The Science Faculty Institute for Teaching and Learning (SFIT) is a paid opportunity (funded by the Title V Grant for Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions) for teachers to work with their peers to explore and implement improved teaching methods over the Fall 2023 semester, focusing on improving equity and using data collected in the classroom to inform teaching decisions. As a participant, you will choose the aspect of teaching you would like to address, and your work will apply directly to one or more of the classes you teach. Math and Science Division faculty, full-time and adjunct, are encouraged to apply to participate! (Faculty who completed the Fall 2022 SFIT program may not apply for the 2023 program but may be eligible to participate in the program again in future years).
The application deadline for the Fall 2023 SFIT program is May 2023.
Funded by a CSM Title V grant, the SFIT Program will provide structure and financial support for faculty to engage in long-term, meaningful development of teaching skills and practices that promote equity, completion, and success in their STEM classrooms. The core idea, modeled after the CCB FEST program at San Francisco State, is that SFIT participants will form small teaching groups to provide feedback as they implement new ideas in their teaching. With the support of these groups, faculty will design and implement a new teaching method or strategy for one of their classes and enact a plan to collect data on the method’s impact in the classroom. Participants will also observe their colleagues’ lessons to learn from each other’s teaching ideas.
What Your Colleagues Had To Say
Eight of your colleagues successfully completed SFIT’s first iteration in the Fall of 2022. Of these:
- Seven out of eight participants found completing the SFIT project to be “very useful” for developing their teaching (with the remaining participant considering the project “quite useful.”)
- Seven out of eight participants found conducting peer observations to be “very useful” for developing their teaching (with the remaining participant considering the observations “quite useful.”)
- Six out of eight participants found faculty team meetings to be “very useful” for developing their teaching (with the remaining two participants considering the meetings “quite useful.”)
Quotes from Fall 2022 Participant Feedback
“I strongly believe that I have changed how I teach due to SFIT experiences due to what I learned from the workshops and the ideas I discussed with my SFIT team members.”
"Participating in this project made me switch my focus from instructor ordinary teaching style to student-focused teaching style and to what works best for my student's learning and success.”
“I truly enjoyed being a part of SFIT this semester, attending the workshops … meeting with my group members (I really like that we all were from different disciplines. It helped me to look at what we do in other subjects.), observing [my colleagues’] classes, and working, exploring, thinking about the innovations I have been incorporating, and learning during our final meeting what other instructors did.”
“Prior to SFIT, I struggled to engage my students in my online class in the [way] I can work with my in person classes… in our [SFIT] first meeting, I was blown away with the engagement the [workshop leaders] were having in their chemistry class, and it really motivated me to improve my synchronous online teaching experience. I am now requiring students to turn their cameras on during my synchronous online class in an equitable way that addresses one of the main reasons that students have stated that they do not want to have their camera on. Implementing this change has significantly improved the virtual classroom experience for my synchronous online classes.”
Take a look at the Fall 2022 Participants’ posters to learn more about the type of teaching project you can complete as part of SFIT.
Time Commitment and Pay
SFIT participants will work and be paid for 34 hours at the institute over the fall 2023 semester and in January 2024. This work includes:
- Attending the all-day in-person opening workshop during the district flex day (Monday, Aug 14) at the start of the Fall 2023 semester.
- Attending shorter check-in workshops with all SFIT during the mid-semester Flex Day (Wednesday, Oct 11, in-person) and on Friday, Dec 8, online.
- Presenting your teaching project to your peers during a CSM flex day workshop on Friday, Jan 12, 2024.
- Attending monthly meetings with your small teaching group.
- Conducting independent work developing, implementing, and assessing a new lesson plan.
- Observing one or more colleagues’ classes.
- Preparing for and delivering a January 2024 presentation of your teaching project.
- Completing a reflection on your SFIT experience in January 2024.
The Aug 14, Oct 11, and Jan 12 flex-day meetings will be in-person. Other meetings will be conducted online unless a small group of participants chooses to meet in person.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact Paul or Alex, the program co-leads.*
Paul Hankamp: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Wong: email@example.com
*Title V funding is used to compensate SFIT participants, support the time of the two faculty leads, recruit workshop leaders, provide supplies for meetings, and fund opportunities for participants to participate in key local, state, and national conferences.
May 20-26, 2023
May 29, 2023
June 12, 2023