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Future Professoriate Program

Requirements for the Future Professoriate Program

The Department of Religion participates in Syracuse University’s innovative Future Professoriate Program (FPP). FPP’s goal is to help prepare graduate students in our PhD program for academic careers. FPP enables graduate students to participate in ongoing conversations about, and training in, pedagogy and professionalism. These conversations enhance the training our graduate students receive as scholars, researchers, and writers. FPP activities—including presentations, conversations, and workshops—are an integral part of our department’s graduate program. We have designed our FPP carefully, making sure it augments rather than impede students in their courses of studies.

The Department of Religion views our PhD students as colleagues-in-training. We are committed to providing training that will allow them to develop their skills as well-rounded teachers and scholars. FPP pedagogical workshops and events enhance and evaluate graduate students’ teaching activities. Ongoing conversations and forums offer ways of investigating and receiving guidance about aspects of professional development. We expect that every PhD student who has received a multiple-year appointment as a teaching assistant in the Department of Religion to participate in our FPP program, to qualify as as an FPP Teaching Associate and for a Certificate in University Teaching.

(For more information from the Graduate School about FPP, see http://graduateschool.syr.edu/programs/future-professoriate-program/.) 

Faculty Teaching Mentors

The Department of Religion’s FPP Director will, in consultation with a graduate student, select a Department faculty member to serve as the student’s Faculty Teaching Mentor. Each Faculty Mentor will work closely with a Teaching Associate as the Teaching Associate develops and teaches a section of REL 320. Each Faculty Mentor will visit sessions of this course and will provide oral and written evaluation of the Teaching Associate’s progress in developing pedagogical skills. Each Faculty Mentor will also oversee a Teaching Associate’s completion of an FPP portfolio and progress toward earning a Certificate in University Teaching.

Workshops

Each semester, the FPP Director will administer a series of departmental workshops and related events related to pedagogical and professional development. These events will be open to all graduate students and faculty in the Department of Religion. Graduate students who wish to qualify as Teaching Associates must attend all of these departmental FPP events during their first two years in our PhD program. Exceptions may be granted for class conflicts or for extraordinary circumstances.

Each fall, the FPP Director will coordinate two optional sessions for graduate students who are actively seeking academic employment (i.e., who are “on the market”). One session will focus on critiquing and improving these job seekers’ CVs and cover letters. Each participating graduate student will submit in advance a CV and cover letter that correspond to a particular position (along with a description of the position from AAR Employment Listings or The Chronicle of Higher Education). The other session will be mock interviews for those graduate students who have a scheduled conference interview for a particular position. Each participating graduate student will submit in advance a description of the position and his or her application materials (e.g., CV, cover letter, etc.).

Components of the Program, Year-by-Year

First Year

  1. Required attendance at All-University Teaching Assistants’ Orientation and Department of Religion’s New Student Orientation.
  2. Required attendance at all Department of Religion FPP workshops and events.
  3. Recommended attendance at Graduate School FPP workshops and events.
  4. Successful completion of 2 semesters as a Teaching Assistant, with positive performance in each semester.

Note: Faculty members will submit a teaching assistant feedback form at the end of each semester. One copy will go to the teaching assistant, and one copy will go to the Graduate Director, to be placed in the student’s file. A student may choose whether to include these feedback forms in his or her FPP Portfolio.

Second Year

  1. Required attendance at all Department of Religion FPP workshops and events.
  2. Recommended attendance at Graduate School FPP workshops and events.
  3. Successful completion of 2 additional (and 4 total) semesters as a Teaching Assistant, with positive performance in each semester.
  4. Formal selection (in consultation with the FPP Director) of a Faculty Teaching Mentor and submission of a Faculty Teaching Mentor form by 1 December.

Third Year

  1. Strongly recommended attendance at all Department of Religion FPP workshops and events.
  2. Recommended attendance at Graduate School FPP workshops and events.
  3. Successful completion of 2 additional (and 6 total) semesters as a Teaching Assistant, with positive performance in each semester.
  4. Application for appointment as a Teaching Associate, by completing a Request to Teach REL 320 form.

Fourth Year

  1. Strongly recommended attendance at all Department of Religion and Graduate School FPP workshops and events.
  2. Successful completion of 1 semester as a Teaching Associate, teaching a section of REL 320 and consulting regularly with the Faculty Teaching Mentor. A Teaching Associate must obtain written course evaluations from his or her students at the course’s end. A Teaching Associate will also receive oral and written evaluative feedback from his or her Faculty Teaching Mentor, who will visit this REL 320 class at least once.
  3. Classroom observation (including optional videotaping) and peer review of fellow Teaching Associates during the semester in which a Teaching Associate is not teaching his or her REL 320 course.
  4. Successful completion of 2 additional (or 8 total) semesters as a Teaching Assistant, with positive performance in each semester. During the semester in which a Teaching Associate teaches his or her REL 320 course, he or she will devote 10 hours per week to his or her Teaching Assistant duties. During the other semester, he or she will devote the regular 20 hours per week to his or her Teaching Assistant duties.
  5. Submission of a completed FPP portfolio to the FPP Director by 1 March.

The Certificate in University Teaching

To earn a Certificate in University Teaching, a PhD student must successfully complete the aforementioned requirements and have his or her FPP portfolio approved by the FPP Director.

The FPP portfolio enables a PhD student to present, in an effective and attractive way, his or her credentials for an academic career. The portfolio must include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Curriculum vitae
  2. Transcript
  3. A summary statement, provided by the Graduate Program, describing the Department of Religion’s FPP
  4. Syllabus for REL 320, plus supporting documentation demonstrating how a PhD student developed and taught this course
  5. Sample exams, course assignments, any teaching aids, and course evaluations from a PhD student’s REL 320 course (or a statement indicating that these materials are available upon request)
  6. A written evaluation of a PhD student’s teaching skills by his or her Faculty Teaching Mentor

FPP Stipends 

Graduate students who successfully complete the FPP requirements qualify for 2 FPP stipends. A student will receive the first stipend in the spring semester during or following his or her REL 320 course. He or she will receive the second stipend in the spring semester during or following completing all FPP requirements for a Certificate in University Teaching. For each stipend, a student will submit a completed FPP Participation Summary form (available from the Graduate School). 

FPP Flyers

FPP flyer Fall 2017  
FPP flyer Fall 2016  FPP flyer Spring 2017
FPP flyer Fall 2015  FPP flyer Spring 2016 
FPP flyer Fall 2014  FPP flyer Spring 2015 
FPP flyer Fall 2013  FPP flyer Spring 2014  
FPP flyer Fall 2012 FPP flyer Spring 2013

Guidelines Revised April 2014