Teaching Effectiveness Workshop for Instructors
Serving First-Generation College Students

Date and Time: April 24, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
49th Annual UAA Conference (Los Angeles, CA)
Luskin Conference Center


Workshop Coordinator:

Dr. José W. Meléndez, University of Oregon, Eugene 


Colby King, Ph.D.                       Bridgewater State University
José W. Meléndez, Ph.D.          University of Oregon, Eugene
Marla Parker, Ph.D.                   California State University, Los Angeles
Rubia R. Valente, Ph.D.            Baruch College, City University of New York


This pre-conference workshop is specifically designed for instructors at any stage of their careers who are seeking theory and practice-based strategies to inform and/or improve their teaching. Participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas, discuss challenges, and share strategies based on their own teaching experiences. This workshop is geared towards helping instructors strengthen their theory and practice-based teaching.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe and assess research and concepts that delve into the challenges and opportunities faced by first-generation students
  • Develop an asset, rather than deficit-based approach, to teaching first-generation students
  • Describe, adapt, and practice evidence-based approaches and strategies for addressing challenges and supporting success of first-generation students
  • Create a needs assessment of instructor’s, as well as University’s needs and resources for working with first-generation students

The power and value of hidden curriculum          

Today’s college classrooms include students from a wide-range of socio-economic backgrounds, challenges and opportunities. This combination of variables requires instructors be adept at identifying opportunities for a wide range of potentially transformative learning experiences. Thus, this workshop will aim to both identify, problematize, and re-imagine our teaching practices and learning expectations with the goal to equip participating instructors with research-based concepts, techniques, and practices to support first-generation students in their classrooms. First-generation students are undergraduates who come from homes where neither parent attended college.As such, first-generation students face various barriers (academically, socially, and psychologically) in completing a college education.

This workshop will be an opportunity for instructors to gain skills and new knowledge to support the learning trajectory of first-generation students, while learning to articulate the rationale behind their teaching. There is an integral relationship between pedagogy/teaching and how students learn. When we teach, we are constantly reacting to how learners are responding to content and its presentation. Teachers trained and conditioned to use traditional modes of pedagogy must consider new realities of a changing classroom. This is important since we now have more students coming from diverse cultures and backgrounds who carry with them diverse ways of being and knowing, which may not align with existing norms and values in the academy.

This means instructors are constantly negotiating between their intended instruction and the actual process that unfolds with students. This process can be especially complex with first-generation college students who represent an increasingly large percentage of colleges’ student body, and are also a larger proportion of other underrepresented identities. This diversity enlivens classrooms but also challenges many of the assumed norms and expectations instructors have for and about students. This requires instructors to reassess their expectations, while articulating norms and expectations up front and often, and reassess what else is taken for granted that may make a difference for first-generation students to succeed in their classrooms and college at large.

This professional development workshop will involve an initial overview of the educational and learning research regarding first-generation students. Next it will take participants through sample techniques used for supporting this student population. Participants are asked to bring in sample syllabi to both share and to work on. Small group break-out sessions will provide opportunities for faculty to apply the concepts and materials from the workshop to their own syllabi. The workshop will end with instructors taking a needs assessment that identifies the resources they have at their university for working with first-generation students and providing them with other resources to access for identified gaps.

Application & Review Decision Deadlines

Important: UAA will offer two Teaching Effectiveness workshops, which will run parallel to one another. You can apply to one or both. If you apply to both, you will be prompted during the application process to rank the workshops in the order of preference. Please note that we received three times as many applicants as we admitted last year. Accordingly, the more detailed your answers are the better chance you have at being admitted.

Potential participants must complete an application form.

Click to Submit Workshop Application

  • Application Deadline Extension: Sunday, December 9, 2018
    (Late applicants will not be considered)
  • Selected participants will be notified by: January 7, 2019


Workshop content-related: jwmuic@gmail.com
Conference registration-related: reg@uaamail.org