Mar 11, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
Georgia Tech’s First-Year Seminar (GT 1000) and Transfer Student Seminar (GT 2000) are taught entirely by faculty and staff volunteers, with upperclassmen serving as team leaders (TLs). The instructor application deadline for Fall 2018 is Wednesday, March 28.
The primary goal of GT 1000 is to support the success and retention of first-year students. Each section of the 1-credit course — there are about 100 every fall and a handful in the spring — meets an hour a week and is taught by either a faculty member or a staff member who has earned a master’s degree or higher. (Staff with bachelor’s degrees may apply to co-teach.) Each instructor is assigned a Team Leader (TL), an upper-class student who helps to facilitate class sessions.
Class sizes typically top out at 20, and GT 1000 sections are themed around academic discipline, special populations, campus programs, and topics relevant to first-year students at Tech. GT 2000, which was first offered to transfer students in Fall 2016, serves a similar role for incoming transfer students each fall and spring, helping them to adjust to Tech’s rigorous academic curriculum and adapt to campus culture.
Most sections are led by staff members, noted Lacy Hodges, who serves as the assistant director of the Center for Academic Enrichment and directs the GT 1000 and 2000 programs.
“Faculty have a teaching load already, but a lot of staff members might not have an opportunity to work closely with students,” she said. “GT 1000 and 2000 give them that opportunity.”
For faculty who teach GT 1000 and 2000, the classes offer a more intimate, discussion-based approach, Hodges said. “They can have a different relationship with the students,” she said. “It can be a way for both the faculty and students to get to know each other in ways they’re not able to in other classes.”
The curriculum is guided by specific learning outcomes — each student must design an academic plan toward graduation, explore career options, and complete a team presentation — but beyond that, there’s “a good bit of leeway,” Hodges said. “We really encourage instructors to take the temperature of their class and see what their students are interested in.”
TLs serve as an additional contact point for first-year students and help shape their experience by facilitating small group discussions and offering mentoring in and outside of class.
All new and returning GT 1000 and 2000 instructors are required to participate in a teaching workshop over the summer. TLs receive a half day of training in April. As for time commitment, in addition to class time, there are generally several hours of weekly preparation involved.
“Teaching GT 1000 is an amazing way to meet incoming students and puts faculty and staff in a position to influence students’ first year at Georgia Tech,” said Karen Yiu, coordinator for Student Diversity Programs and the GT 1000 Instructor of the Year in Fall 2017. “I particularly enjoy GT1000 because it is an avenue for providing college literacy for students as they navigate a new environment. The smaller class size allows for a combination of social development with academic coursework.”
Yiu also noted the balance between the curriculum guidelines and the opportunity to put a personal stamp on the class and accommodate the group’s specific needs.
“There is flexibility in adapting the curriculum, and through the class, I’ve been able to provide resources such as tutoring and resume workshops to help students succeed, but I also provide a space where students have been able to talk about struggling in their classes, their mental health, and normalize what may be taboo,” she said.
To learn more and apply for this year, visit gt1000.gatech.edu, or attend an information session on Thursday, March 15, at 11 a.m. in Clough Lounge (Suite 205, Clough Commons).