a true experience of an inclusive teaching environment and I really appreciated that experience.” 

“Wonderful! I found the panels, roundtable discussions and campus visits very helpful, and teaching demonstrations and information on inclusive practices to be helpful as well. I really feel like I have a better understanding of potential careers, job searches and being a more inclusive teacher!” 

Read more »

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As we end the fall term and look forward to winter, students and faculty are confronting significant turmoil around the world, as well as protests and passionate discussions within academia. Whether it’s the horrible incidents of violence in this country or elsewhere across the globe, or incidents of racial bias that have led to protests and heightened rhetorical exchanges on a number of campuses, distressing events far from home and close to it are likely to be on students’ minds.

photo of the Michigan Diag

At this point in the term, the disturbing events of recent weeks have the potential to make an already stressful time of the year even more difficult for many students. What can instructors do?

  • Acknowledge the incidents: Research conducted in the wake of national tragedies, such as 9-11 or Hurricane Katrina, indicates that students find it helpful when their instructors simply acknowledge traumatic events, recognize that students might be experiencing distress, and show extra support, such as offering to grant extensions for students who request them. (Huston & DiPietro, 2007)
     
  • Refer students to campus resources: Offices include Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS ), Depression Center, Psychological Clinic. CRLT’s blogpost on Supporting Students in Distress offers an overview of resources and advice on this topic, including this web page from the Mental Health Workgroup which offers resources for instructors who encounter students in need of mental health support.

When planning for courses next term, it is useful to keep in mind that the turmoil of recent weeks may still be on students’ minds—and therefore enter your classrooms, whether you anticipate it or not. Because these issues in so many ways relate to differences in social identity and power—and because so many of our students have personal or family connections to places experiencing crisis—events in the news may also influence ongoing conversations about the campus climate here in Ann Arbor.

Over many years, CRLT has developed guidelines for discussing difficult topics to support teachers in facilitating such conversations in classrooms across the curriculum. If you want to raise topics from the news in your classes in order to explore connections between course material and contemporary events, you can find strategies for planned discussions of high-stakes topics. Other resources offer you ways to prepare for and respond to challenging conversations that emerge when you haven’t planned for them.

Read more »

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