The Collegium of University Teaching Fellows (CUTF) is an innovative program that creates unique learning opportunities for both graduate students and undergraduate students on campus. Through the program, some of UCLA's very best advanced graduate students have the opportunity to develop and teach a lower division seminar in their field of specialization on a one-time only basis. This experience serves as a “capstone” to the teaching apprenticeship, preparing them for the academic job market and their role as future faculty. At the same time, undergraduates enrolled in CUTF seminars have the chance to take courses that are at the cutting edge of a discipline and to experience the benefits of participating in a small-seminar environment.
The CUTF funds 19 undergraduate seminars each year, allowing graduate students the opportunity to teach undergraduate, general education seminars on topics related to their dissertation research. The popularity of the program has enhanced the competitiveness of the selection process and thus the prestige of having a seminar selected. It has become increasingly difficult to choose from among the departmentally pre-screened proposals submitted to the Faculty Advisory Committee each year. Applications are welcome from students in all UCLA graduate programs. Students are required to be advanced to candidacy before the start of the Fall quarter in the year that they teach, and must have 6 quarters of teaching assistant experience or a comparable equivalent to qualify for the Teaching Fellow appointment. Appointments at the Associate Level will be considered by exception. Fellows teach their seminars in either the Winter or the Spring and are paid a stipend and receive fee remissions and insurance in the quarter in which they teach.
The CUTF offers unique opportunities to both graduate and undergraduate students. Graduate instructors may offer lower-division courses on topics close to their research interests and assume the class management responsibilities that are commensurate with those that they will face as new assistant professors. Moreover, the CUTF prepares them for their classes through a required training seminar taught by Dr. Kumiko Haas from the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Dr. Christopher Mott from the English department. This seminar, given in the Fall quarter preceding the undergraduate offerings, brings fellows together as teaching colleagues to discuss syllabus preparation and classroom strategies. The combination of the training and the undergraduate seminars provide an invaluable experience for the soon-to-be university instructor.
The CUTF offers undergraduates stimulating and interesting seminars that significantly broaden the range of topics students may explore in satisfying their general education requirements. Also, the students are exposed to young graduate researchers as teachers who can communicate the excitement and the challenges of intellectual exploration. Student evaluations of the seminars have been consistently high and the courses continue to be fully subscribed.
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