What are Signature Core Faculty Fellows?

UAB’s Signature Core Faculty Fellows (Core Fellows) program is a two-year fellowship for full-time faculty who teach courses that fulfill general education (core) requirements. Core Fellows receive support to participate in teacher development programs, teaching conferences, course observations, and teaching assessments intended to increase teaching effectiveness and student success. Core Fellows will also receive development on the value of the core to a college student’s educational experience, how to incorporate community-based learning activities to enrich instruction, and effective methods for the assessment of teaching and learning.

It is anticipated that Core Fellows will become leaders in helping UAB to establish its Signature Core Curriculum and will serve as examples of excellence in teaching for other faculty members. They will also have a role in mentoring future cohorts of Core Fellows.

Why have Core Fellows?

Faculty Fellows programs have been shown to increase faculty teaching effectiveness and job satisfaction and lead to marked gains in student learning. The Core Fellows program is similar to other Faculty Fellows programs, such as those focused on the areas of Service Learning, Engaged Scholarship, and Education Abroad, in that they assist faculty members as they become excellent teachers through the use of effective and research-based teaching techniques, high-impact practices and assessment.

What will Core Fellows be asked to do?

Year One

  1. Participate in Core Fellows cohort retreats. These will be held in early January, May, and August
  2. Participate in teacher development programs at the UAB Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). This includes earning CTL Level I and Level II Certificates.
  3. Participate in the UAB Student Consultants on University Teaching (SCOUT) program in at least one of their core courses.
  4. Develop community-based learning elements in their core course(s). For example, a History survey might send students to a museum; an Environment Science course might ask students to study the flora of Railroad Park, etc.
  5. Develop skills and understanding related to researched-based techniques to assess teaching.
  6. Attend a national or international teaching conference. The conference may be focused on general university teaching or it may be discipline-specific. Presenting at the selected conference is encouraged but not required.

Year Two

  1. Incorporate community-based learning elements in their core course(s).
  2. Employ researched-based techniques to participate in the assessment of the Core Fellows program and teaching in UAB’s Signature Core.
  3. Serve as mentors to the next cohort of Core Fellows.

What are the benefits of participation?

The Fellowship allows for an intellectual venue in which faculty can exchange ideas related to core teaching with an academically diverse group and learn from the experiences of others in the program. Core Fellows will leave the program with a better understanding of the place of the Signature Core in undergraduate education. They will also learn ways to develop and incorporate innovative teaching practices in their courses and to use research-based methodologies for teaching assessment.

Participation as Core Fellows will be considered University Service and participants will receive an annual letter thanking them for their service to the university in this way. Additionally, as Core Fellows develop their teaching skills, they will be able to include evidences of this in their own teaching portfolios and annual review, promotion, and tenure materials.

Financially, the Fellowship provides a $3,000 professional development stipend in the first year, and a $1,000 professional development stipend in the second year. Additionally, Core Fellows each receive up to $2,000 in travel support to participate in a national or international teaching conference of their choice during the first or second year of the fellowship.

How are Core Fellows selected?

Core Fellows will be selected through an online application process. Applicants will provide a personal statement and answer questions outlining their interest in the program and their personal goals to improve teaching. Applicants will also be asked to submit a CV and a statement of support from their department chair and dean. Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of past excellence and success in teaching
  2. Potential to positively influence other faculty members
  3. Desire to develop and further their own teaching skills
  4. Desire to assist in the teaching development of others and to further a culture of teaching success in their department/discipline
  5. Willingness to assist with assessment measures related to the Signature Core and teaching success
  6. Potential impact on students in the core based on: a. Subject area taught b. Number of students reached c. Frequency of class offerings

How to Apply

  1. Write a personal statement (500 words or less) that describes your teaching in the core, your interest in being a Core Fellow, and elements of your courses or your teaching you would like to develop. This statement will be uploaded in the online application. You may wish to (but are not required to) reference some or all of the following:

    • Why you teach core courses
    • Your reasons for interest in the Faculty Fellows program
    • How being a Core Fellow can enhance your core courses and undergraduate teaching
    • Your potential to be an example for other core teachers within your department and college or school
  2. Download and complete the Core Fellows Agreement. Sign the form and obtain your department chair’s signature.

    Core Fellows Agreement

  3. Follow this link to complete the online application. You will be asked to enter information about the core classes you teach and to upload your personal statement, signed Core Fellows Agreement, and a copy of your CV.

    Signature Core Application

Complete applications must be submitted on or before December 1, 2019. Applicants will be notified in mid-December. Core Fellows will serve from January 2020 through December 2021.