Below are some frequently asked questions regarding Peer Instructors:
- What do FIGS Peer Instructors do?
- What are the qualifications to become a FIGS Peer Instructor?
- How do I apply?
- When will you hold interviews for the position?
- Who are the interviewers, and what does the process entail?
- What if I can't make the interview days?
- What if I’m studying abroad and can’t participate in the interview process?
- What are we looking for in Peer Instructor candidates?
- When does the position start, and what is the time commitment?
- Are Peer Instructors compensated for their services?
- What does it mean to be a Learning Community Peer Instructor?
- When is Peer Instructor Education offered?
- How can I learn more about becoming a Peer Instructor?
Peer Instructors (PIs) are responsible for teaching one section of a First-Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS). Each FIGS class meets a total of ten times during the fall semester only (once a week for eighty minutes). PIs plan, develop, and implement their own course curricula—designing classes around their academic expertise and the eleven FIGS Elements—and serve as helpful mentors, aiding students in adjusting to college life and understanding the many resources available at Rutgers.
To become a PI, you must be a full-time, upper-class Rutgers undergraduate, a junior or senior with at least fifty-four credits completed prior to teaching your fall-semester FIGS class. You must also have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher (at the time of application and during the following semester), participate in all training sessions, and attend the Peer Instructor Education seminar in the fall.
Applications are typically available in late fall and due in late January. Check out the Teach a FIGS page for more information.
When completing the online application, you will be asked to select a group interview date/time. Candidates who successfully complete the group interviews will be invited for an individual interview in late February or early March. Final selection announcements will be made by mid-to-late March.
The selection committee consists of professional and graduate staff and former PIs, and the group interviews consist of several activities that will help us evaluate your teamwork, participation, and presentation skills. The individual interviews last no longer than thirty minutes and will be with three to five members of the selection committee. The purpose of the interviews is for us to get to know you better and for you to see if becoming a PI is the right leadership position for you.
You are expected to be available for the interview process so any missed interviews will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If you’re not available, you may not be eligible to apply for the position.
In the past, we’ve coordinated Skype interviews with PI candidates who were studying abroad in the spring, but we are only able to consider students who can participate in both May and August training sessions.
We are looking for candidates who are committed to their studies, involved in the Rutgers community, and excited about mentoring first-year students. Strong leadership and public speaking skills are a plus!
Serving as a PI is a major commitment. Once chosen, PIs must attend an orientation event in April and training in May and August, and they must plan and write their lesson plans during the summer months. Once the fall semester arrives, PIs teach their FIGS, attend Peer Instructor Education, and hold office hours for eighty minutes once each week (for ten weeks). Those students selected to serve as PIs for Learning Communities will be asked to attend one additional training event at the end of the spring semester.
Peer Instructors receive a stipend of $850 and 3 credits for the Peer Instructor Education course they enroll in during the fall they are teaching their FIGS course. Peer Instructors who are assigned to teach FIGS courses connected to learning communities receive an additional $100 stipend for the additional responsibilities associated with this position.
Several of our FIGS courses are affiliated with a Learning Community offered at Rutgers. In the Discovery House program, students have the benefit of sharing three courses in common (one being their FIGS), which leads to greater connection with peers in the classroom and in residence halls and high levels of academic success. Discovery House FIGs are offered in Business, Health & Medicine, Law & Leadership, and Psychology. In the Bunting Cobb program, students share a common residential experience along with their FIGS course “Careers in the Sciences.”
PIs in Learning Communities will be asked to attend one additional training session in April. In addition, PIs will be asked to participate in monthly meetings with members of the Learning Community Team consisting of Learning Community Peer Instructors, Peer Mentors who live in residence with the students, and professional staff; attend a program sponsored by the Peer Mentors; and participate in the Learning Community orientation program held in late August. Please note that Peer Instructors teaching a FIGS connected to a learning community DO NOT live with their students in residence.
There are four sections of Peer Instructor Education offered each fall semester, and PIs will select the section that works best with their academic schedules. Sections are offered on Tuesday from 9:15-10:35 (Cook/Douglass), Wednesday 9:50-11:10 (CAC) and 12:35-1:55 (Cook/Douglass), and Thursday from 9:50-11:10 (CAC). All PIs must be able to register for this three-credit course in order to teach a FIGS.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.