University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Early Career Program

“I always walked away from the small group meetings with some new ideas I could implement in the classroom immediately...”

“As a result of the program, I improved class planning, include active and cooperative learning, and have more fun teaching.“

The Early Career Teaching Program is designed to assist faculty members and instructional staff early in their careers to develop and enhance their teaching skills and establish a foundation for a lifetime of creative and engaging teaching. Participants attend monthly workshops facilitated by master teachers at the U who will model and teach about a variety of effective pedagogical styles and methods. Participants also work one-to-one and in interdisciplinary small groups with one of the resource teachers (RTs), chosen because of their recognition as superior classroom teachers and their commitment to mentoring others. Participants devote approximately three hours per month to program activities.


This program is designed for faculty and instructional staff who are in their first five years of teaching at the University of Minnesota and who are responsible for teaching at least one course while enrolled in the program.

Program Agenda

  1. Meet in monthly large group workshops with all program participants to explore important aspects of teaching theory and practice.
  2. With your RT, identify specific pedagogical goals and strategies you want to address to enhance your own teaching.
  3. Meet monthly with your RT and a small group of other participants for in-depth discussion of topics related to teaching that you and your colleagues select.
  4. Acquire a collection of resource materials on teaching that will be useful throughout your career.
  5. Have classroom teaching observed once by your RT and other small group program participants to provide constructive, non-judgmental feedback.
  6. Receive a stipend upon completion of the program by attending all large and small group meetings (with 2 absences or fewer).

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be working with colleagues from my academic discipline?

To provide a comfortable environment for talking about teaching, each small group is interdisciplinary and your Resource Teacher and small group peers will probably be from other academic fields. The monthly program workshops involve all participants, which could include colleagues from your field.

How much time will it take?

This program is designed to work within the scheduling constraints of busy academicians while providing substantial benefits for your teaching. Participants learn how to be more effective and efficient teachers; many faculty participants have found that the program actually makes teaching more fun and less stressful. In addition, department heads or deans are asked to release participants from some service obligations during the academic year of participation.

When do the workshops and meetings take place?

2015-16 Academic Year

St. Paul campus participants for the 2015-16 academic year will meet at the following dates/time:
Large group - Wednesdays, 3-4:30 p.m., in 120 Coffey Hall, on Sept. 16, Oct. 14, Nov. 11, Jan. 20, Feb. 17, Mar. 23, and Apr. 20
Small groups - Wednesdays, 3-4:30 p.m., at a East Bank building location determined by the small group on Sept. 23, Oct. 21, Nov. 18, Jan. 27, Feb. 24, Mar. 30, and Apr. 27

East/West Bank campus participants for the 2015-16 academic year will meet at the following dates/time:
Large group - Tuesdays, 3-4:30 p.m., in Suite 400 UOP Room 444, on Sept. 15, Oct. 13, Nov. 10, Jan. 19, Feb. 16, Mar. 22, and Apr. 19
Small groups - Tuesdays, 3-4:30 p.m., at a East Bank building location determined by the small group on Sept. 22, Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Jan. 26, Feb. 23, Mar. 29, and Apr. 26

What is the history of this program?

This program, funded in its first six years by the Archibald Bush Foundation, is now an integral part of the University of Minnesota and reflects its commitment to recognizing and fostering successful classroom teaching. More than 600 faculty members from all sectors of the University have participated in the Early Career Teaching Program since its inception in 1991, creating a community of scholars/teachers committed to establishing an inclusive and effective learning environment in our classrooms.

Register for the Early Career Teaching Program