In the spring and summer of 2011, the Teaching Academy created a new program—The Teaching Academy Fellows Program—to promote excellence in classroom instruction by mentoring early-career faculty. Each academic year, 15-20 early-career (1-3 years) faculty (both tenure track and non-tenure track) are selected as Teaching Academy Fellows (TAF) for the academic year. Teams of four or five fellows work closely with two award-winning senior Teaching Academy faculty mentors throughout the year.
The program gives fellows an opportunity to reflect on their teaching and build their instructional toolkits at an early point in their careers; it also helps them build bridges across campus, mentor their peers, be mentored by senior faculty, and network with award-winning educators at UGA. The TAF Program (TAFP) is a low-cost, effective program that helps early-career faculty become better teachers. Each year the fellows are asked to complete a survey assessing their involvement with the program. The feedback is overwhelmingly positive, praising in particular the difference that the program has made both to their teaching and to their quality of life in the academic community.
The program is coordinated by UGA’s Teaching Academy with support from the Office of the Provost and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The mission of the Teaching Academy is to promote and celebrate excellence in teaching and to foster learning through inquiry. The Fellows Program specifically addresses the Academy’s goal of fostering a community of scholars who are committed to teaching by working with a select group of early career faculty to discuss teaching.