Foundations should be a part of each BYU-Idaho faculty member's professional career. Foundations assignments, both teaching and development, should be considered in each faculty member's Five-Year Plan. Department chairs and deans should work with team leads and the Associate Dean of Foundations in determining when and in what capacity a faculty member should participate in Foundations. It is recommended that all new BYU-Idaho faculty begin a Foundations teaching assignment the first semester of their second full year of teaching.
A faculty assignment to teach a Foundations course will generally be for a minimum of ten academic semesters. The first semester the faculty member should be given a three-hour leave for preparation to teach the course. The faculty member should meet regularly with the teaching team for orientation, learn the material, observe experienced teachers in the classroom, and participate in other activities suggested by the team. Team leads should be deeply involved in training new members of their team. The following nine semesters are teaching semesters. Faculty members, with the approval of their department chair and the Associate Dean of Foundations, may elect to continue teaching Foundations after completing nine semesters.
Funds are available for Foundations teaching team development and support. Funds may be used for curriculum development, specialized equipment, course materials development, or course-related travel. Should there be ongoing materials needs, copies, TA support, etc., requests to provide funding can also be made. Funding should enhance the teaching capabilities of the team and lead to higher quality learning experiences for the students.
Most Foundations financial support is given in the form of $2500 grants for international travel and $1500 grants for domestic travel. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to assemble whatever additional funds needed for the activity. Foundations development monies support faculty engaged in activities that will strengthen the course and the team. Because of the limited nature of these funds and the large number of faculty participating in Foundations, first priority will usually be given to faculty who have not recently received Foundations development monies. Faculty interested in obtaining a Foundations development grant should send a written request to the Dean of Foundations. This request should address the following questions:
The Dean and Associate Dean of Foundations and the Foundations Council will review all development proposals. Approved projects will be funded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Travel Authorization requests should be made through the faculty member's department, and the Foundations office will transfer grant monies to the appropriate account.
As each Foundation team meets, the course will undergo continuous revision and innovation. The team lead should assure that new ideas are shared with the entire team. If the team elects to adopt curricular changes, the team lead should assure that changes are made in course material. Faculty interested in researching and creating new course material or revising current material should do so as part of their annual load release and as part of full-semester leaves.
The Foundations program gives teachers an opportunity to collaborate across disciplines. Often this will create research and development opportunities in areas that are normally not part of a typical specialist in a discipline. All research should be student-oriented, and directed toward the student experience in Foundations. Additionally, teachers should consider opportunities for research and development in the scholarship of learning and teaching. As teachers work to better communicate to students the essentials of their discipline, they will find their own expertise increasing in unexpected ways.