How to Facilitate a First Year Seminar

First Year Seminars: Background

The First Year Seminar (FYS) program offers small, interdisciplinary, active, inquiry-based, and learner-centred courses that help students transition from high-school to university. Students engage with contemporary issues and ideas, in an inclusive and welcoming environment, with peers from across the university. Instructors are facilitators who help students take responsibility for their own learning. Students develop foundational academic, and personal skills that will benefit them beyond their time at the UOG.

FYS facilitators are UOG Faculty, Post-Doctoral Scholars, Doctoral Students, Staff, Senior Administrators, and Sessional Instructors. They bring their passion and experience to a dynamic and active classroom environment.

These courses have been offered at the UOG since 2003.

FYS are offered in the Fall and Winter semesters.

As always, we give thanks to our generous donors for keeping this program strong!

Please find application and FYS documents at the bottom of the page under Attachments.

 

 

From the Director:

Dr Andrea Buchholz, Acting Director, First Year Seminars
Professor, Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition

Andrea has taught over 6000 undergraduate and graduate students, including those in First Year Seminars.  She has been recognized for her teaching and educational leadership and is a 3M National Teaching Fellow.  Andrea is a big fan of First Year Seminars for students and instructors. Email her at fys@uoguelph.ca to find out why!
 

Previous Offerings:

 

Why Facilitate a First Year Seminar?

First Year Seminars (FYS) provide instructors the opportunity to explore creative, innovative, and unconventional topics in the context of a small class (max twenty-two students), using active learning pedagogy. Looking to recharge your teaching? Consider a FYS!

How to Apply:

UOG Faculty, Retired Faculty, Professors Emeriti, Post-Doctoral Scholars (teaching as part of post-doc contract): Non-CUPE Applications

A call for applications from UOG Faculty, Retired Faculty, Professors Emeriti, Post-Doctoral Scholars (teaching as part of post-doc contract), will be sent out by department Chairs and college Deans in the Fall and Winter semesters for the following academic year.  

To facilitate a FYS in F23 or W24, the deadline to apply is 9:00AM on Fri Sept 23, 2022.

Application Procedures

Submit the following documents as a single pdf to fys@uoguelph.ca

  1. First Year Seminar NEW or RETURNING Course Application
    • NEW Course Application if you are proposing a new FYS course.
    • RETURNING Course Application if you have previously facilitated a FYS and are proposing the same FYS course.  Please append a revised course outline.
    • Both applications can be found at the bottom of this page under First Year Seminar Forms and Applications.
  2. CV
  3. Teaching dossier: teaching philosophy; evidence of teaching effectiveness which may include student evaluations of teaching and/or letters and/or other evidence of teaching competence; teaching and learning training; and any other teaching-related information you feel may be relevant.
  4. UOG Faculty: your department Chair and Dean will need to approve your facilitating this course. You are strongly advised, therefore, to gain their approval before submitting an application. Approval can be in the form of a letter(s) included with your application.

 

Sessional/Staff: CUPE Applications (3913, Unit 2)

If there are openings in any given semester, they will be publicly posted as CUPE work assignments on the Sessional Lecturer Work Assignments website.  Openings for the Fall semester will be posted late in the prior Spring/early Summer to be available for course selection; openings for the Winter semester will be posted late in the prior Summer/early Fall.

Application Procedures

Upload the following documents as a single pdf to the Sessional Lecturer Work Assignments website:

  1. First Year Seminar Course Application
    1. NEW Course Application if you are proposing a new FYS course.
    2. RETURNING Course Application if you have previously facilitated a FYS and are proposing the same FYS course.  Please append a revised course outline.
    3. Both applications can be found at the bottom of this page under First Year Seminar Forms and Applications.
  2. CV
  3. Teaching dossier: teaching philosophy; evidence of teaching effectiveness which may include student evaluations of teaching and/or letters and/or other evidence of teaching competence; teaching and learning training; and any other teaching-related information you feel may be relevant.
  4. UOG P&M staff are required to secure approval from your department head/supervisor prior to you facilitating a FYS course. You are strongly advised to gain their approval before submitting an application.  Approval can be in the form of a letter included with your application.

 

For ALL CUPE 3913 (Unit 2) Applicants (whether new or returning)

Please upload the above documents as a single pdf and submit with your CUPE application on the Sessional Lecturer Work Assignments website

Application Assessment

Applications will be assessed primarily on the strength of the course proposal/outline and overall fit with the First Year Seminar program:

  • Course learning outcomes, Instruction and Assessment including constructive alignment and alignment with University of Guelph undergraduate learning outcomes. What active and learner-centred teaching and learning activities do you propose?
  • Learning culture (classroom environment/vibe): Consistent with needs of first year learners, inclusive environment, strategy(ies) to foster responsible engagement with possibly sensitive topics.
  • Overall fit with FYS program: catchy course title and description; innovation and uniqueness (not offered or available from any department/program); interdisciplinarity (at least 3 disciplines incorporated, one from each of three UOG colleges); balance between academic rigor and creativity/dynamism; positioning of self as facilitator.

Assessment of applications will also consider applicants’ degree; post-secondary teaching experience; teaching and learning training; teaching effectiveness; and other relevant experience.

Course selection is consistent the NEW Letter of Understanding (First Year Seminars) which starts on p. 16 of the CUPE 3913 (Unit 2) Memorandum of Settlement.

 

Teaching and Career Development Fellowships (2023-2024)

Applications for the First Year Seminar Teaching and Career Development Fellowships are invited from doctoral students who are passionate about teaching and learning and new pedagogies.  The Fellowships are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies and are tenable in the First Year Seminar Program. The Fellowships, developed in cooperation with CUPE 3913, provide doctoral students the opportunity to design and facilitate a First Year Seminar.  Applications will be accepted from individuals, and teams of two are encouraged. 

Eligibility
Students registered in any doctoral program at the University of Guelph.  

Application Procedures
Applications for a FYS Teaching and Career Development Fellowship include:

  1. A completed Teaching and Career Development Fellowship Application.  The application can be found at the bottom of this page, under First Year Seminar Forms and Applications.
  2. A two-page curriculum vitae (one for each applicant in the case of a team) focused on teaching philosophy, teaching experience, and teaching and learning development (courses, workshops, webinars, etc. on teaching and learning).
  3. A letter from your department Chair/Director confirming: a) your enrolment status (semester of study; full-time or part-time); your funding status during the semester in which you would facilitate the FYS; and c) that you will have access to conventional resources such as office space and printing/photocopying.
     
  4. Submit as a single pdf to fys@uoguelph.ca by 9:00AM on Mon Feb 6, 2023. This deadline is firm.

Application Assessment

Each application will be assessed primarily on the strength of the course title and description, course learning outcomes, instruction and assessment including constructive alignment and alignment with University of Guelph undergraduate learning outcomes.  Other course assessment criteria include the learning culture and overall fit with the FYS program.  Applicants will also be required to outline their teaching philosophy and experience, including engagement in their own teaching and learning development.  Applications are reviewed by the First Year Seminar Advisory Committee. The Committee may elect to conduct interviews with short-listed applicants at a time of mutual convenience.


Important Information:

Intellectual Property
Submissions by applicants remain the intellectual property of the applicants.

Term of Appointment

Four, one-semester Fellowships are available for the 2023-2024 academic year.  An additional two, one-semester Fellowships are available for doctoral students who would be beyond semester 12 of full-time studies and without funding during the semester in which they would facilitate the FYS.

Applicants must indicate whether they wish to teach in the Fall 2023 or Winter 2024 semester.

Remuneration
This assignment will be remunerated according to the Collective Agreement or Employee Group that applies to your employment status. Please note that this position is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3913 (Unit 2) Collective Agreement and does not carry a Right of First Refusal.

Advisory Committee

The First Year Seminar Advisory Committee reviews FYS applications. They do important work and keep the spirit of inquiry, innovation and interdisciplinarity alive in our program.

Members of the Advisory Committee include:

  • Acting Director: Andrea Buchholz, Professor, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
  • William J. Bettger, Associate Professor, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences
  • Justine Tishinsky, Instructor, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences
  • Kira Cheer, Undergraduate student and former FYS student, Animal Biology
  • Arielle Ramnath, Undergraduate student and former FYS student, Biological Sciences

Contact

Questions about your FYS idea or the application process can be directed to the Acting Director of First Year Seminars, Dr. Andrea Buchholz, at abuchhol@uoguelph.ca.

 

FYS 2023-2024 Application Submission Checklist
 

Applicant Category

Application*

CV*

Teaching Dossier*

FYS Course Outline*

Letter of Approval*

Submit to

Due date

UOG Faculty, Retired Faculty, Professors Emeriti, Post-doctoral Scholars (where teaching is part of post-doc contract)

NEW or RETURNING FYS Course Application (whichever applies)

Yes

Yes

No

  • Yes, from dept Chair and College Dean

fys@uoguelph.ca

 

9:00AM Fri Sept 23, 2022

 

Sessional Instructors proposing NEW FYS

NEW FYS Course Application

Yes

Yes

No

Yes (UOG dept head/supervisor)

Sessional Lecturer Work Assignments website (note: application to CUPE posting also required)

TBD

Past FYS Sessional Instructors proposing SAME FYS

RETURNING FYS Course Application

Yes (updated)

Yes (updated)

Yes (updated from immediate past offering)

Yes (UOG dept head/supervisor)

Sessional Lecturer Work Assignments website (note: application to CUPE posting also required)

TBD

Teaching and Career Development Fellowship applicants

FYS Teaching and Career Development Fellowship Application

2 pages, focusing on teaching philosophy, experience and development (one for each applicant in the case of a team)

No

No

Yes, from Dept Chair/Director confirming: a) your enrolment status (semester of study; full-time or part-time); your funding status during the semester in which you would facilitate the FYS; and c) that you will have access to conventional resources such as office space and printing/photocopying

fys@uoguelph.ca

 

9:00AM Mon Feb 6, 2023