The Yale Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is a highly collaborative hub on campus. In our mission and day-to-day service, we take pride in the number of people and initiatives we connect internally and externally to foster teaching and learning excellence across Yale. The work of Strategic Group 3 (SG3) incentivized and prompted further outreach and collaboration. We forged new or stronger connections with offices and people that serve underrepresented groups (URGs) in STEM. Our local work through the CIRTL INCLUDES SG3 initiative has included the following: (a) mapping campus resources to raise awareness of connections, (b) conducting a needs assessment of URG graduate students and postdocs, and (c) expanded CTL relationships with campus units serving URG graduate students and postdocs.
The campus resource mapping exercise prompted identification of local campus offices, groups, and units that specifically support URG graduate students and postdocs as defined by race, gender, and ability. The needs assessment survey tools provided a mechanism to approach these units, which increased our capacity to better understand perceived needs and serve URG graduate students and postdocs across Yale. The Graduate and Postdoctoral Teaching Development team in the CTL is committed to building relationships with new partners across campus through ongoing conversations, collaboration on programs, and data transparency.
The needs assessment survey for URG students yielded input from students and postdocs who have not previously used our support and, signals to our constituency that we believe individual identities and representation in STEM fields is important.
As a member of the SG3 initiative, Yale’s CTL also benefits from support analyzing the needs assessment data and sharing outcomes in the SG3 community. In this way, we are currently following up with students who responded to the needs assessment survey in their campus organization cohorts to report on the ways that we are committed partners to support skill development in teaching, research mentoring, and undergraduate advising.
Summary of Needs Assessment Results
We have gathered 67 survey responses from graduate students and postdocs (n=66 in STEM and n=1 in humanities). Graduate student respondents predominately report aspiring to faculty and teaching careers with most interest in baccalaureate institutions and research moderate (M1-M3) institutions, followed by community colleges and R1 institutions. Overall, postdocs report similar needs with the exception of career aspirations. Not surprisingly, postdoc respondents aspire almost exclusively to faculty and research careers.
Both groups feel that teaching professional development is more important than development in research mentoring and undergraduate advising. For a significant portion, developing skills for the interview process is a priority equal to skill development. There was mixed familiarity with campus resources that support teaching and research mentorship professional development ranging from high familiarity and use of CTL workshops and no familiarity with campus resources. We conclude that concerted outreach to advertise CTL and Yale-CIRTL resources is needed.
CIRTL INCLUDES SG3-Prompted Relationships with URG-Serving Units
At Yale, relationships with local communities that were initiated through our SG3 participation are:
Office for Graduate Student Development & Diversity (OGSDD), Yale Graduate School
The OGSDD supports diversity and inclusion across the graduate school including Title IX training and reporting, a multi-tiered mentorship program, and paid fellowships for graduate students. The Director for the OGSDD also oversees the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society and annual conference hosted at Yale. Through SG3 initiated conversations, many opportunities for partnership and collaboration with the OGSDD office have materialized. First, Kaury Kucera the Yale-CIRTL Program Director and Associate Director for Graduate and Postdoctoral Teaching Development, was invited to serve on the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Climate and Inclusion Committee in Fall 2017. Discussion of CTL and CIRTL opportunities for graduate students during these committee meetings has already garnered interest for expanded professional development across the graduate school. Second, Kaury Kucera asked to be part of the hiring committee for the an OGSDD Assistant Director who will focus, in part, on cross-campus collaborations and support for graduate students working in the OGSDD office. We anticipate that the CTL will partner with OGSDD graduate student fellows and staff to bolster inclusive pedagogy and support development of teaching and mentorship for groups working on climate and social equity.
Yale Minority Research Network (YMRN)
Through monthly forums, the YMRN provides mentorship and community to graduate students, medical students, postdocs, and faculty who are racially underrepresented in the biological and biomedical sciences at Yale. Through SG3 initiated conversations, the Director for Minority Affairs in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program at Yale agreed to host a CTL and Yale-CIRTL information event for YMRN members. We intend to hold this session in spring 2018.
Women in Science at Yale (WISAY)
WISAY is a volunteer organization founded in 1999 that promotes and supports women in STEM. The WISAY Mentorship Program pairs more than 100 members each year who commit to mentor and mentee relationships. WISAY distributed the needs assessment survey to its members and cross-advertises CTL inclusive teaching workshops through their newsletter. We look forward to sharing CIRTL programming about gender and persistence in STEM fields with WISAY.
Yale Postdoc Association
The Yale Postdoc Association is a volunteer organization that supports postdocs at Yale through professional development and networking opportunities. Yale postdocs are increasingly aware of, and using, CTL and CIRTL cross network resources. For example, during Fall 2017, the CTL hosted a large LinkedIn workshop event to help postdocs develop their social presence for the job market. Data from the postdoc needs assessment survey allows us to further refine how we approach and meet the perceived needs of postdocs across disciplines at Yale.
CIRTL INCLUDES SG3: Additional Campus Impacts
In addition to expanding our local network, membership in SG3 has yielded indirect positive impacts. For example, in discussion with campus leaders we have advertised CIRTL and branded Yale-CIRTL more broadly. Through SG3 conversations about process and decision making using a collective impact model, we have developed stronger connections with other CIRTL member institutions and SG3 campus leaders outside of in-person meetings. Finally, our needs assessment data highlighted the lack of existing campus professional development support for undergraduate advising. In partnership with SG1, we have integrated activities from their curriculum for undergraduate advising programs into our semester-long pedagogy course for STEM graduate students and postdocs and our four-week workshop series for research mentorship training.
CIRTL INCLUDES SG3 – Next Steps at Yale
In the next phase of the INCLUDES project, Yale-CIRTL will continue to build partnerships and relationships to these and other (?) URG serving offices across campus. In the immediate future, we hope to strengthen our relationship with the Resource Office on Disabilities at Yale and learn more about the specific professional development needs of our students and postdocs with diverse abilities. We have a variety of mechanisms to distribute the faculty needs assessment, which might enable greater contact with URG faculty, especially as it relates to the reputation and visibility of the CTL and Yale-CIRTL as an organization committed to serving students and postdocs who identify specific needs related to URG status or identity.
Yale is proud to be a member of the CIRTL Network and INCLUDES SG3 involvement exemplifies the many ways that our membership benefits our programming, campus reach, and ability to learn from colleagues nationally.
Prepared by Kaury Kucera, January 2018