Revamped GT 1000 Seeks Instructors
GT 1000, Georgia Tech’s first-year seminar course, supports the retention and success of first-year students. The course meets one hour a week and is taught by faculty and staff volunteers. The Center for Academic Enrichment revamped the course last year and is looking for instructors for fall. March 29 is the deadline for instructor applications.
“Starting last summer we instituted a new curriculum for GT 1000, which now has more streamlined learning outcomes focusing on holistic student development as well as a reduced number of assignments for the class,” said Lacy Hodges, assistant director for the Center for Academic Enrichment. The changes are based on student surveys and a self-study.
Hodges said GT 1000 now asks students to be more self-reflective in thinking about their interests and what they want to accomplish as Tech students, as well as how Georgia Tech can help them achieve their goals.
The class has three projects:
- A team project with emphasis on collaboration and leadership (involving identification of personal strengths and appreciating the strengths of others).
- An academic plan outlining the student’s path from first semester to graduation (including classes as well as co-curricular and extracurricular activities).
- Career exploration (including options for various majors and resume writing).
On average, GT 1000 needs about 120 instructors every fall. GT 2000, a similar course to help incoming transfer students adjust to Tech’s curriculum and campus culture, usually has 10 instructors. The Center for Academic Enrichment is accepting instructor applications for both courses until March 29.
The GT 1000 instructor role is a volunteer position, and applicants must have approval from their supervisor. To be a solo instructor, a Tech faculty or staff member must have earned a master’s degree or higher. Staff with bachelor’s degrees may apply to co-teach with an instructor who has a master’s degree. Applicants must have at least one year of service as a Tech employee. Classes usually have a maximum of 20 students. Each instructor is assigned a team leader (TL), an upperclass student who helps facilitate the class.
“We are looking for people who are committed to helping first-year students succeed and become part of the Georgia Tech community,” said Hodges. She estimates the total time commitment for instructors ranges from two to four hours per week, including the 50 minutes of weekly classroom time.
All instructors receive one full day of training, which will be held June 11 this year. The center partners with the Center for Teaching and Learning and other groups across campus to give instructors, particularly those new to teaching, strategies for working with students and managing the classroom.
For those interested in becoming an instructor, an information session will be held March 5, from 11 a.m. to noon, in Room 205-Q of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons.
Teaching is Rewarding
Faculty and staff who teach GT 1000 often say the course allows them to interact with students in a way that they normally would not.
“It’s a different environment,” Hodges said. “It’s a way for students to get to know faculty and staff better, and for faculty and staff to get to know students a little better. The interaction can only bring our community closer together.”
Sandi Bramblett agrees with Hodges. She answered the call for instructors and taught her first GT 1000 class in Fall 2003 when it was called Psyc 1000 — and she has taught nearly every year since.
“My team studies student success, and I thought it would be neat if I could make those studies come alive. It also would be a good service to give to Georgia Tech,” said Bramblett, assistant vice president for Institutional Research & Enterprise Data Management.
She co-taught her first class with a former research analyst, Leslie Hamm.
“It was great. We had five members of the women’s basketball team in our class. The class was a combination of engineering majors, business majors, and students from the Ivan Allen College. And I recall we had great team leaders, too,” she said.
Bramblett prefers teaching with a partner. Last semester, she co-taught with Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, and Jennifer Herazy, associate provost for operations and chief of staff.
“Having a partner helps to provide a different perspective on teaching the course,” she said. “Dr. Bras was awesome with the students, especially on current events and at setting the boundaries for the course. Dr. Herazy was very practical regarding what the students needed to know, especially about resumes and working in teams. I handled the academic plan and career research areas. All three of us brought guest speakers in to cover co-curricular activities. I just can’t imagine doing this without a partner.”
Teaching the course is very rewarding for Bramblett. She said it is important for students to have someone who knows who they are, and for students to know that someone is in their corner. That is one of many reasons she encourages faculty and staff to apply to be an instructor.
“If you’re on the fence about teaching, just do it for one semester and see what happens,” she said.