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Peer Instructor FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding Peer Instructors:

 

What do FIGS Peer Instructors do?

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 nine FIGS Elements—and serve as helpful mentors, aiding students in adjusting to college life and understanding the many resources available at Rutgers.

 

What are the qualifications to become a FIGS Peer Instructor?

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 cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher at the time of application and during the following semester (3.2 GPA preferred), participate in all training sessions, and register for the 3 credit Peer Instructor Education seminar in the fall.

 

How do I apply?

Applications are typically available in late November and due in late January. Check out the Teach a FIGS page for more information.

 

When will you hold interviews for the position?

Following the review of applications, select candidates will be invited to sign up for a group interview in early February. A limited number of candidates will be advanced to participate in the final interview, an individual interview, during February and March. Final selection announcements will be made in mid to late March.

 

Who are the interviewers, and what does the process entail?

The entire selection process for fall 2021 positions will be offered virtually.  The selection committee consists of professional and graduate staff and former PIs.  The group process will allow the interview team to see each candidate’s leadership, presentation, and facilitation skills in action.  Candidates do not need to prepare anything in advance for the group interview.   

For the individual interview, candidates will be asked to facilitate a 10-minute teaching demonstration covering a topic related to their topical area.  These interviews will allow candidates to discuss their interests, skills and experiences with several 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.

 

What if I can't make the interview days?

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. Please email figs@echo.rutgers.edu with questions.

 

What are we looking for in Peer Instructor candidates?

 

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!

 

When does the position start, and what is the time commitment?

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).

 

Are Peer Instructors compensated for their services?

Peer Instructors receive a stipend of $1250 and 3 credits for the Peer Instructor Education course they enroll in during the fall they are teaching their FIGS course. 

 

When is Peer Instructor Education offered?

Three sections of PI Education will be offered in the fall. Specific class times will be announced prior to fall registration. Peer Instructors rank their class section preferences and then receive a SPN for registration.  While Peer Instructors receive 3 credits for the course, it only meets for 80 minutes a week during the fall as summer training hours count for course credit.  All PIs must be able to register for this three-credit course in order to teach FIGS.

 

How many PIs will be hired for fall 2021?

Due to budget restraints, we will only be hiring a limited number, approximately 30-35, of Peer Instructors for a select group of topical areas for fall 2021. Half of our peer instructor class that was selected to teach for Fall 2020 had their positions deferred to Fall 2021. As a result, we will not be recruiting for the following topics for Fall 2021: Careers in the Sciences, Communication, Criminal Justice, Dental Professions, Theater.

 

Will training programs be in-person or virtual?

Our April orientation and May training programs will be offered in a virtual format. Decisions about whether August training will be held virtually or in-person will be made as we know more about COVID challenges and the status of Rutgers classes/programs/housing for fall 2021.

 

Will FIGS classes be in-person or virtual for Fall 2021?

It is likely that we will not know if FIGS classes for fall 2021 will be in person or remote when offers are made for fall 2021 Peer Instructors. Candidates applying to teach a FIGS must be willing to teach in either format. Training programs offered will prepare all peer instructors for the type of course needed for fall 2021.

How can I learn more about becoming a Peer Instructor?

For more information, e-mail figs@echo.rutgers.edu.