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Professional Development Program Description

The CfAO Professional Development Program (PDP) is a flexible, multi-year program for scientists and engineers at the early stages of their careers, with a primary focus on graduate students. All participants in the PDP attend a 4-day teaching workshop held in March 2008. (First time participants also attend a 1-day introduction, held in Nov. 2007.) Participants work on a design team during and after the workshop, continue developing skills through mini-workshops and expert consultation, and put their new teaching skills into practice. The practical teaching experience takes place in “teaching labs” — CfAO-affiliated educational programs or courses. PDP participants leave the program as highly trained, innovative, and reflective scientist/engineer educators.

The 2007—08 PDP will include 4 workshops:
      1. Re-Thinking Science Learning & Teaching (Re-SLT) - new participants, 1-day workshop, offered in Maui and Santa Cruz
      2. Experiencing and Applying Inquiry in Science Learning & Teaching I & II (X-SLT) - all participants, 4-day workshop, Maui
                  I.  New participants
                  II. Returning participants
      3. Facilitating Learners Engaged in Inquiry - all participants, 1/2-day workshop, offered in Maui and Santa Cruz

Program Timeline

The 2007-2008 PDP has a one-year participation cycle that is roughly equivalent to completing a course, but spread out over approximately 6-12 months. The timeline is as follows:

  • October 15, 2007 - Re-SLT Registration Froms Due
  • November 2, 2007 - Re-SLT Acceptance Notification
  • November 16, 2007 - Re-SLT in Maui, HI
  • November 30, 2007 - Re-SLT in Santa Cruz, CA
  • December 4, 2007 - PDP Applications Due
  • December 10, 2007 - Notification of PDP Acceptance
  • January-February, 2008 - Attend a few meetings to learn about teaching opportunities. Some pre-workshop reading.
  • March 13-17, 2008 - Attend X-SLT Workshop. All workshop sessions required (full-time commitment during workshop).
  • Spring/Summer 2008- Work on design team (total time varies)
  • May 2008 - Attend Facilitating Learners Enganged in Inquiry Workshop
  • Spring/Summer 2008- Teaching experience (total teaching time 1 day to full course, dependent on your choice)
  • Summer/Fall - Self-assessment and reflection (what worked; what didn’t; why). Submit Design & Teaching Report (2-3 pages, template provided).

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?
CfAO graduate students and postdocs
Institute for Astronomy and UH engineering graduate students
Participants in the Akamai Workforce Initiative (AWI)
UCSC grad students in science or engineering fields who can make a commitment to teaching in a PDP project
Educators involved in CfAO-affiliated education projects

What is the cost to participate in the PDP?
PDP workshops all have a registration fee, which is often waived in exchange for teaching service. The registration fees are as follows:
            Re-Thinking Science Learning and Teaching - $150
            Experiencing and Applying Inquiry Science Learning & Teaching (I & II) - $1500
            Facilitating Learners Engaged in Inquiry - $50

For most people there is no cost for the PDP, but there is a service requirement that all participants teach in a CfAO, or affiliated, project. Teaching commitments range from 1-day activities to full courses, depending upon your interests and availability. The program does not provide any salary for teaching time, although in some cases other sources cover this cost. Small grants are available to cover the costs of participation in the PDP, including workshop fees and the cost of airfare, local transportation, hotel and meals. However, applicants are strongly encouraged to find funding, or partial funding, from other sources. Everything you need to apply to the program, fee waivers, and travel awards is included on the PDP application.

What will I gain from participating in the program for a 2nd or 3rd time?
Participants are encouraged to attend for a second, third or even fourth year, with an increasing role in workshop leadership. A second, partially concurrent workshop (X-SLT II), with additional topics, is offered to returning participants. To facilitate the varied levels and interests of returning participants, we have developed a number of roles. Depending upon your role placement, you may gain experience shadowing a facilitator, leading a discussion, assessment, or other new roles defined each year. Returning students are strongly encouraged to become Design Team Leaders, leading a small group of workshop participants in the design or refinement of a CfAO-affiliated educational project.

Why is the workshop held in Hawaii?
The CfAO is involved in a range of research and technology projects that include astronomy, physics, mathematics, engineering, and vision science. Our astronomical advances, and the technology development that supports the science, rely heavily on the resources of the state of Hawaii. The CfAO is committed to increasing access for Hawaiians to the technical workforce related to telescopes, and to the development of high quality educational experiences for local students. The PDP is designed to support the development of science and technology experiences that engage all students, and increase access to the technical fields to all members of the community.

After the workshop, can my “teaching experience” be in a non-CfAO project?
Teaching in a CfAO project offers many advantages, so participants are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the supportive, accessible teaching venues offered through the CfAO. However, if you have an alternate place to teach, please contact us. We are open to ideas and interested in learning about your teaching opportunities.

For Information About the Professional Development Program Please Contact: Lisa Hunter, hunter@ucolick.org, 831-459-2416, 808-573-9542.

Last Modified: Nov 19, 2007 

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