The Wisconsin Experience Seminar (Coun Psy 125) is a one-credit (75 min/wk., 15 wk.) first-year seminar open to all new students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This course is taught by a university faculty or staff member and an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow in an active, discussion-driven, and community-oriented learning environment. Class size is capped at 20 students.
This small, interactive course is designed to help new students transition successfully to academic and student life at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Students will explore campus resources and opportunities; their skills, identity, interests, and goals; and the history and purpose of UW–Madison to help them make the most of their Wisconsin experience.
Instructor Role and Expectations
Training, resources, and support are provided throughout the year to ensure that Wisconsin Experience Seminar instructors have a successful experience teaching the course and find this to be a valuable professional development opportunity that can positively impact their work on-campus.
Instructors are expected to participate in the following professional development opportunities:
- Spring Training:
- Wednesday, April 13th from 3-5pm in the Education Building, Room 159 and Thursday, April 14th from 5-7pm in Union South (check TITU for room)
- Fall Training:
- Thursday, September 1 from 8:30am-4pm in the Pyle Center, Room 325 and 326
- We’ll offer make-up training for those who can’t attend due to working SOAR: Friday, September 1 from 10am-Noon in the Middleton Building, Room 120
- Weekly meetings during the fall semester with their Undergraduate Teaching Fellow
- Bi-weekly meetings with other instructors during the fall semester
Wisconsin Experience Seminar instructors should expect to spend 5-7 hours a week preparing for and facilitating the course during the fall semester. This will include:
- Reviewing lesson plans and facilitating class weekly
- Grading and providing feedback on student work in a timely manner
- Mentoring an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow
- Actively supporting first-year student success within and outside of the classroom (may include in-person and electronic communication with students)
- Attending meetings with the Undergraduate Teaching Fellow and other instructors
Benefits and Compensation
This unique professional development opportunity has many potential benefits, which include, but are not limited to:
- Enhancing group facilitation skills and teaching skills.
- Engaging with, and mentoring, new, undergraduate students.
- Developing positive relationships with new students over the course of the semester and beyond.
- Mentoring an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow
- Being part of a team of instructors from across campus.
- Building relationships with and learning from campus colleagues.
- Facilitating classroom conversations about important topics relevant to first-year students.
- Bringing a richer understanding of first-year students and an awareness of classroom dynamics back to your department/unit.
- Wisconsin Experience Seminar instructors will receive a $1,000 stipend upon completion of teaching the course.
- Instructors may receive the stipend via a lump-sum payment or by transferring funds to the Instructor’s office/department for use as professional development funds.
- Instructors are eligible for compensation each semester they teach the course.
A previous rule that allowed Instructors to only be compensated once every three years no longer applies.
- Instructors also have access to up to $5/student for class supplies or shared experiences for the class.
Instructor Requirements and Application Process
Academic staff, University staff, and faculty interested in teaching and supporting first-year students are encouraged to apply to be a Wisconsin Experience Seminar Instructor.
The minimum requirements to teach a Wisconsin Experience Seminar are:
- Employment at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
- Masters’ degree or higher from an accredited institution
- Approval from the applicant’s supervisor
Finalists will be invited for a brief interview with the Coordinator of Academic Engagement, and final hiring approval will be given by the Counseling Psychology Department in the School of Education. The application process is competitive, and OSTFE may not able to hire all qualified applicants. If you are interested in applying, please fill out this form. If you taught previously, please fill out the Returning Instructor application.
Applications will be accepted after the deadline, but sections will be assigned to priority applicants first.
Please refer questions to the Academic Engagement team, at email@example.com.