Would you like to share your knowledge with others and give back to your college community? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to teach at Rutgers? Are you interested in a challenge or want to improve your presentation and public speaking skills? If so, you should consider applying to be a FIGS Peer Instructor (PI).
Our PIs feel that the experience of teaching a college course has given them a unique connection to their academic fields, to their peers, and to Rutgers University. Peer Instructors engage their students through thought-provoking discussions, topical area debates, hands-on experiments, and lessons about college success while simultaneously enhancing their own leadership skills, public speaking abilities, and teaching techniques. Past PIs have shared that their experiences with the FIGS program provided them with the skills and confidence they needed to succeed in their future professional endeavors.
Due to budget restraints, we will only be hiring a limited number of Peer Instructors for a select group of topical areas for fall 2021. Half of our peer instructor class that was selected to teach for Fall 2020 had their positions deferred to Fall 2021. As a result, we will not be recruiting for the following topics for Fall 2021: Careers in the Sciences, Communication, Criminal Justice, Dental Professions, Theater. Please note while we are not accepting applications for the Careers in the Sciences FIGS, we are still accepting applications for other science FIGS such as Health & Medicine, Exercise Science – Kinesiology & Health, Chemistry, etc.
More information can be found below and in our information packet.
Virtual Information Sessions:
Attend an information session to learn more about the position and selection process and hear from FIGS staff and former PIs. Several information sessions will be offered in December and January. Interested students are encouraged to attend to learn more but attendance is not required to apply. Information session dates will be held virtually on Zoom during the following dates and times:
- Friday, December 4 at 10:30AM
- Monday, December 14 at 3PM (Reading Day)
- Friday, January 15 at 9AM
- Tuesday, January 19 at 4pm (1st Day of Classes - Spring 2021)
- Students are required to register for an info session on Handshake and will receive Zoom sign-in information prior to the session.
Qualifications to be a FIGS Peer Instructor:
Peer Instructors must be full-time juniors or seniors (at least 54 credits) at the beginning of the fall semester that they teach a FIGS course. Candidates must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (3.2 preferred) at the time of application and at the end of the spring semester before the fall they teach. All PIs must attend the required training sessions and enroll in one of the three sections of Peer Instructor Education (01:090:320).
Training and Curriculum Development:
Peer Instructors are prepared for their role in the classroom through ongoing training and professional development, starting with a PI Orientation program held in April. During orientation programs, new Peer Instructors will meet their fellow PIs and learn about the history and goals of the FIGS program.
Peer Instructors also participate in two mandatory Summer Institute sessions. Summer Institute I is a two-day training event held in May. Immediately following finals, it provides PIs with the tools needed to create their curricula over the summer. During the next few months, PIs develop their unique FIGS courses utilizing the nine required elements and seeking advice from Senior Peer Instructors and their faculty mentors. Summer Institute II—held Monday through Wednesday during the week prior to the start of fall classes—will cover classroom management, administrative logistics, and teaching techniques.
Our April orientation and May training programs will be offered in a virtual format. Decisions about whether August training will be held virtually or in-person will be made as we know more about COVID challenges and the status of Rutgers classes/programs/housing for fall 2021. A student staff training for all students who work in Career Exploration and Success will also be held on Sunday, August 29 (Time TBD).
Enrolling in the three-credit Peer Instructor Education course is also a requirement of the PI position. This course, meeting once a week in the fall semester, allows for ongoing support and reflection on the teaching experience. Three sections of this course are offered so that Peer Instructors can arrange their schedules to accommodate the class.
Benefits of Being a FIGS Peer Instructor:
At the Office of Career Exploration and Success we believe that teaching a college course is an incredible professional development opportunity for any Rutgers student. Whether you’re planning to study law, practice medicine, work as an engineer, become a counselor, or enter the world of business, teaching a FIGS gives you the skills necessary to succeed in your field. Past PIs have described writing about their time in a FIGS classroom in graduate school applications, talking about their experience in job interviews, and using lessons learned from their FIGS successes and challenges in the world of work. Your experience will help you develop the most highly sought-after professional skills that employers are looking for, like:
- Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: developing meaningful lesson plans, adapting plans to a classroom in real time
- Time Management and Organization: coordinating details like a budget, supplies, copies, and guest speakers
- Communication: practicing public speaking, writing official emails to students on behalf of the program, creating handouts
- Leadership: managing group dynamics, facilitating effective activities
- Work Ethic & Professionalism: maintaining accurate class attendance records, grading student work, receiving professional feedback on performance, serving on the Peer Instructor interview team for 2022
- Global and Intercultural Fluency: creating a community of respect, leading discussions on diversity
- Digital Technology: overseeing official course site on Sakai, developing and using media
Peer Instructors receive a stipend of $1250 and 3 credits for the Peer Instructor Education course they enroll in during the fall they are teaching their FIGS course. Students are responsible for any applicable taxes.
Application and Virtual Interview Process:
The deadline to apply for fall 2021 Peer Instructor positions is Noon EST on Friday, January 22, 2021. A completed application includes submission of both the online application and the recommendation form. The recommendation form should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org directly from the recommender. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
All applicants are required to have a recommendation form submitted on their behalf from a Rutgers faculty member or professional staff member. While we prefer recommendations come from Rutgers faculty or staff, we will also accept them from previous professional supervisors. Any requests for non-professional staff members (e.g. previous FIGS instructor, RA, etc.) must be pre-approved by emailing your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The recommendation forms should be emailed to email@example.com directly by the recommender.
Applications will not be considered if a recommendation form is not received by Noon EST on Friday, January 22nd.
Virtual Group Interview
After an extensive application review, a select number of candidates will be invited to participate in the first stage of our interview process, our virtual group interview. These interviews will be offered on Friday, February 12, Saturday, February 13, and Sunday, February 14. All candidates will hear from us either way by end of day on Friday, February 5th. Select candidates will receive an email prompting them to select an interview time during that weekend. This interview provides the FIGS staff with the opportunity to see each student’s leadership, presentation, and facilitation skills in action. Candidates do not need to prepare anything in advance for the group interview.
Virtual Individual Interview
A limited number of candidates will be selected to participate in virtual individual interviews in February and March. These interviews allow a candidate to discuss their interests, skills, and experiences with several members of the selection committee. During this interview, candidates are also asked to facilitate a ten -minute teaching demonstration covering a concept related to their topical area.