Professor speaking at the podium

First Year @ Furman Programming

The goals of the First Year @ Furman program are:

  1. To support Furman’s newest faculty colleagues via just-in-time professional development opportunities related to effective teaching and research, student learning, and designing/navigating your academic career. 
  2. To create collegial, interdisciplinary networkfor social support and future teaching, research, outreach, administrative, anservice collaborations. 
  3. To co-create community that facilitates mutual support and advocacy for one another. 

The First Year @ Furman program is designed for our newest faculty colleagues and encompasses two central elements:

1) First Year Discovery Series:

Description: A set of regular, structured learning opportunities to discover core aspects of our community, faculty roles and responsibilities, and professional support. All seminars will involve a short overview of topical information provided by guest facilitators, active exploration of specific ideas, and opportunities for questions and conversation. Often, a pre-session reading is provided. 

When 12:35- 1:20 p.m. (Common Hour) on select dates throughout the semester.  

Where:  All events for AY 2022-2023 will be held in the Trustees Dining Room (Daniel Dining Hall). Lunch is provided, so please arrive a few minutes early to make your meal selections. An option to join virtually will be available for anyone who is not able to join in person (zoom room here).   

2) Peer Mentor Circles:

Description: Four (2 per semester) guided yet informal collegial conversations in self-selected affinity groups during the academic year to share experiences, build connections, and foster mutual support. Over your career, you will develop rich relationships with colleagues who will serve as mentors for your teaching, scholarship, and personal life. At Furman, instead of assigning each new faculty member one institutional mentor, we believe in a collective approach. This involves two components: 

  1. The FDC will organize FY@F members into affinity groups based on indicated shared interests or identities. PMCs are matched with a small team of institutional mentors for ongoing informal conversations throughout the semester. Each group is expected to meet at least twice per semester, although more frequent gatherings are welcome. The FDC provides a set of discussion questions for two gatherings each semester that loosely align with FY@F seminar topics during that time period. These circles are designed to foster a rich set of colleagues from which we hope you will consult for support and comradery throughout your time at Furman. 
  2. Once per semester, we encourage each FY@F member to partner with another member of your PMC to engage in a teaching observation process that involves a classroom observation and pre- and post-observation chat. A set of prompts to support this process is available here. You may also be interested in our Open Classroom Network

When: Group determined time and day on at least 2 occasions per semester. Once groups are established, the FDC will help determine a suitable meeting time for each group and can help make facility reservations if needed. 

Where: A location of your choosing. The FDC will provide meal vouchers for campus dinning or will reimburse off-campus expenses within an annual limit. Our office can reserve the Trustees Dining Room as well if available.  

Programming dates for 2022-2023 will be announced in early fall. You might consult this handout to review program topics for 2021-2022.

First Year @ Furman Programming Dates for 2022-2023

Fall 2022 First Year Discovery Series Sessions

Stay tuned! Program dates for fall 2022 will be announced in early August.

Spring 2023 First Year Discovery Series Sessions

Stay tuned! Program dates for spring 2023 will be announced in early August.

Peer Mentoring Circle Meetings

Discussion prompts available here.

PMC Gathering One (Early September – Mid October) 

  • Key themes include Furman history, institutional and academic culture, and teaching goals and priorities. 

PMC Gathering Two (Late October – Late November) 

  • Key themes include Furman academic policies, your scholarly goals and priorities, and the Furman Advantage. 

PMC Gathering Three (Early February – Mid March) 

  • Key themes include supporting diverse learners, refining your teaching pedagogy and style, and co-curricular mentorship. 

PMC Gathering Four (Late March – Late April) 

  • Key themes include faculty service & scholarship, professional growth and progression, and maintaining balance and wellbeing. 

Peer Mentor Circle Leaders

Special thanks to our fantastic group of 2021-2022 Peer Mentor Circle leaders! 2022-2023 leaders will be announced in early August.