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John P. Ellbogen Summer Institute 2014

Designing Your First-Year Seminar


Do you have a passion for unlocking inquisitive minds? Do you love challenging, inspiring, and interacting with first-year students through active learning? If so, the 2014 John P. Ellbogen Summer Institute is for you.  

These workshops will provide an introduction to the philosophy, research, and best practices that support the significance of the First-Year Seminar. You will receive assistance and concentrated time to design your new course. Additionally, we will guide you through the course approval process. Successful applicants will be awarded a $1000 summer stipend to be paid in June 2014. 

For a list of resources from the Summer Institute, click here

Invited Facilitator - Brad Garner

    Brad Garner 

Brad Garner serves as director of Faculty Enrichment in the Center for Learning and Innovation at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU). Brad has been actively involved for several years in directing and teaching the first-year seminar on his campus.  Currently, he leads faculty enrichment efforts across the entire university.  Prior to moving into higher education, his career was focused on program and faculty development in K-12 public school settings where he worked as a classroom teacher, school psychologist, and administrator. Garner is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops and has authored and coauthor several publications, including Teaching in the First-Year Seminar (2011) and A Brief Guide to Millennial Learners (2007). His book Getting Employed, Staying Employed was recognized and honored as a Book of the Year by the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Most recently, Garner has been working with groups of teachers in Bosnia and China as part of an Educational Leadership Institute designed to empower teachers to be change agents in their own communities and schools. He also works with men in a faith and character-based initiative at Indiana's largest correctional facility and completed a three-month assignment in Zambia with a group of students from IWU.                 


Call for Proposals

John P. Ellbogen Summer Faculty Institute on

Designing Your First-Year Seminar (FYS)

May 19th-22nd, 2014


Full implementation of the new University Studies Program, including the First-Year Seminar, is planned for Fall 2015. To help prepare faculty who are planning to teach a FYS, the Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning is pleased to announce the second John P. Ellbogen Summer Faculty Institute for faculty and lecturers at UW. Successful applicants will receive $1000 as a summer stipend in June 2014 to design a First-Year Seminar. The institute will be facilitated by Professor Brad Garner, the director of Faculty Enrichment in the Center for Learning and Innovation at Indiana Wesleyan University


Proposal Due Date:   Monday, April 7th, 2014, by 5:00 pm.



The purpose is two-fold:

  • To create a First-Year Seminar on an academic theme of your choice, designed to meet the required student learning outcomes enumerated below.
  • To guide participants through the course approval process.

In the FYS, students will learn to critically examine and evaluate evidence, claims, beliefs, or points of view about meaningful, relevant issues. Students will be introduced to active learning, inquiry of pressing issues, and individual and collaborative processing of ideas through the First-Year Seminar curriculum. These skills will be reinforced throughout the baccalaureate experience.


Student Learning Outcomes: 

1.   Access diverse information through focused research, active discussion, and collaboration with peers

2.   Separate facts from inferences and relevant from irrelevant information, and explain the limitations of information.

3.   Evaluate the credibility, accuracy, and reliability of conclusions drawn from information.

4.   Recognize and synthesize multiple perspectives to develop innovative viewpoints.

5.   Analyze one’s own and others’ assumptions and evaluate the relevance of contexts when presenting a position.

6.   Communicate ideas in writing using appropriate documentation.


Who may apply:

Highly motivated and experienced permanent instructional faculty, lecturers and staff at the University of Wyoming.


How to apply:

The application requires 1-2 paragraphs outlining your interest in teaching a FYS, your proposed academic theme, and the approval of your Department Head.

Deadline for applications is Monday, April 7th, 2014 by 5:00 pm. Applications will be reviewed by a faculty panel; final acceptance to the Institute will be at the approval of the Academic Deans. Proposal decisions will be made on or about Friday, April 25th.

Click here to apply.



The $1000 award will be in the form of a summer stipend paid in June 2014. The award is the result of a generous endowment from the Ellbogen Foundation and funding from the ECTL.

Requirements of the award include:

  • A commitment to teach a First-Year Seminar.
  • Completion of the John P. Ellbogen Summer Faculty Institute from Monday, May 19 – Thursday, May 22, 2014 in Coe Library, Room 506.
  • Approval from your Department Head.



Address questions to Meg Flanigan Skinner, ECTL Director, at 307-766-4846 or


Please note:               

Instructors should review the FYS policies as listed on the USP 2015 website. For full details, please see

Contact Us

Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning

1000 E. University, Dept. 3334

Coe Library 510

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307)766-4847


The John P. "Jack" Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Wyoming.

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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