Towards Establishing a Training Program to Support Future CS Teaching-focused Faculty

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2024-03-07
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ACM
Abstract

Computer Science programs have seen high enrollments in recent years, which contributed to widening the capacity gap. One way to address this problem is to hire more teaching-focused faculty at both research and non-doctoral granting institutions. Although this kind of hiring has already been taking place in several institutions, PhD-granting CS departments have not been able to produce enough PhDs to meet the increasing demand, especially for PhD holders with interest in - and capacity for - teaching. In this paper, we describe our experience with the initial phase of building a training program within our (large, land grant, R1) institution, targeting graduate students interested in pursuing an academic teachingfocused career in CS. Through a semester-long set of meetings, conversations, and activities, we worked with participants on improving their teaching skills and applying effective pedagogies in the classroom. At the end of the semester, we surveyed participants about the value of those meetings to them, ideas for improvement, and perspectives for future directions. Most participants rated the meetings positively in terms of content relevance and usefulness, and the opportunity to connect and interact with other participants and invited faculty members. We also discuss the lessons learned and best practices, which can be widely applied by other departments looking to better prepare their graduate students for a CS teaching-focused faculty position.

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