In addition to the four Midwest Faculty Seminar Programs, the MFS, hold an additional program, The Preparing Future Faculty Seminar once each year. At this program, rather than examining another text or research topic, we invite faculty from the colleges – both those who have visited one or more of the seminars, and those who have not yet attended a seminar - to discuss with advanced graduate students, how they integrate new learning into their teaching and investigate with their audience moments of pedagogical change- on the level of the course, the curriculum or the program – and to explain what motivated that change, how these changes were intended to support student learning and how they actually impacted student learning. In other words, invited college teachers were asked to ‘think out loud’ about their pedagogy in the context of some concrete question or project, in order to make pedagogical analysis more transparent to beginning instructors.
Listening to experienced educators helps our graduate students understand the expectations of an undergraduate program at the departmental level, and its connection with the institutional mission. They began to understand the role of faculty in such endeavors, what goals it aspires for its students to achieve, and how to begin preparing for such challenges.
In addition to the Preparing Future Faculty Seminar, we invite faculty to speak with our graduate students at informal luncheons during our four regular MFS programs. Six faculty participants volunteer to meet with 12-14 graduate students interested in careers at liberal arts colleges during the lunch break on the first day of the program.