Preparing for Careers in the Academy Workshop Series

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning and Graduate Student Life present “Preparing for Careers in the Academy,” a workshop series that provides an opportunity to gain knowledge about the nature and expectations of career paths in higher education.  The workshops feature a series of guest speakers that share insights about the academic career path experience (traditional, alternative academic), as well as what sets application materials and job candidates apart in the hiring process.  These workshops are free and designed for Doctoral or MFA graduate students who are interested in a career in higher education and will be on the academic job search next year or are currently on the market, but anyone interested is welcome.

These workshops are offered in conjunction with PROV 701: “Preparing for Careers in the Academy,” a cohort-based seminar offered by the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning. The application process for PROV 701 opens each spring.

All workshops will be held on Friday afternoons, 1:30-2:45pm, at the Fairfax campus. Registration is required; spaces are limited.

Workshop 1: Understanding the Academic Job Search Process

Friday, September 29, 2017, 1:30-2:45pm
Fenwick Library, Room 1014B

Are you interested in a career in higher education?  This presentation will introduce you to the essential elements of planning for an academic career with a focus on those steps when you are close to being on the job market. Topics will include: understanding the job market cycle and the realities of the academic job market, determining readiness to go on the market, identifying job opportunities, understanding how to present yourself for different types of institutions, how search committees work and preparing for screening interviews.  There will be time for Q & A.

Audience: Doctoral or MFA graduate students at any stage who are interested in careers in academia. Note: This workshop is geared towards students on or about to be on the job market, but is useful for those looking ahead so they can better plan their time in their graduate program.

Register now for the Understanding the Academic Job Search Process workshop.

Workshop 2: Basics of Preparing an Academic CV and Cover Letter

Friday, October 13, 2017, 1:30-2:45pm
Fenwick Library, Room 1014B

This workshop will introduce the major elements of an academic CV, discussing the general guidelines to follow, the most common categories listed, and the best ways of presenting material. It will also look at the basic elements of an academic cover letter, review best practices and common mistakes, and discuss ways of tailoring your application. Part of the workshop will be spent analyzing and discussing example documents. Participants are encouraged to bring their own CV and cover letter drafts to receive peer feedback; by drafting these documents, you will have a better sense of how to revise them.

Audience: Doctoral or MFA graduate students who will be on the academic job market next year or are on the job market currently

Register now for the Basics of Preparing an Academic CV and Cover Letter workshop.

Workshop 3: Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement

Friday, October 20, 2017, 1:30-2:45pm
Fenwick Library, Room 1014B

This workshop will explain the theory and practice of crafting a good teaching philosophy statement. The key points of a well-written teaching philosophy will be covered and participants will begin to construct their own teaching philosophy statement during the workshop through a series of reflective and small group discussion activities.

Audience: Graduate students (doctoral or master’s) with at least one semester of teaching experience or TA experience

Pre-Workshop Assignment: Briefly describe a class you learned a lot in—what was it like?  What did you do?  What did the instructor do? Bring your description with you to the workshop.

Register now for the Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement workshop.

Workshop 4: Designing a Course

Friday, November 10, 2017, 1:30-2:45pm
Fenwick Library, Room 1014B

This workshop examines course design and syllabus preparation from the perspective of student learning, using a variety of models from across the disciplines. Workshop activities guide you in defining your goals for your students and then using them to shape all aspects of a well-integrated course, from your class format to student assignments, exams, and the syllabus.  Attendees will leave this workshop with a set of course goals/course outline and campus resources to help them in the next design steps.

Audience: Graduate students (doctoral or master’s) at any stage

Pre-Workshop Assignment: Write a sample learning objective for a concept in your course or a course you would teach. It can start with “Students will be able to …”  Bring your sample learning objective with you to the workshop.

Register now for the Designing a Course workshop.

Workshop 5: Work-Life Balance in Academia

Friday, November 17, 2017, 1:30-2:45pm
Fenwick Library, Room 1014B

Participants will learn how work-related behaviors impact physical and psychological well-being. The discussion will focus on how to create and sustain boundaries regarding work responsibilities within an academic setting while maintaining a strong work ethic. Attendees will create personal plans to remain effective workers while balancing work and personal values.

Audience: Graduate students (doctoral or master’s) at any stage

Register now for the Work-Life Balance in Academia workshop.

Workshop 6: Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My First Faculty Job

Friday, December 1, 2017, 1:30-2:45pm
Fenwick Library, Room 1014B

It’s hard to ask questions when you don’t know what you don’t know. This workshop includes a panel discussion with faculty from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. These faculty members will provide a perspective on what they wished they had been taught and/or mentored about prior to starting their first academic position. In addition, the panel will provide useful strategies that they utilized in transitioning into an academic position.

Audience: Graduate students who will be on the academic job market next year or are on the job market currently

Register now for the Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My First Faculty Job workshop.