Large courses with multiple sections and multiple instructors can pose special teaching challenges. They also offer unique opportunities for the mentoring of graduate student AIs and Undergraduate Courses Assistants (UCAs) by experienced faculty. As they prepare for their own professional careers, graduate student AIs can benefit from conversations with faculty that are uniquely focused on the work of teaching. Graduate students gain invaluable pedagogical lessons from faculty when they are involved in defining goals for student learning, by contributing to plans for classroom activities and helping to clarify the criteria they will use to assess their students. Faculty also find that discussions with their course teams are most rewarding when they go beyond purely logistical issues to address such pedagogical topics. Mentoring their teaching teams is not only a practice that enriches teaching and learning in their own classes, it helps faculty to ensure the quality of teaching in future generations.
The McGraw Mentoring Fund supports weekly meetings of teaching staff to discuss shared goals and expectations for the instructional team. Funding is available from the McGraw Center to help defray the cost of refreshments at these meetings. To be eligible for funding, the course must be a large lecture class (enrollment of 50 or more) with 2 AIs or more; or a lab course with enrollment of 40 or more with 2 or more lab assistants.
Those accepted will receive $50 for each faculty member, AI and/or lab assistant involved with the teaching of the course in a semester. Courses that utilize UCAs will also receive $25 per UCA per semester. If you are new to the fund, know that McGraw Center staff are available to join your meetings as facilitators or to discuss specific issues related to your course such as designing and grading assignments and exams, leading meaningful discussions and getting useful course feedback from students at midterm. McGraw staff can also offer an overview of our Center's resources for faculty, graduate AIs, and undergraduate UCAs and students. To invite us to one of your meetings, contact the Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Office of the Dean of the College policy on UCAs can be found here.