ITLAL provides support and guidance for graduate students who are preparing for careers in academia.
Members of the ITLAL staff are available to consult with you about the academic job market and your career trajectory. We can help you with effective documentation of your teaching; preparation of cover letters, CVs, and teaching statements; preparation for interviews; responding to offers; developing a faculty mindset; and more! Contact us to schedule a consultation.
Each fall and spring semester, we offer several workshops focused on preparing for the academic job market. Check our Events and Workshops page for information and to register for upcoming workshops.
Courses in Teaching and Professional Development
ITLAL offers three courses to help graduate students planning for faculty careers. Each is offered once a year and may be taken for 0-1 credit hours. Courses are offered under the numbers listed below, and all courses require a permission number. Contact us to request a permission number.
- Seminar in College Teaching (ACAS 601/RPAD 590/RPOS 611): This course is offered each fall. Most faculty have never been taught to teach, and it is easy to believe that it takes natural talent to be good at it. But great teachers are great because they approach teaching as systematically as they approach their research: they study empirical evidence, apply it thoughtfully to their own teaching, and reflect on how it affects their students. You will take that approach in this class as you design a course using the research we have about human learning and motivation. That research shows that undergraduate students are capable of learning, will work hard, and bring valuable knowledge and experience to courses that are well designed. If you are planning a career in academe, teaching will take up large amounts of your time, even at research institutions. Our course will help you make the most of that time, so that teaching can be energizing and rewarding for you and your students!
- Preparing for the Professoriate (ACAS 602/ RPAD 591/RPOS 612): This course is offered each spring. New faculty often find themselves struggling as they get started in their career. They may not have understood what the faculty role really required, or they expected their new institution to be like the research school where they received their graduate training (and so were unprepared for a different setting). This doesn’t have to happen to you. We’ll let you in on secrets about how to be a quick starter in academe—secrets that will not only make you more effective on the job market, but will set you on the path to tenure! In this course, you will examine the different kinds of faculty careers open to you, prepare for the academic job market, and put together a plan to hit the ground running as a new assistant professor ready to balance the research, teaching, and service required to start your trajectory toward a satisfying career.
- Becoming a Reflective Teacher (ACAS 603/RPAD 592/RPOS 613): This course is offered each fall. Even if you aren’t yet on the market, you should be already thinking about how you will communicate your teaching skills to busy (and sometimes grumpy) search committee members. For both the job market, and eventually for tenure, you will need to concisely articulate your values and strengths as a teacher and be ready to provide evidence to show that these guide your classroom practice. In this course, you will work with your colleagues to thoughtfully reflect on your beliefs and practices as a teacher, and work together to refine the documents that will eventually become your teaching portfolio (and serve as an initial draft of what may become your tenure portfolio!).
Future Faculty and Teaching Development Program (FFTDP)
The FFTDP is a long-term program (designed to be completed over 2+ years) to help graduate students develop the skills requisite for good teaching practice, prepare for the academic job market, and prepare for a successful transition to faculty careers. This program complements existing departmental professionalization programs that already give us some “best practices” on campus, while at the same time make it possible for students in departments that do not have such programs to prepare for the role of college or university faculty member. In addition to completion of the coursework listed above, participants attend workshops, sustain a six-month relationship with a mentor, perform service, and create and revise a teaching portfolio.
Participation is open to students who have taken at least one of the courses listed above. If you would like to learn more or are interested in completing the program, please email FutureFacultyFellow@albany.edu.