Through the Lead Graduate Student Fellowship program (Lead Network), the CTL supports discipline-specific teacher training activities in seven schools and colleges and in over 45 graduate programs on the Boulder campus. The 2021-2022 academic year marks the 29th year of the Lead Network. With well over 1000 former Leads across the globe, the Network continues to create an impact both inside and outside of higher education.
The call for applications to the Lead Network are sent out to department chairs and graduate directors in early January each year. Each department has its own selection process. The CTL does not accept self-nominations for participation in this program.
Graduate students participating in the Lead Network receive a stipend and engage in five aspects of improving graduate student support in their disciplines and across campus.
Graduate students are researchers, teachers, students, campus leaders and have personal lives outside of the walls of the institution. Academic management provides these Leads with the opportunity to add a service component that reflects their ability to give back to their department, their college or school, the CTL and the campus community. Learning to balance all of their responsibilities is a skill that is developed through this program.
With the help of each other and CTL staff, Leads design and implement one small project to improve teaching and learning in their department, college or school. Projects include creating a bank of resources for a commonly taught course, co-teaching a seminar on college teaching, and creating an informal mentoring program. Leads work closely with the CTL on managing expectations and creating a timeline for completion of this project. Leads are also asked to create and facilitate a discipline-specific workshop that takes principles that they learn and applies them with a disciplinary context.
Leads are asked to facilitate up to four Video Teacher Consultations (VTCs) during their time with the CTL for other graduate students within or outside of their programs. The VTC process is a non-evaluative, peer observation in which teachers are taught a scaffolded self-reflection around their own perceptions of their teaching. Leads are trained on the process early in the fall semester. Two VTCs are required for anyone pursuing the Certificate in College Teaching.
Through the Lead Network training after commencement in May, participating in workshops through the CTL, and engaging in discipline-specific work, Leads are immersed in learning more about their own teaching. They develop new vocabulary and are able to observe others teaching across campus. As graduate students who have been identified by their programs as leaders, they are asked to come forward with their successes and challenges as teachers. The CTL helps hone skills that Leads can bring back to their departments to continue to improve graduate student teaching and, by extension, undergraduate education.
During the initial May training, Leads self-select into groups of four to discuss an interdisciplinary workshop that they design and facilitate for the CTL during the following academic year. Previous workshops have included Transitioning from a Teaching Assistant to a Graduate Part-Time Instructor and Creating an Inclusive Classroom Culture.
For more information regarding the CTL Lead Graduate Student Fellowship, please contact your current department Lead or Preston Cumming, CTL Professional Development Lead, at firstname.lastname@example.org.