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Science Faculty Institute for Teaching and Learning (SFIT)

Overview

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 2024 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/Science Division and Business/Tech Division faculty, full-time and adjunct, are encouraged to apply to participate! (Faculty who completed the Fall 2022/23 SFIT program may not apply for the 2024 program but may be eligible to participate in the program again in future years).

The application deadline for the Fall 2024 SFIT program is early April.

Apply to Participate in SFIT

Background

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.

Quotes from Past Participants

“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.”

Time Commitment and Pay

SFIT participants will work and be paid for 34 hours at the institute over the fall 2024 semester and in January 2025. This work includes:

  • Attending the all-day opening workshop during the district flex day (Monday, Aug 12) at the start of the Fall 2024 semester.
  • Attending shorter check-in workshops with all SFIT during the mid-semester Flex Day (Wednesday, Oct 9) and on Friday, Dec 6.
  • Presenting your teaching project to your peers during a CSM flex day workshop on Friday, Jan 10, 2025. 
  • 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 2025 presentation of your teaching project.
  • Completing a reflection on your SFIT experience in January 2025.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Paul or Alex, the program co-leads.*

Paul Hankamp: hankampp@smccd.edu
Alex Wong: wongalex@smccd.edu


*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.

Spring Recess
March 24-30, 2024
Cesar Chavez Day
March 29, 2024
Flex Day (No Classes)
April 18, 2024
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