Truman State University’s Institute for Academic Outreach is engaging in an internal solicitation of proposals for new courses supporting Truman’s Joseph Baldwin Academy for Eminent Young Scholars (JBA).
Interested Truman faculty may submit proposals for the upcoming year until mid-August.
- Complete the JBA Faculty Job Application, obtain the appropriate signatures, and submit to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions received after the due date will only be considered on a space-available basis.
- Current JBA faculty have right of first refusal for positions in the JBA schedule. New proposals will be considered if space is available. In any given year there are typically two or three new slots open.
- Factors considered in selection:
- Attractiveness of the proposed course to gifted middle school students.
- Sufficiency of the proposed content for the required contact hours.
- Fit of the proposed course within the current mix of courses (i.e.: balance of subject areas).
- Availability of the applying faculty member for a particular session or sessions (flexibility for June or July helps).
- Experience of the proposing faculty member with middle school students and/or adaptability to the age group.
- A final slate of JBA classes is set by September 1st at the latest.
- Final course titles and descriptions must be published no later than October 1st.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I hold another academic assignment during JBA?
A: JBA faculty are not permitted to hold another teaching assignment – even online teaching – when working for JBA. The teaching load is too intense and the commitment is total. Department Chairs are discouraged from working JBA during June because of Summer Orientation UNLESS they can make provisions for substitutes at orientation. Substitutes are NOT compensated for this work. Faculty on 12-month contracts are not permitted to work for JBA unless cleared by their supervisors. They cannot receive extra compensation for working JBA over and above their 12-month contract.
Q: How much does JBA teaching pay?
A: $4500 flat per session. Faculty typically only teach one session.
Q: What is the work schedule like?
A: JBA faculty must be available for the duration of their three-week session. They teach Monday-Friday 9am-Noon and 1pm-4pm and Saturdays 9am-11:30am. Classes do not meet on Sunday. Faculty have additional responsibilities that include a spring evening orientation meeting in April, a brief meeting with their undergraduate preceptors (student assistants) the Friday before the session begins, a parent meet-and-greet the Saturday of check-in, a Sunday evening mixer with students the first Sunday of the session, and a Friday reception with parents and students the evening of the last Friday of the session. Faculty also must complete written evaluations of their students in the week following the completion of classes. Faculty cannot be absent or arrange substitutes for their classes unless for emergencies. They cannot leave their classes to be run by their preceptors.
Q: Wait, seriously? 6 hours of teaching per day?
A: Yes. This is an intense experience. That said, these are middle school kids. We recommend lots of breaks and lots of active learning experiences. Straight lecture will fall flat with this audience. Therefore, most of our faculty punctuate each morning or afternoon with two short breaks or one long break. Group exercises, projects, debates and discussions, excursions on campus and in the local community break up the monotony. Affordable field trips are encouraged where feasible and appropriate to the subject matter.
Q: What’s a preceptor?
A: Preceptors are undergraduate students you nominate and our staff screens. They are your teaching assistants in class and they help with JBA programming and activities outside of class. Preceptors must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, clear a criminal background check, clear a driving test, and complete first aid and CPR training and exams. We ask you to nominate 3 or 4 preceptors in the fall and we will assign you the best two or three (depending on class size) after interviews in February. We prefer a mix of males and females, if possible, to help with residence hall supervision and mentoring.
Q: How do students keep up with the work load?
A: Students have a Study Hall each night (slightly less than 90 minutes) that is organized by the preceptors and is held in your classroom. Outside of Study Hall, however, they don’t have a lot of homework and reading time, so you want to make allowances for this in your budgeting of class time. Many faculty use class time for reading, research, and other study activities.
Q: Can I use textbooks?
A: Yes, but be reasonable. These are smart kids, but not college students yet. They are also paying close to $2,000 in tuition to attend. We like to keep textbook costs to a minimum. We also sometimes need to add a surcharge if a class is doing a lot of field trips or has equipment to purchase.
Q: Can a non-Truman faculty member work for JBA?
A: Our goal is to use Truman faculty whenever possible. However, some subjects have experienced a shortage of available faculty and we do occasionally bring in Truman alumni to teach when needed. We are not currently soliciting outside applications at this time.
Q: Do I have to submit to a background check?
A: Yes. Currently anyone associated with a program serving school age children needs to have a background check. These are not routinely run on university faculty, so JBA faculty will need to complete the procedure at least once.
Q: How do I best prepare a proposal?
A: We recommend reading the JBA website’s current listing of courses as a framework for selecting a title and writing a course description. Because of the targeted audience, you want to make the class have “youth appeal.” You want the course to sound exciting, fun, and challenging. You don’t want it to sound like a course catalog description.
Q: How are students selected for my class?
A: Students are nominated by their school principal or counselor based on standardized test scores and grades. Once they have completed an application that includes essays, a letter of recommendation, and transcripts, a computer algorithm assigns students to faculty for consideration based on their course preferences and other factors. Faculty are provided with an initial list of 30-35 of the top students interested in their courses. Faculty select 20-25 students they are prepared to accept along with a short list of alternates. Students are then offered a slot in the course. If they decline the slot, alternates are offered the slot. If slots still remain after an established deadline, waitlisted candidates are considered and faculty are consulted before placement. Thus, acceptance to JBA is largely in the hands of the faculty. The review process typical unfolds in February and March and files are examined electronically. If more than 23 students are in a course, a third preceptor is assigned to the class to help with the larger load.
Q: Do my kids get preferential placement consideration or discounts if I teach for JBA?
A: No. Unfortunately, the faculty-staff discount does not apply to non-credit programs at the university. We also do not provide preferential treatment for children of faculty, staff, or alumni in admission to JBA. Despite rumors to the contrary, we also do not preference children of non-faculty/staff for recruitment purposes. Everyone completes the same process on a level playing field – regardless of the their family connections, JBA family legacy, or Truman alumni status.