Theme: Why am I Here, Again? Students and Instructors Finding Purpose, Identity, and Belonging in the Classroom (Online)
Hosted by the BMCC-Hunter Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Bridge Initiative
Having returned to the classroom amidst multiple ongoing pandemics, how can we better integrate our students’ evolving identities, needs, and motivations to attend college in our teaching practice? How have our roles changed as instructors, and how do our own identities inform our teaching experience?
This January, the BMCC-Hunter AANAPISI Bridge Initiative (ABI) invites BMCC and Hunter colleagues from all disciplines to participate in an online seminar series focusing on students’ sense of purpose and belonging, and racial/cultural experiences in college. Research has demonstrated the powerful connection between positive student outcomes (i.e. GPA, retention, and graduation times) and college teaching activities that connect to students’ identities, race, purpose, and sense of belonging, particularly for first-generation college goers, BIPOC students, and students from immigrant and otherwise underserved communities.
This seminar asks us to explore in what ways we can better catalyze our students’ sense of connection to our course content, their own identities, and each other through meaningful teaching activities, while also working to meet our own professional and personal demands. The seminar’s approach draws from the experiences of the Hunter College AANAPISI Project (HCAP), which has developed a model of identity affirmation, personal motivation, and community building that centers Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) students.
The seminar begins by focusing on Asian American identities in the U.S. and accompanying college experiences, connecting these stories with our students’ experiences in the classroom. Other session topics will include student classroom experiences, student health and wellness, pedagogical interventions for centering purpose and classroom engagement, and other inclusive teaching practices. Through guided discussions, guest speakers, and small group discussions, participants will learn, discuss, and reflect on their students’ experiences, as well as how they can support their students through various teaching interventions that consider identity, race, purpose, and belonging.
Then, as a final project, participants will apply what they learned by creating and sharing their own teaching innovation (e.g. class activity, assignment/project, teaching tool, etc) for a course they plan to teach in Spring 2023 or later. Program staff will be available to discuss various teaching tools to support participants’ projects as well. This project will ultimately become part of a public database of teaching resources that incorporate student identity, race, and purpose. To view examples of previous Faculty Seminar Projects, visit the Faculty Projects Website here.
Participants who attend all sessions and complete a teaching innovation for a future course will receive a stipend of $500.
Why should I participate?
The BMCC-Hunter ABI Faculty Seminar Series offers busy faculty a jump-start in creating or re-creating activities and materials for future courses. More specifically, faculty will:
1) learn more about the stressors and backgrounds of students at their CUNY institution;
2) learn evidence-based teaching practices to support students of Color;
3) practice new tools that improve learning outcomes and cultivate belonging and motivation within their classroom;
4) engage in professional development with their colleagues across disciplines and institutions.
When is it, Where is it, and How will it work?
We will meet a total of six times, all on Zoom. We begin with a kick-off and introduction session in December 2022. We then meet four times over the course of 2 weeks in January 2023. Later in the spring, we’ll meet once more for a Reunion and check-in to share our projects and innovations. In between sessions, participants will engage with each other through an online discussion forum.
More details below.
- Kickoff: Wednesday, 12/14, 11-12:30pm
- Session 1: Tuesday, 1/10, 1-3:30pm
- Session 2: Friday, 1/13, 1-3:30pm
- Session 3: Tuesday, 1/17, 1-3:30pm
- Session 4: Friday, 1/20, 1-3:30pm
- Late March/Early April TBD: Mid-semester Reunion and Check-In
What am I expected to do?
Seminar Participants will be expected to:
- Identify and reflect on various student experiences in the classroom, especially with respect to differences in racial and cultural experience, immigration stress, and financial need;
- Reflect on one’s own racial and cultural background, as it relates to identity and purpose as an instructor;
- Create/design one or more teaching interventions (e.g. class activity, assignment/project, teaching tool, etc.) for a specified course that incorporates student sense of purpose, culturally relevant pedagogies, and student racial/cultural identities;
- Participate in small-group discussions, provide/receive feedback for incorporating student experiences into the classroom;
- Attend all 4 seminar sessions in January, an introductory Kick-Off Session in December, and a Reunion Session in March/April.
How do I apply?
If you are a full-time faculty or part-time/adjunct faculty at Borough of Manhattan College or Hunter College, you are eligible to participate! You do not have to be assigned to teach in Spring 2023, but you should plan to work on a course and teaching activities that you expect to teach at Hunter or BMCC in the future.
To apply, complete the form here: https://bit.ly/W23FSS
We have extended the application deadline to Monday, November 21. We will accept up to 20 participants for this seminar. We hope to create a cohort from a diversity of disciplines, teaching experiences, and a mix of part-time and full-time faculty. All applicants should demonstrate an interest in the themes of identity and race as they apply to teaching. We will be offering similar opportunities in the Winter and Summer as part of a 5-year grant.
Please email Dr. Marcia Liu at Hunter (ML2138@hunter.cuny.edu) or the AANAPISI Bridge Initiative at BMCC (email@example.com) if you have questions.
Who is organizing the BMCC-Hunter ABI Faculty Seminar Series?
This seminar series is part of the BMCC-Hunter AANAPISI Bridge Initiative (ABI), a collaborative program focused on high-need AAPI college students. The program is funded by a five-year U.S. Department of Education / Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) / Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Title III Part A Cooperative grant. This work builds from the Hunter College AANAPISI Project (HCAP), a program also supported by AANAPISI grant funding. Our work conceptualizes the student experience as essentially motivated by personal identity, including racial and cultural identity, as well as students’ sense of purpose and meaning. The BMCC-Hunter AANAPISI Bridge Initiative seeks to foster a greater sense of belonging for the BMCC and Hunter AAPI student community, while increasing understanding of AAPI student needs amongst faculty and staff at both colleges.
Faculty Seminar Series Planning Committee
Marcia Liu, Asian American Studies (Hunter), HCAP Mental Health Specialist, and FSS Co-Facilitator
Soniya Munshi, Ethnic and Race Studies (BMCC), ABI Program Co-Coordinator, and FSS Co-Facilitator
Paul McPherron, English (Hunter), HCAP Principal Investigator, and FSS Co-Facilitator (on sabbatical AY 2022-23)
Gina Cherry, Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (CETLS) Director, BMCC