First-Year Seminar Instructor Application

Graduate Teaching Assistants and Adjunct Faculty

Requirements for Applicants

As a prospective First-Year Seminar Instructor (FYSI), you must meet the following requirements:

  • To be hired as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and be listed as instructor of record, you must be officially admitted to a University Graduate Program, have 18 graduate hours in a major related to a learning community large lecture course (English, History, Political Science, Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Biology, or Chemistry) completed prior to the semester of application, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and be a student in good standing;
  • To be hired as an Adjunct, you must have completed your MA/MAIS/MS degree (or a higher degree) from an accredited institution prior to the start of the first semester of teaching.

First-Year Seminar Instructor Duties and Responsibilities

GTAs are hired to teach one or two courses per semester. Adjuncts may be hired to teach up to six courses, depending on availability of courses.

FYSIs are responsible for:

  • fulfilling First-Year Seminar and First-Year Learning Communities Program goals, objectives, and expectations;
  • following a common seminar syllabus;
  • using assignments and activities appropriate for program goals and consistent with learning community plans and agreements;
  • communicating (via email and in-person) and meeting regularly with LC teammates and supervisors;
  • contributing the assessment of UNIV 1101 and 1102; and
  • participating in departmental professional development opportunities.

The position of FYSI requires a commitment of 8-10 hours weekly for each section, which includes:

  • scheduling one office hour per assigned section,
  • attending connected learning community lectures (as a master learner),
  • attending first-year seminar and learning community team meetings, and
  • participating in department meetings and professional development opportunities.

Some faculty may be expected to perform duties normally assigned a class assistant/grader in some disciplines for an additional stipend, which include assisting lecture faculty with the evaluation of student work.

Finally, you must attend an initial training workshop during the summer or winter before the semester you begin teaching, participate in learning community events the week before classes begin and throughout the semester, and engage in ongoing professional development activities such as department meetings and Seminar Talks.

Supervision of FYSIs

The First-Year Seminar Coordinator will mentor and supervise GTA and Adjunct First-Year Seminar faculty in best practices related to teaching first-year students in First-Year Seminar.

GTA and Adjunct faculty should keep up to date with announcements posted by the FYLCP Coordinator. Learning Community Team Coordinators will mentor and supervise GTA and Adjunct faculty work in learning community activities.

Conditions of Employment

  • Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), are required to enroll in at least six (6) semester credit hours (SCH) of graduate classes while teaching. GTAs must complete at least 12 SCH during each year of your appointment, and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA
  • An appointment as FYSI is per semester and pending enrollments and evaluations of performance.
  • GTA and Adjunct faculty will be evaluated during each academic year of their employment, and continued employment will depend on teaching evaluations, participation in program duties and activities (such as best practices sessions and weekly meetings with teammates), and satisfactory progress toward the degree (if a GTA).

Selection of FYSIs

First-Year Seminar Instructors are hired annually by the First-Year Seminar Coordinator, with assistance from a search committee that might include the FYLCP Coordinator and professors who teach in learning communities. The search committee will review completed application packets to determine candidates to be interviewed. Selected candidates will be invited for interviews.

Decisions about re-appointment will be made by the First-Year Seminar Coordinator, and will depend on enrollments, funding, and performance as an instructor and grader.