Frequently Asked Questions
How many Fellows and Mentors participate each year?
The program selects up to ten Faculty Fellows and ten Faculty Mentors each academic year. An effort is made to ensure representation from each School and College, as well as to represent
the diversity of Montclair State faculty members and our students.
How many meetings will there be during the program and what time of day are they taking place?
There is a 2-3-day working retreat typically scheduled prior to the beginning of the Fall semester, and monthly meetings during the semester (3-4 each semester). The retreat meetings last all day, from 8:30am to 4:30pm and are held during 2-3 consecutive days. Monthly meetings are usually afternoon or evening meetings, but sometimes are scheduled earlier on in the day depending on fellow and mentor availability. Catered meals are provided for every meeting.
It is important to note that all meetings are scheduled around the availability of the participants. Please be extremely open about your availability when we send out an inquiry about this after the first round of the selection process.
Are the monthly meetings group meetings or mentor-fellow meetings? How often do mentors and fellows meet outside of the group meetings (is there a requirement)?
Monthly meetings are group meetings often featuring a guest speaker or a workshop, but there is also time for mentors and fellows to work together on their course design/syllabus. Mentors and fellows meet one-on-one on their own time that is based on their particular needs; there is no requirement for the number of times they should meet.
What if I don’t have a mentor?
Applicants may apply with a colleague who has already agreed to serve as their mentor in this program, but this is not a requirement. The Program has a long list of senior faculty, experienced in the program and in teaching and learning research, who are available to work with any incoming Fellow. The Research Academy will pair you up with one of these persons based on the applicants needs, research interests, and teaching goals.
Do you have to have a specific idea to work on in the program or can you just be generally interested in reflecting on your teaching?
You can enter the program with a specific strategy in mind to enrich your courses and your student's learning, or you can simply engage in discussion and program materials/research/workshops to identify a new strategy/practice that you would like to try in your courses. There is no expectation that you know what changes you want to make, and no harm if you do already have some ideas.
Do you help in matching process fellow with mentor?
Yes. If you do not have a mentor identified through your department, school, or who you've worked with collaboratively on other curricular or pedagogical projects, we can help you match up with a mentor who we feel will best be able to support your teaching and learning goals and has the experience to support you in the program.
Could you explain the application process?
Faculty interested in becoming an Engaged Teaching Fellow should submit a letter of interest addressed to Director, Research Academy for University Learning, no later than March 17, 2017. There is no application form but supporting documentation should include:
- The candidates current curriculum vitae;
- The candidate's 1-2 page statement on engaged teaching (how you engage students);
- Written recommendations from the department Chairperson and Dean/Director (letter or an email);
- A list of possible mentors that the applicant has already spoken to regarding working together in the program and with whom the candidate would like to work (optional).
You do not have to submit all the documents at the same time; that is, letters of recommendation may arrive separately via email or inter-office mail. Please alert us that you intend to apply and that materials may arrive under separate cover so that we can be on the lookout for them and mark them off when they arrive.
I don’t know my Dean/Chair personally. How do I approach them for recommendations?
Most recommendations from the Dean or Director’s Office or your Chairperson are a matter of routine that just signifies their support of your participation in the program. Often you can simply contact the Department Program Assistant/Secretary and they will provide the signed recommendation for you. Most (hopefully all!) of the Deans and Chairs are familiar with this program and have provided recommendations in the past, and thus, unless there are significant concerns regarding your participation, are typically simple statements that they willingly provide. If there are any issues with procuring recommendations from your Dean, Director, or Chair, please contact our office and we will help address the issues, if possible.
Can I apply to be a mentor if I am not paired up with a Fellow applicant?
Yes, mentors can apply without being paired up with a Fellow applicant. Please note that if you are applying without a Fellow, we reserve the right to pair you up with a Fellow based on shared teaching and learning goals, experience, discipline, or other factors that will provide a comfortable and mutually beneficial mentor/fellow relationship.
I have concerns about revealing areas I need to work on, is the application confidential?
The application is strictly confidential; your information will not be shared with anyone outside the Research Academy. Please note that your involvement in the Program is not indicative of a problem with your teaching; it shows a willingness to continually grow and enrich your teaching experience and the learning of your students, based on theoretical and scholarly research and practice. In no way is Program involvement evaluative or corrective.
When does the program start? Is it on campus?
The program starts with the summer working retreat, usually in August, depending on the availability of the cohort. It is held on campus. During this time we begin introducing the research on teaching and learning, planning our course re-design and syllabus changes, and engaging in discussions centered around focused concepts of teaching and learning. The meetings will be casual, catered, and there will be several breaks throughout the day.
What are the expectations for the showcase?
At the end of the Spring semester, participants in the program will share their work at the Annual University Learning and Teaching Showcase. Some ways in which you can present your work are poster presentations, discussions, presentation, or interactive workshops. You can present alone or with a co-presenter (your mentor, your colleague, students…). Please see our Showcase website for the full list of options when considering your Showcase participation.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Research Academy with any additional questions that you might have.
Research Academy for University Learning
Student Center Annex, Room 209