Apprenticeship in College Teaching
The Apprenticeship in College Teaching Program is a free, non-credit-bearing program that prepares graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for teaching careers in higher education.
ACT seminars bring participants together across disciplines to engage important pedagogical questions. Classroom observations allow for discipline-specific discussion with faculty mentors in participants' departments. And the final Teaching Portfolio and reflective essay encourage participants to synthesize what they’re learning.
The program can be completed at the participant’s own pace, and successful completion of the program results in a robust teaching portfolio and certificate issued by the Office of the Provost.
Assignment Design (Core)
Monday, January 22, 2024 12:00 - 1:00 PM, In Person (O'Neill 250)
Francesca Minonne, Assistant Director for Graduate Student Programs
Working from a very broad definition of “assignment,” this interactive workshop invites participants to think through the qualities of an effective assignment as well as strategies for structuring assignments that are meaningful and motivating to students. We’ll also consider how learning science research can inform our thinking about assignment design. Enrollment is limited; please register as soon as possible, but no later than January 15th.
Course Design (Core)
Thursday, February 1, 2024 12:00 - 1:00 PM, In Person (O'Neill 250)
Stacy Grooters, Executive Director
At the heart of every successful classroom is a well-designed course. In this interactive workshop, we will consider the basics of a “backwards design” approach to course development that seeks to align course goals, assessments, and instruction. We’ll also talk about how course structure can impact student learning and classroom climate. Enrollment is limited; please register as soon as possible, but no later than January 25th.
Empowering Learning through GenAI (Elective)
Thursday, February 8, 2024 12:00 - 1:00 PM, In Person (O'Neill 250)
Sam Moore, Learning Technology Assistant
Since ChatGPT was released to the public in 2022, instructors have been concerned about how the technology will impact teaching and learning. In this workshop, you’ll have a chance to learn a bit about how the technology works and consider strategies for using it to support student learning. Enrollment is limited; please register as soon as possible, but no later than February 1st.
Creating Effective Learning Environments (Core)
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 12:00 - 1:00 PM, In Person (O'Neill 250)
Kim Humprey, Assistant Director for Equitable Teaching and Learning
This interactive workshop provides a practical discussion of how to foster a positive classroom climate that promotes student learning. Participants will discuss strategies for facilitating classroom environments that foster belonging, agency, and transparency through course policies, norms, and habits. Enrollment is limited; please register as soon as possible, but no later than February 14th.
Responding to Student Writing (Elective)
Monday, February 26, 2024 12:00 - 1:00 PM, In Person (O'Neill 250)
Francesca Minonne, Assistant Director for Graduate Student Programs, and Megan Lease, Graduate Programs Consultant
When responding to student writing, it can be difficult to provide comprehensive feedback on an essay without overwhelming or discouraging your students. In this session, we will ask you to identify some writing norms in your discipline. We will also examine a number of approaches to providing targeted feedback and review strategies to help students respond effectively to their own and their classmates’ writing. Enrollment is limited; please register as soon as possible, but no later than February 19th.
Teaching in the US Classroom (Elective)
Tuesday, March 12, 2024 12:00 - 1:00 PM, In Person (O'Neill 250)
Francesca Minonne, Assistant Director for Graduate Student Programs, and Gomathy Ganapathy, PhD Candidate in Math
This event is limited to international students only. International instructors bring valuable knowledge and experience with them to classrooms in the U.S., but they can also face unique challenges. In this session, we will aim to tackle some of these together and foster community growth. Broad goals are to:
- discuss potential issues that one might face
- identify the kinds of resources that often support international faculty who are teaching in the U.S.
- specifically highlight Boston College resources for international graduate student instructors.
Enrollment is limited; please register as soon as possible, but no later than March 5th.
Active Learning (Core)
Tuesday, March 19, 2024 12:00 - 1:00 PM, In Person (O'Neill 250)
Sarah Castricum, Assistant Director for Faculty Programs
Hands-on activities such as problem solving and teamwork hold a lot of promise to transform learning, but they can also seem challenging to develop and evaluate. This interactive session will explore ways to structure activities that will meet your learning goals for your students and offer them the support they need to succeed. We will consider how to use active learning in any discipline, class setting and time frame. Enrollment is limited; please register as soon as possible, but no later than March 12th.
Facilitating Critical Conversations (Elective)
Wednesday, April 3, 2024 12:00 - 1:00 PM, In Person (O'Neill 250)
Kim Humphrey, Assistant Director for Equitable Teaching and Learning
Critical conversations are charged moments in the classroom that can present in a variety of different ways, though they're often focused on questions that bring together topics of difference, power, and justice. Whether a critical conversation predictably breaks out in a discussion of a provocative text or unexpectedly erupts in response to a student comment, they are an opportunity for learning. But these heated moments can also leave instructors scrambling to regain control of the discussion. In this interactive workshop, participants will discuss the factors that can lead to critical conversations and learn strategies to prepare for and facilitate them. Enrollment is limited; please register as soon as possible, but no later than March 27th.
Grading for Learning (Core)
Monday, April 8, 2024 12:00 - 1:00 PM, In Person (O'Neill 250)
Francesca Minonne, Assistant Director for Graduate Student Programs
Grades can be a significant source of feedback, both evaluating performance and guiding future learning. They can also be a source of doubt and anxiety -- for both students and instructors. In this interactive session, we will consider how learning science and psychology encourage us to think differently about how we approach grading. And we’ll talk about practical strategies -- including the use of rubrics -- for grading more consistently, effectively, and efficiently. Enrollment is limited; please register as soon as possible, but no later than April 1st.
The Apprenticeship in College Teaching Program combines opportunities for group inquiry into important pedagogical questions with individual reflection on teaching practices. Successful completion of the program involves attending at least seven ACT workshops, participating in two classroom observations, and compiling a teaching portfolio and reflective essay. Although it is possible to fulfill all ACT requirements in a single year, participants can take as long as they need, while they are students at Boston College, to complete the program. While we prefer for participants to complete the program by the time they graduate, we are willing to extend this deadline to two months past their graduation date. Please note that full program requirements are below and participants may enroll at any time.
Registration for the ACT Program is open to all Boston College graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, whether or not they will have any classroom responsibilities while at BC. Registration is on a rolling basis, so participants can sign up at any time:
- Submit the online ACT registration form by clicking on the “Register” tab above.
- Attend a required brief orientation with the Graduate Programs Coordinator to discuss their goals for the ACT program and to answer any questions.
ACT Program Requirements
Successful completion of the program involves:
- attending seven ACT workshops (five required seminars and two electives);
- participating in two classroom observations (as observer and observed);
- compiling a teaching portfolio that includes a teaching philosophy, sample syllabus, and other relevant teaching materials; and
- submitting a short essay that critically reflects on what you’ve learned in the program.
More information about each of these requirements is available below.
Once you have completed all requirements of the program (including the submission of a portfolio that meets program expectations), the Assistant Director for Graduate Student Programs (email@example.com) will contact you about scheduling an Exit Interview to conclude your participation in the program.
All recent ACT graduates are also invited to participate in the annual Graduate Student Teaching Recognition Ceremony, where we award that year’s ACT Certificates. Students who wish to receive their certificate at the end of this academic year should plan to complete program requirements and submit their materials by Friday, February 23rd, 2024.
Observation And Portfolio Forms
ACT participants are expected to provide written reflections on two observations:
ACT participants are also expected to provide a completed Teaching Portfolio and Reflective Essay:
If you have questions regarding any of these forms, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.