Faculty Fellows Program
As part of VCU’s Quest for Distinction, funds have been designated for experienced service-learning faculty to participate in the Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program. This program is designed to:
- cultivate faculty leadership for the civic engagement aspect of the university mission by increasing understanding of current service-learning research literature.
- support faculty development by advancing community-engaged research and the scholarship of teaching and learning, and
- increase departmental and campus support for service-learning and community engagement by developing a cadre of master teachers in service-learning.
Application Deadline and Notification
Applications are received each spring, and notifications are made in early June for the following academic year. For additional details on applying, contact Dr. Lynn Pelco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Deadline for 2013-2014 is May 1, 2013 at 4 p.m.
The VCU Service-Learning Faculty Fellow Program supports faculty who have experience in teaching service-learning classes to improve, document and disseminate their mastery of service-learning to others. Fellows are appointed for one year with the potential of extending their appointment for one additional year. Second-year fellows must apply and be accepted.
Each Fellow is expected to:
- update at least one service-learning course.
- produce scholarly products related to their service-learning initiatives.
- provide formal and informal service-learning training to VCU peers and/or community partners.
VCU Service-Learning Faculty Fellows will receive $2,700 for their participation in the first year of the fellows program. The second, optional, year is compensated at the level of $1,500. Continuing fellows must apply and be accepted. These amounts can be transferred to an academic department for course buy-out or for professional development, or can be received as two lump sum payments for summer salary (Note: 12-month employees may not receive summer salary).
All faculty, including tenure-line, collateral, clinical and adjunct appointments from all academic units at VCU with at least two semesters experience using service-learning, are eligible to apply for the Service-Learning Faculty Fellows program. It is expected that each year’s fellows group will include two first-year and two second-year fellows.
Schedule and Expectations
Fellows are expected to participate in an orientation meeting during the first month of the academic year. The meeting provides an opportunity for Fellows to meet each other, review the program goals, overview each Fellow’s goals and develop a schedule for the year.
Faculty Fellows Learning Community:
The Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program runs from September 1 to August 31. All Fellows are expected to participate in four, two-hour Faculty Learning Community (FLC) meetings throughout the year to discuss progress on the Fellows’ service-learning teaching, scholarship and dissemination goals. Faculty Fellows will have assigned tasks, and the expectation is that adequate preparation will be completed prior to each FLC meeting. These two-hour meetings are designed to support Fellows’ accomplishment of their program goals, inform Fellows of internal and external resources and create professional networks to advance service-learning and civic engagement at VCU.
Activities related to teaching:
Each Fellow will work throughout the year to revise and improve at least one of their service-learning courses. In particular, Fellows will be expected to focus attention on improving the strategies/tools they use to assess their students’ learning outcomes and/or the community impact of their course.
Activities related to scholarship:
Each Fellow will be expected to complete at least one scholarship product during the fellowship year. The Service-Learning Office staff will assist Fellows in finding outlets for their scholarly service-learning products. Co-authored products are encouraged, particularly those that include student and community partner co-authors. Fellows may work collaboratively with each other on scholarship products.
Activities related to dissemination:
Dissemination to Faculty Peers: Fellows will be expected to support the expansion of service-learning course offerings within their own departments or schools through presentations to faculty and/or individual- or small-group consultation. Each Fellow will create a calendar that describes how and when the Fellow plans to provide these presentations/consultations.
January & May Service-Learning Mini-Institute Participation:
Twice each year, the VCU Service-Learning Office presents a two and half-day Mini Institute to introduce faculty, administrators and graduate students to service-learning pedagogy. Each Fellow will be expected to contribute to the planning and delivery of these two faculty training events.
Service-Learning Spring Workshop Participation:
Once a year, the VCU Service-Learning Office presents a half-day Spring Workshop for experienced service-learning instructors. The goals of the workshop are to build VCU service-learning instructors’ expertise in using service-learning pedagogy and to provide these instructors with an annual opportunity to network with each other. Each Fellow will be expected to contribute to the planning and delivery of this professional development event.
Due on or before October 1: Each Fellow is required to provide the VCU Service-Learning Office staff with a brief (two to three page) action plan report that includes a narrative and timeline that overviews the fellow’s plan for disseminating service-learning information to campus and/or community members.
Due on or before August 1: Each Fellow is required to provide the VCU Service-Learning Office staff with an end-of-year report that includes:
- evidence of their scholarly products and works in progress
- description of dissemination activities completed (e.g., your contributions to the service-learning institutes/workshop, service-learning trainings/consultations you conducted within your unit)
- an updated service-learning course syllabus.
The goal of the VCU Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program is to involve faculty from a wide-range of disciplines. Evaluation of applications will be based on the following criteria:
Service-learning teaching goals:
- Experience to date in teaching service-learning classes.
- Assessment and/or evaluation of service-learning class to date.
- Plans for improvement of at least one service-learning class.
Service-learning scholarship goals:
- Alignment of the Faculty Fellows program to the applicant’s professional scholarship goals.
- Plans for disseminating service-learning work through publishing and/or presenting.
Service-learning dissemination goals:
- Plans for disseminating service-learning expertise at VCU and/or in the community (community partner, academic unity and/or department).
- Availability to assist with Service-Learning Mini-Institutes (see above).