Undergraduate Teaching Newsletter
  1. Recertification of CLE and WI courses. Faculty teaching CLE and WI courses should expect to be contacted about the procedure for re-certifying CLE and/or WI courses. Courses that were the first to be certified will be the first ones to be reviewed and courses certified fall 2010 or later will be exempt from the process.
  2. If you are planning to propose a new course, you’ll find information about the process on the CBS website.

    Click on RESOURCES FOR CBS FACULTY + STAFF, then click on Undergraduate Teaching Resources, found on the left side of the page, then on Teaching in CBS, and you’ll find links to New course development and New course approval.

    If you are thinking about offering a new course during Spring Semester 2013, it must be presented to EPC at the October 19th meeting in order to appear on the class schedule. Registration for Spring 2013 begins on November 13th. At this late date, room assignments will be limited and possibly less than ideal.

    Please feel free to contact Jean Underwood, jmunder@umn.edu, if you have questions about the process and timeline.
  3. The SMART Learning Commons offers both one-to-one tutoring and group tutoring options. Tutoring is available in many subjects with math and most specifically calculus being the course in which students are most likely to seek tutoring. Locations include Wilson, Walter and McGrath Libraries.  For more information go to SMART.umn.edu.
  4. National Academies NorthStar Summer Institute for Undergraduate Science Education (NANSI) was held at the U of M during the week of June 11th. Fifty plus biology educators from Midwest universities spent a week learning and thinking about biology education and then they developed a teachable unit as a final project. NANSI is one of several regional week-long summer institutes sponsored by the National Academies of Science and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

    The goal of these Summer Institutes is to transform biology education at research universities nationwide by improving classroom teaching and attracting diverse students to majors and careers in science.  The institute embodies three core themes: active learning, assessment, and diversity. These themes are modeled throughout the week. Participants experience active learning in each workshop and in sessions with their team; assessment is embedded in the daily action plans; and diversity is modeled by using a variety of teaching methods and orientations.

    NANSI will be held again on campus next summer during the month of June. Think about joining your colleagues for a week focused on the art and science of teaching. 
  5. There’s a new website for staff and faculty that provides a one-stop for information/resources related to undergraduate education, www.undergrad.umn.edu. Curriculum initiatives, advising support, office of undergraduate initiatives, reports, and policies are included on the site.
  6. All U of M incoming students have been provided the opportunity to take the StrengthsFinder instrument. Fall 2012, 5193 students took the assessment.
  7. The NSF Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation grant to increase the number of under-represented minorities who earn STEM degrees was renewed for another five years.  For the initial grant, the goal of doubling the number of graduates was achieved. The goal for the next five years is to once again double the number of under-represented minorities who earn STEM degrees.
  8. If you have concerns about behavior or mental health of students in your classes, the University Counseling and Consulting Services (UCCS) is available to consult with faculty and staff.  A helpful website outlines their services, www.uccs.umn.edu.
  9. A new Campus Curriculum Committee has been established.  Each college has two faculty representatives. “The Campus Curriculum Committee coordinates and supervises the content and teaching of the Core Curriculum; provides general supervision over the undergraduate curriculum; and reviews proposals for new concentrations and revisions to existing ones” according to the Undergrad website.