Mentoring workshop, upcoming classes, final requirements: A Recap

Subject: Mentoring workshop, upcoming classes, final requirements: A Recap

Hi everyone,

Thanks, first of all, to Group Four for yet another incredibly rich, full, tantalizing, stimulating class.

Second, thanks to everyone in advance for your cooperation in the study that Janey and Deborah are doing.  Because this class is being watched so carefully, we are trying to understand as much about what works, what doesn’t as we can.  Your participation, and that of your students, will help ensure that we make the most of this first, experimental year, and learn from it next year.

Third:  Mentoring Workshop.  Undergraduate Arrangements:  The two-day mentoring workshop for up to 30-40 undergraduate students will be held August 18 and 19.  Thanks to generous assistance from CUNY Central, we will be able to offer each of the undergraduates who participates $200 and a metro card for the two days and, in addition, they will be able to list on their resumes that they were selected to be part of this very special peer mentoring program.

The commitment they make, by participating, will be to helping next year’s cohort of some 1500+ undergraduates in Futures Initiative courses or, in some cases, they might serve as peer mentors in courses they completed successfully themselves this year.  For example, I think that some of the pre-Chemistry students might well be interested in mentoring next year’s pre-Chemistry courses, a great way of really learning the material, and important if they want to pursue a career in the health professions.

From the 30 or so in the workshop, we will also choose about 8-10 “team captains” (we need a better title:  ideas?) who will help to pair the mentors with students or courses or faculty where student mentoring is needed.   The team captains will receive $500 per semester to do this and they might do such things as organize study skills sessions, syllabus calendaring sessions, tool mastery sessions, or other activities.

You can tell your undergraduates that applications will be available online around April 28 and the application swill be due May 8 and the 30 students selected will be announced at the May 22 celebration and reception.   The application won’t be onerous but it will be thought-provoking and will underscore the idea that mentoring others is the best way to mastery.

Graduate Arrangements:   We also have enough funding to offer approximately five graduate students in our class funds to organize, prepare materials, and then conduct the Mentoring Workshop.   Futures Initiative Fellows will also be involved in helping to orchestrate this event.   A stipend of $700 will be available to each graduate student who serves as a Leader of the Mentoring Workshop—and something for the CV too, of course.     We hope to have the application for graduate Mentoring Leaders available on the same time frame as the undergraduates.

Fourth:  Final projects:  We know you have worked incredibly hard to design a remarkable, unique course for all of us and that you have worked exceptionally hard to bring all this to your undergraduates this semester.  Therefore, we want the final project to be a summary,not a whole a complete research paper.  A final project consists of a syllabus embodying the principles the four groups brought to the class for an existing or a new course is the main element.  And then a list of blogs you’ve written or some public summary of what you did in your class and how it worked.   In other words, write a summary that others in the general public can learn from.

Fifth:  As we mentioned, May 5 and 12 will be all about debriefing from the semester, discussing what needs to happen for the May 22 reception, and in all ways focusing on wrapping up an incredibly bold semester.  We listened to what you said in the excellent, thorough, thoughtful mid-semester evaluations and we want to ensure that we end with substantive work that focuses on you, what you still need to know and do to make this course useful to you for the rest of your career—and a source of pride on May 22.

I think that is everything. Thanks again for another great session!


Cathy and Bill


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309