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Application and Selection Process

 

The Selection Process

Generally, a student may ask a faculty member to sponsor his or her application to the Ford Teaching Fellows Program.  Alternatively, a faculty member may approach a student and encourage him or her to apply for the Teaching Fellowship.  Together, the faculty mentor and the student will submit to the Ford Teaching Fellows Selection Committee a proposal in which they as a team propose a program suitable to their own discipline and goals. The Selection Committee generally allows four weeks for proposal development and writing.

Applications are available from the Director of the program, Dr. Zach Musselman, and are due in his office the first week of March each year to be considered for the coming fall semester.  Late applications will not be considered by the Selection Committee.

There are four components to the Ford Fellowship application:

  • A description of the teaching responsibilities the Ford Fellow will assume.  The description should indicate the class, or classes, in which the Fellow will participate, the anticipated responsibilities of the candidate, and how the faculty mentor will provide support and guidance. This part of the application is to be completed by the student in close consultation with the mentor.
  • A description of the research and/or scholarly activities in which the Ford Fellow will be engaged.  There is a wide variety of possible formats for these activities.  A faculty mentor may supervise a formal research project and allow the student to earn college credit for this activity.  Or the faculty member and student may share in a less-structured reading program in which intellectual enthusiasm is shared.  The description should indicate not only the anticipated responsibilities of the candidate but also how the faculty mentor will provide support and guidance, and whether college credit will be earned.  This part of the application is to be completed by the student in close consultation with the mentor.
  • A statement by the student explaining why he or she believes the Ford Teaching Fellowship is a good personal opportunity.  Since the committee member may not know each one of the applicants, it is important to provide enough information to help them make their decisions.
  • A statement by the faculty mentor describing why he or she wishes to be a mentor to this particular student.

A committee working with the director of the program will select the class of Ford Teaching Fellows each academic year with the following criteria in mind:

  • The potential of the student as a future college professor.  The essays which the student and mentor submit with the application should, therefore, address this issue.
  • The evidence that a close working relationship between faculty sponsor and student will be forged during the Fellowship year.  The committee realizes that an informal program may be as valid as a highly structured proposal.  Therefore, the committee will attempt to consider each application on its own terms, but will be searching for evidence that the student and mentor have already begun to fashion a partnership.
  • The promise of the proposed program as a suitable apprenticeship for teaching and scholarship; the committee seeks well thought-through proposals.
  • The commitment by both student and faculty sponsor to participate in the program.
  •  Commitment to participate in all activities, including a half-day retreat and the Director-Fellow Seminars (held twice per semester).

The Ford Fellowship Program and the Honors Program

The Ford Fellowship Program and the Honors Program may draw upon the same students, but the goals and aims of each are distinct:

  • The Honors Program is a three-course commitment for the student.  A participant in the Ford Program, however, may receive variable academic credit. Ford Fellowships may range from 1 to 4 hours in the fall and spring semesters. 
  • Honors is a research and scholarship program for the first two semesters.  The Ford Program is committed not only to research and scholarship, but also to providing a significant involvement of the student in a teaching experience.
  • Honors requires a thesis.  Research and scholarship undertaken in the Ford Program do not necessarily result in a research paper.
  • Students who hope to be accepted into both programs should think carefully about the time commitment required for each program.