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December 2019

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December 2019

In chapter 4 of Pedagogical Partnerships: A How-To Guide for Faculty, Students, and Academic Developers in Higher Education, we discuss the importance of supporting student partners in establishing contact with their faculty partners and getting the partnership off to a good start.

Below is a version of the message Alison sends to first try to match up faculty and student partners, and following that is a version of the email message she typically sends to student partners once all of them have been assigned to faculty partners.

Message to Plan for Student-Faculty Matches: 

Hi All,

I hope your summer is off to a good start! I have now heard from all faculty who will be participating in Fall 2019 SaLT partnerships, and I writing to you to begin the process of matching up student consultants with these faculty participants.

I have created a Google doc with every participating faculty member’s name, course, time the course meets, and thoughts on what they want to focus on with their student consultants. The link is here.

Please put your name in the box after EVERY time slot you have available. Please do not mark only the courses that interest you or are most convenient for you.  This matching process requires flexibility, so indicate ALL the possible times you are available.

Remember that the focus of your partnership is pedagogical issues, not subject matter, so you do not need to feel that you are grounded in the subject matter of these courses. Indeed, many consultants feel they do a better job in courses for which they are not familiar with the content.

As you fill in the table, keep in mind that you do not need to attend all class meetings of a course. You need to attend ONE of your faculty partner’s class meetings each week (i.e., you could attend the Tuesday OR the Thursday section of a course that meets Tu/Th). So please specify for each faculty member if there is a particular day you can or cannot attend his/her class.

Also, be sure to include travel time in your calculations if you are a Haverford student, for instance, and you indicate that you can observe a course that meets at Bryn Mawr (or vice versa).

Feel free to add notes such as “I have taken this course” or “My studies in the Math Department would enhance my ability to participate in this partnership” or “I am available at this time but in the past my mind has frozen up every time I have been in a situation in which creative writing is involved” or whatever additional information might help me in trying to create the best matches possible.

Please fill in the table as soon as you can so I can begin the rather long and complex process of matching faculty and students for partnerships.

Also, we will need at least one and probably more additional student consultants, so if you know anyone who would be a good fit for this role, please send me their names.

Thank you for reading this long message and for replying promptly!

Alison

Message Once Student-Faculty Partners Have Been Matched:

Hi All,

I have now heard from everyone, and we are ready to proceed with planning for Fall 2019 partnerships.

Please read carefully through this entire email message, as there are important actions that I am asking you to take, including the following (all explained in greater detail below this list). It is important that you take these actions in a timely way:

  1. Read the Guidelines for Working with Faculty Partners (posted at the top of the landing page on Moodle organization called “TLI Student Consultants Fall 2019” in which you are all enrolled as “Teachers.”)
  2. Contact your faculty partner to set up an initial meeting (see instructions below)
  3. Complete the Doodle poll for our weekly consultant meetings (if you have not already done so, please do this ASAP; the Doodle poll is set up to represent a sample week during the Fall semester); our meetings will be weekly for one hour and you are required to participate in only one of those per week.
  4. Let me know if you can attend a Student Consultant Orientation on Wednesday, September 6, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

*   *   *

  1. Before you contact your faculty partner, please be sure to (re)familiarize yourself with the requirements and expectations of the role of Student Consultant included in the guidelines I sent you as part of the original application process and that are now posted on Moodle (an updated version). Keep in mind that these are guidelines, not prescriptions. They have been useful to Student Consultants and faculty members as they construct partnerships. If you think straying from them would be appropriate, please check with me before doing so.
  2. Contact your faculty partner to set up an initial meeting. Please send a professional message (sample below) and be responsible in maintaining email contact with your partner throughout the semester. A list of faculty names and email addresses is at the end of this message. If you cannot meet with your faculty partner before the first session of his or her course, you and your faculty partner need to decide if you will observe that first session or not. If your faculty partners do not respond right away to your initial email message, it may be that they are out of email contact. Try again closer to the beginning of the semester.

Below is a sample message that you can use, filling in your own information (and adding your own personal touches, if you like).

Use as the Subject line: “Your TLI Student Consultant for the Fall 2019 Semester.”

IMPORTANT: Please cc me on this initial message you send to your faculty partner (just this initial one, not subsequent messages or those you exchange throughout the semester) so I know everyone has been in touch.

Dear Professor [Fill in Last Name],

I hope you are well. I am a [sophomore/junior/senior] majoring in [fill in major] at [fill in college], and I will be working as your Student Consultant during the Fall 2019 semester through the Students as Learners and Teachers (SaLT) program, which is part of the Teaching and Learning Institute (TLI) at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. I would like to schedule a meeting with you during or before the first week of classes so that we can establish an initial focus for our work together, discuss my role, and talk about how I will be introduced to your class. I will be available [fill in days and times]. Please let me know which of these times might work for us to meet.

I very much look forward to working with you this coming semester.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

*   *   *

  1. In order for us to find weekly meeting times for the Student Consultant meetings, complete the Doodle poll [at this link]. Be sure to click on the button that says “Show all 50 options.” Please add your name and click on ALL possible times that you can participate in Student Consultant meetings in the Fall (and I do mean all, not just those you would prefer or that would be most convenient; it is challenging to find a common time!), then click “Save.” As you can see, there are a lot of you, and we will not be able to find a time that works for everyone, so we will need to have several meetings per week (again, you are required to attend only one of these). But I need to know all the possible times you have available because finding a common time is a challenge even for fewer people.
  2. I will hold an orientation for Student Consultants on Wednesday, September 6, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. This is useful for both experienced and new Student Consultants, so I urge you to attend if at all possible. Please let me know if you can be there (even if only for part of it).

 

SaLT Partnerships for Fall 2019

For each pair, list the following:

  • Name of faculty partner
  • Email of faculty partner
  • Department of faculty partner
  • Name of focal course
  • Meeting time of focal course
  • Name of student partner

I’ve very excited to work with all of you this coming fall!

Alison