Proposals for University Courses Due November 22nd
by Derek Bruff, CFT Director
I am excited to announce that the Center for Teaching is the new home for Vanderbilt’s University Courses program. This program was launched by the Provost’s office in 2016 to encourage and support “cross college” teaching, one of the cornerstones of the Vanderbilt Academic Strategic Plan. Over the last three years, the program has featured 16 University Courses on such topics as historic black Nashville, healthcare disparities, design thinking, and artificial intelligence. These courses have been taught by 37 faculty representing all of Vanderbilt’s colleges and schools.
I have been impressed with the vibrant interdisciplinary partnerships the program has fostered, as well as the creative and experiential teaching strategies used across the program. I’m looking forward to working with current and future University Courses faculty as they practice interdisciplinary team teaching and engage students in deep learning. I’m also excited about the possibilities of connections between the University Courses program and other Center for Teaching activities, such as our annual Celebration of Learning and course design institutes.
The University Courses program will see a few changes as it moves to the Center for Teaching. The selection process will be streamlined to feature one faculty committee instead of two. Faculty with newly approved University Courses will be required to participate in Center for Teaching course design services. There will be a new minimum enrollment of 10 students for courses to run and receive program support. The funding model is changing, as described on the University Courses website, but the University Courses program is still an incredible opportunity for faculty to receive support for innovative and effective teaching.
The call for proposals for the next cycle of University Courses is now available. Applications are due Friday, November 22nd, via InfoReady. The selection committee, whose membership will be announced soon, will approve up to three new University Courses for 2020, each of which will be funded for three offerings over a five-year span. If you’re a Vanderbilt faculty member interested in interdisciplinary team teaching, please take a look at the call, or reach out to me to discuss your ideas for a new University Course.