Published: Aug. 11, 2020

This new collaborative program between the two institutions looks to ultimately improve teaching across the state

Students completing their PhDs at the University of Colorado Boulder are now eligible for a newly formed postdoctoral teaching fellowship at Fort Lewis College (FLC) in Durango, Colorado.

The new program, titled CU@FLC, is a teaching-focused partnership between CU Boulder and FLC. The hope is that this collaboration, which began its pilot year on July 1, will not only benefit current students and faculty at each institution, but future students and faculty across the state and nation.

“This is a bridge program for postdocs to transition out of being a student to being an educator,” said FLC Provost Cheryl Nixon. “This program is designed for those who are interested in teaching at a teaching-focused institution, getting mentorship and learning more active, experiential pedagogy with us, and who have a true desire to work with our diverse students.”

Departmental leaders from CU Boulder will be encouraged to nominate up to one person per department. To be eligible, students will have had to have completed their PhD defense by the end of May. Candidates for the teaching fellowship should show an interest in mentored teaching and professional development in teaching, at an institution that is representative of the changing demographics of teaching and different types of learners.  

There is excitement about CU@FLC because of its potential to impact the teaching landscape across the State of Colorado and beyond, both in the short- and long-term."

“The program is based on the premise that colleges and universities of the future will be significantly different than they are today. Being able to successfully teach students with varied learning styles and from diverse backgrounds as a college or university faculty member is important and will continue to be,” said James White, interim dean, and Theresa D. Hernández, associate dean for research, from CU Boulder’s College of Arts and Sciences, the CU home of this partnership, in a joint statement. Adding, “There is excitement about CU@FLC because of its potential to impact the teaching landscape across the State of Colorado and beyond, both in the short- and long-term.”

According to university documents, CU@FLC postdoctoral teaching fellows will:

  • Be mentored in teaching, in and outside of the classroom, as well as within FLC teaching and research laboratories.
  • Be mentored in pedagogical best practices by being invited into on-going FLC teaching initiatives, such as teaching using inclusive pedagogies for diverse learners.
  • Be mentored in research within or related to their disciplinary field by FLC faculty.
  • Learn about and be involved in FLC student resources.

The CU@FLC partnership also progresses the state’s higher education goals for collaboration across institutions and workforce development.

“CU and FLC are working together to strengthen each other, to build an even stronger state system that connects our teaching college with a research university,” Nixon said. “We’re connecting in a way that helps our Colorado graduates prepare for the workforce and find employment.”