Ways of Knowing – Freshman Scholars Institute
The Freshman Scholars Institute (FSI) is an intensive seven-week summer program for invited incoming first-year students, hosted by Princeton’s Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity. In 2023, in response to incoming students’ different needs, FSI will be offered both in-person and online.
FSI in-person offers a cohort of entering students the chance to experience the intellectual, co-curricular, and social life at Princeton prior to the beginning of the fall semester. Participating students are a diverse and motivated group of first-generation and/or low-income scholars who have been invited to the program in order to nurture their demonstrated potential as scholars and leaders. During FSI, Freshman Scholars have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Princeton’s intellectually vibrant culture through seminar-style course and lab courses, and to engage with their fellow scholars in a variety of co-curricular, community-building activities. By experiencing early the many resources that Princeton has to offer, Freshman Scholars have the chance to prepare themselves to be future campus leaders and peer mentors.
Overview of Position
Seminar Leaders for FSI in-person come from a range of disciplines to teach “Ways of Knowing” (WOK), an innovative, interdisciplinary critical thinking, reading, and writing course. Under the guidance of Dr. Andy Hakim, Seminar Leaders will work closely with their colleagues to prepare students to be young scholars at Princeton. Responsibilities include:
- Attending FSI Faculty Orientation in late May. (dates TBD)
- Participating in weekly all-faculty planning and check-in sessions on Thursdays during the semester. These sessions ensure fair and common standards across the curriculum and provide consistent student experience across sections.
- Reading and watching all asynchronous material for each class week prior to each week’s all-faculty planning meeting, and preparing materials for precept.
- Attending weekly Colloquium dinner talks every Wednesday during the semester.
- Facilitating two class sessions per week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 am - 12:30 pm. (With the exception of Week 1 where, because of the holiday, WOK will meet on Wednesday, July 5th and Thursday, July 6th.)
- Holding weekly 1-on-1 conferences with students to discuss their ideas and works-in-progress.
- Offering feedback on student work, including grades.
- Each WOK section also benefits from an embedded undergraduate Course Fellow. Seminar Leaders and Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity staff share responsibility for training, mentoring, and supervising Course Fellows, who are expected to attend each class, meet weekly with both Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity staff and their Seminar Leader, host and facilitate text labs, and support WOK in other ways deemed appropriate by their Seminar Leader. Course Fellows have no grading responsibility, and individual Seminar Leaders can determine any class-related responsibilities beyond what is outlined here fall that within their purview.
- Hold a final Symposium session where students present their final project on August 16th.
Expected in-person FSI enrollment is ~ 70-80 students. Classes begin on July 5th and end on August 11th.
Seminar leaders with Phds in-hand or who will have defended their dissertation by Commencement 2023 are compensated at a rate calculated by multiplying the lecturer’s salary for next year by 0.1665, and adding a course development stipend of $2,000. Advanced graduate students who have not yet defended will be compensated at an $11,000 base + $2,000 for a course development stipend.
Instructions for Applying:
• CV and
• Cover Letter (~1½ pages). This letter should describe your interest in the role, and experience with access and opportunity work.
Please feel free to direct questions to Dr. Hakim.
WOK Course Description
Ways of Knowing (HUM 250/WRI 250) is an immersive seminar that empowers first-year students to become active producers of knowledge in an academic community by introducing them to scholarly ways of thinking, reading, and writing across the University. In this course, students analyze and engage a variety of multidisciplinary and multi-generic texts that raise questions about power, institutions, and identity. In Summer 2023, Ways of Knowing will focus on the constellating theme of “Knowledge and Power” examining texts that all stage inquiries into the way that knowledge is produced, manipulated, disseminated, and consumed. Through this exploration, students will gain a critical understanding of the diverse—and intersecting—manners that scholars ask questions and generate knowledge.
A core value of a Princeton education is that students develop the ability to craft clear, convincing, and persuasive arguments based on their own original analysis, allowing them to emerge as independent thinkers situated in a community of scholars. The learning goals of Ways of Knowing lay the groundwork for this ambition in three crucial ways. First, students develop strategies for and experience with effective and critical reading. Students learn to purposely read canonical and non-canonical scholarship from across the disciplines. In so doing, they learn how to process a large quantity of texts and how to think analytically about those sources. Second, students apply these critical reading skills to place diverse texts in conversation with one another, to analyze the contours of this conversation, and to carve out their own intellectual space within it. Finally, WOK establishes a foundation for students to become active leaders in the university community; instructors emphasize the habits of good engagement and collaboration upon which the University thrives. Students will gain experience in sharing and scrutinizing their ideas in a seminar environment as well as providing thoughtful feedback to others through active listening skills. Throughout the summer, students cultivate habits of reflection about their future intellectual work at Princeton and beyond.
The 2023 online version of WOK features both asynchronous and synchronous components. The former are made available through our course portal on Canvas, and provides students access to readings and useful context, short analytical exercises and pre-draft assignments, discussion forums, and related opportunities for further intellectual engagement. The synchronous, in-person components include two weekly class meetings, weekly “text labs” facilitated by undergraduate Course Fellows, and weekly 1-on-1 conferences between Seminar Leaders and students grounded in weekly writing assignments.
Tentative Weekly Schedule
- Launch of new unit’s asynchronous curriculum on Canvas
- Canvas: Introduction to weekly reading assignment, analytical predrafts, forum discussion on reading assignment, preparation for class
- Deadline for previous week’s writing assignment
- Text Labs
- Canvas: Colloquium discussion, introduction to writing assignments, substantial predrafts, preparation for class
- WOK Faculty Meeting
- Text Lab Prep with Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity Staff
- Seminar Leader/Course Fellow 1-on-1s
- Faculty/student 1-on-1s
- Writing Center appts
- Faculty/student 1-on-1s
- Writing Center appts
- Canvas: Spotlight on campus resource, weekly debrief discussion