PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP

Teaching Opportunities at CCBC – How PROF-it works (Paid Mentored Teaching Experiences for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows)

Dr. Al Starr, Dean of the Essex Campus at CCBC, describes the UMBC/CCBC program in detail:

The CCBC/UMBC Fellows Program offers a “student teaching” experience for UMBC graduate students, and a professional development experience for CCBC faculty. This mutually beneficial program has operated very successfully for the last several years. [This program is open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.]

How the Program Works

·         During the late summer and early fall, UMBC offers a series of workshops through PROF-it (Professors-in-Teaching) to graduate students who have an interest in college teaching, including teaching at a community college.

·         During the same time period, the academic deans at CCBC provide a list of their likely needs for adjuncts for the spring semester.

·         In November, UMBC provides a list of graduate students who have successfully completed the UMBC workshops to the CCBC Coordinator for the CCBC/UMBC Partnership.

·         These names are distributed to the appropriate academic deans and/or department heads.

·         Interviews are scheduled, and successful interviewees are offered adjunct teaching positions for the spring.

·         A CCBC mentor is assigned to each UMBC graduate student.

·         Before the spring semester begins,

o        . . . the CCBC mentor meets with the UMBC graduate student and provides him or her with a sample syllabus and a textbook for the course that will be taught. In addition, the CCBC mentor helps the UMBC student with practical matters, such as getting a parking permit and understanding the guidelines for using the college print shop.

o        . . . the CCBC mentor and the UMBC graduate student meet one or more additional times to review the syllabus that the UMBC graduate student has created and to discuss getting the class off to an effective start.

·         During the spring semester,

o        . . . the CCBC mentor and UMBC graduate student meet at least once per week, but they are encouraged to meet as often as necessary.

o        . . . the CCBC mentor observes at least two classes taught by the UMBC graduate student. The first visit results in an informal oral evaluation; the second visit results in a formal written evaluation.

o        . . . the UMBC graduate student observes one or more classes taught by his or her mentor, or if that is not possible, he or she will observe a class taught by another CCBC teacher in the same discipline.

o        . . . the UMBC graduate student has his or her students complete the student evaluation instrument used by the department.

o          . . . the CCBC Coordinator for the CCBC/UMBC Partnership hosts a dinner meeting for the CCBC Mentors and the UMBC Fellows. This activity allows the participants to discuss their experiences working together up until that point.

·         At the end of the spring semester,

o        . . . the CCBC Coordinator for the CCBC/UMBC Partnership hosts a second dinner meeting for the CCBC Mentors and the UMBC Fellows. The purpose of this activity is to discuss how to enhance the program in the future.

o        . . . the CCBC mentor submits a written evaluation of the UMBC graduate student.

o . . . the UMBC graduate student submits a written evaluation of his or her CCBC mentor.

Benefits to UMBC Graduate Students

·         The UMBC graduate students are paid the same salary as other adjuncts at CCBC.

·         While still at UMBC, the graduate students are given a series workshops on classroom management issues that prepare them to be more effective instructors.

·         The UMBC graduate students are mentored by experienced CCBC instructors.

·         The UMBC graduate students are offered professional development experiences, including the January Adjunct Conference and access to CCBC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

·         The UMBC graduate students are able to apply for future adjunct or full-time positions at CCBC.

TESTIMONIALS (from Students):

This is a great program; I have talked it up in my department and have no less than three fellow students who want to participate next year.  I hope they gain as much from it as I did.

Stephen Dashiell

The UMBC-CCBC partnership has been a wonderful experience. I wish every graduate student could have a similar experience.

Jessy Warner-Cohen

I can’t begin to describe what a valuable resource my mentor, Dave [Ludwikoski], was during teaching my first course at the community college level. From the very beginning, he set me on my feet by providing example syllabi and course curriculum and showing me his own lectures and example quizzes. As time progressed and I became more comfortable with presenting the material, I became more independent, but when I needed help developing lectures and activities, he was always there willing to lend a helping hand. I greatly appreciated his stories and pearls of wisdom on teaching as well as his assistance with the subject matter, which was often not in my area of expertise.

Ross Dixon


I must also admit that Steven’s [Steven Dashiell’s] passion for sociology is contagious–it is renewing MY energy for the spring semester!!

Ann MacLellan

Mentors similarly reported this program to be a positive one as it provided an opportunity to consider their own approaches to teaching and to dialogue in a manner that gave them new ideas for their class presentations.

Jason Spiegelman

After talking with Al [Starr] in more detail, I wanted to let you know that I would very much like to participate in his excellent mentoring program with UMBC. I know that there are already faculty members from BSSWE participating, so I hope to be able to help expand that into the history program.

Natalie Kimbrough


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