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  • Writer's pictureCarinna Ferguson

Apply to Be a Fall 2024 FIRE Semester 1 Academic Peer Mentor

Updated: May 22



We are excited to share a new opportunity for experienced FIRE Students to take on an active and engaging role as a FIRE Academic Peer Mentor in our FIRE Semester 1 courses this upcoming fall. While this opportunity is open to Peer Research Mentors and current UMD FIRE Alumni, we are particularly excited to extend this opportunity to students who will enroll in FIRE Semester 3 this Fall. 


What is a FIRE Academic Peer Mentor? 

New to the FIRE Program, FIRE Academic Peer Mentors (AMPs) will be undergraduate students who will work with FIRE Faculty Leaders directly in FIRE Semester 1 (FIRE120) courses to enhance student learning and engagement throughout the fall 2024 semester. FIRE AMPs are trained in the science and practice of teaching via the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center (TLTC)’s Academic Peer Mentor Program (1 credit of TLTC 333) and gain 1 independent study credit for their role as an AMP in FIRE Semester 1 Courses (TLTC 399). 


Why have AMPs in FIRE Semester 1? 

This fall, FIRE Semester 1 will look a little different from when you were enrolled in the course. Beginning in Fall 2024, FIRE Semester 1 will feature a redesigned curriculum that will be highly interactive and project-based. In addition to introducing students to FIRE, the course will center on investigating the Grand Challenge of Climate Change from a range of disciplinary approaches and perspectives (social sciences, humanities, technology, applied sciences, and natural sciences). Students in FIRE Semester 1 will work in small teams throughout the fall semester on three mini-projects. By the end of the semester, students will have gained a deep understanding of FIRE as well as skills in teamwork, collaboration, and scholarly communication. 


While the activities students engage in will be different from past FIRE Semester 1 Courses, the overall topics will remain similar. To facilitate interactive group work and active learning activities in FIRE Semester 1, we need experienced FIRE students like you!


What are the Responsibilities and Requirements? 

  • Enroll in 1 credit of TLTC 333 Fundamentals of Academic Peer Mentoring: A Hybrid Course facilitated by the TLTC

  • Attend three in-person meetings during the semester (1 hour) 

  • Complete online assignments, discussion boards, and reflections (2-3 hours/week)

  • Enroll in 1 credit of TLTC 399: This is an independent study course facilitated by Dr. Ferguson. 

  • Attend a one-hour, in-person, weekly AMP meeting held by Dr. Ferguson in ATL 2339 to discuss weekly lesson plans (1 hour/week) 

  • Utilize one hour weekly to lesson plan and prepare for your FIRE Semester 1 Section (1 hour/week)

  • Attend and engage in classroom activities (facilitate discussion, assist with team projects, answer questions, etc) in your assigned FIRE Semester 1 section in ATL 2339 (1 hour)

Total Responsibilities and Requirements should take about 4-6 hours a week. 


Why become a FIRE AMP? 

As an AMP, you may gain a range of skills and benefits, including: 

  • Strengthen your relationship with your FIRE Faculty Leader or establish a new relationship with a different stream’s FIRE Faculty Leader 

  • Develop skills in mentoring, leadership, teaching, and communication. 

  • Gain new perspectives on interdisciplinary research and research education.

  • Engage with incoming FIRE Students and serve in a near-peer mentoring role. 


How Do You Apply to be a FIRE AMP? 

Applications are open! The application will ask you for: 

  • Information about you and your role in FIRE 

  • Availability for FIRE Semester 1 courses, TLTC 333, and Weekly AMP Meetings

  • Your interest in serving as an AMP. 

Please submit your application using this link (https://forms.gle/VCU5GChHng62wk8j9) by Friday, June 7, 2024 at 11:59pm. You will be notified regarding the status of your application and your role as an AMP by Monday, June 24th. 



We are excited to have FIRE students serving in this role beginning this fall! If you have any questions or concerns about serving as a FIRE AMP, please reach out to Dr. Cari Ferguson (cfferg@umd.edu)! 

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