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Why Teach an IntroSem

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Every student enrolled in an IntroSem has chosen to be there. Therefore, these courses are some of the most innovative and intellectually vibrant on campus. Students value IntroSems as introductions to the questions and methods of a discipline, as well as opportunities to work directly with faculty. For faculty, IntroSems provide an opportunity to engaged and eager first- and second-year students who share their intellectual interests.

Benefits of Teaching an IntroSem

Valuable Relationships IntroSems connect faculty with students around shared intellectual interests in an intimate and focused setting. Many undergraduate s describe these courses as the places in which they first learn to see themselves as potential contributors to, rather than simply consumers of, knowledge. Faculty also often gain fresh perspectives from their students, and often connect with new mentees, future research assistants, and potential collaborators. In addition, faculty will have opportunities to connect with a peer community who share a commitment to teaching and mentoring first- and second-year undergrads.

Teaching Resources IntroSems courses are vibrant spaces in which students actively grapple with the questions, controversies, and complexities of a discipline. The program provides faculty with resources to create engaging courses, such as funds for course development assistance, class field trips, and hands-on projects. In addition, a dedicated academic technology specialist supports IntroSems faculty with innovative projects ranging from creating podcasts to designing the course Canvas site. Faculty also have access to numerous pedagogical resources, including quarterly teaching workshops and one-on-one consultations on course design.

A Laboratory for Teaching IntroSems faculty are a community dedicated to innovative teaching. The small size and flexibility in scope and subject, and the resources available to instructors make IntroSems great places for curricular invention in both course topics and classroom activities. In IntroSems, instructors have developed new interdisciplinary approaches; experimented with teaching aids such as computer animation; trained students in public speaking; created maps of Stanford’s gardens for use in the Admissions offices; and tried out content for future classes.

Targeted Outreach Online and direct mail publications sent to all frosh, sophomores, and new transfer students help students easily find your class and sign up in advance. Students write statements of interest and you choose the students in your class. Faculty also receive support in designing course descriptions that will appeal to our newest students.