LEARN Center

First Year Program (For New Faculty)

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 to: (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.).

First Year Program

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Upon completion of the First Year Program, each participant will have access to a $1,000 account established in his/her name through the LEARN Center to support professional development. To fully qualify for this fund, participant must not have missed more than ONE scheduled session of the program and complete all program requirements. Additional absences will result in reduction of the total funds available. These funds must be used to defray costs associated with the presentation of scholarship to creative activity.

To date, approved uses of these funds have included: covering costs associated with registration, travel, and/or lodging for a competitively selected paper/creative activity presented at a conference; paying for charges associated with the publication of a scholarly article; and hiring a professional editor to help with rewrite of article resubmitted to journal. These funds cannot be used for other, admittedly, significant professional development expenditures including equipment (e.g., technology, software), data collection (e.g., student help), books, etc. (Faculty Development Grants as well as other UW System and campus sources of intramural funding may be available for such expenses.)

Note, because these funds are dispersed in a budget cycle, they are available to participants in the 2022-23 First Year Program for a specific period of time: 15 April 2023 to 15 May 2024. The funds must be used during this time period.

If you have questions regarding the use of these funds, please contact the LEARN Center learn@uww.edu.

Do you have ideas for books, workshops, or other types of programs? Are you interested in participating in panels or facilitating sessions? We'd love to hear your suggestions! Please follow this link to a short form to enter your ideas. The LEARN Center director or staff will follow-up on all suggestions via email.

Email the LEARN Center to Leave a Suggestion!  

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