LEARN Center
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The First Year Program: An Overview

Inaugurated in fall 2001, the First Year Program is designed to assist both experienced faculty, and faculty new to a full-time teaching assignment, become successful teacher/scholars at UW-Whitewater. Specifically, the First Year Program is designed to help faculty new to the campus:

  1. develop a clearer understanding of the institution's traditions, expectations, values, policies and procedures;
  2. identify strategies for improving instruction, enhancing student learning, and thriving with scholarly/creative and grant-writing activity in the UW-W context; and
  3. cultivate collegial relationships among new faculty from departments across campus.

While the schedule for the program varies a bit from year to year, in general, the program will convene eight times, for a total of approximately 14 hours, from the beginning of orientation week in fall term through the first week of April in spring term. These sessions are highly interactive, using summaries of empirical research about post-secondary instruction, reports of best practices, and perspectives shared by current Whitewater faculty who have excelled as teacher/scholars, to spawn discussion among participants. (The focus of these sessions is based on information the LEARN Center has collected from previous participants in the First Year Program. Note, also, that the schedule of events is tentative—subject to change based on your feedback.)

All new faculty are expected to attend these sessions. If the sessions conflict with your current teaching schedule, please plan accordingly. Department chairs have been alerted, and may be able to assist you in these endeavors. When funds are available, all faculty completing the First Year Program will be awarded an account through the LEARN Center to be used in defraying costs associated with the dissemination of a scholarly/creative activity (e.g., conference presentations, publication costs, etc.).

Testimony of Former FYP Participants

"The most valuable part of the program for me was the opportunity to meet colleagues from across campus. The program provided a unique opportunity to share experiences and develop relationships across departments that would not have otherwise existed for new faculty."
-- Assistant Professor, College of Education

"Personally, I found the First Year Program valuable as a venue for hearing other colleague's points of view, whether they be presenters or program participants."
-- Assistant Professor, College of Business and Economics

"The First Year Program streamlined many unclear and menacing issues dealing with my transition to a tenure-track. It reduced uncertainty about the kinds of issues that I wonder and worry about."
-- Assistant Professor, College of Letters and Sciences

"What actually happened in each of the sessions was less important than the fact that they gave us explicit knowledge of resources and campus practices, and helped us formulate enough ideas so that we could begin dialogues at the departmental level… These sessions helped me to know where to begin more detailed conversations on many important topics."
-- Assistant Professor, College of Letters and Sciences

"I think the First Year Program serves as an excellent transitional tool for any newcomer to UWW. The variety of topics and speakers were very informative, and usually very entertaining."
-- Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Communication