The Excellence in Pedagogy and Innovative Classrooms (EPIC) Program is poised to establish new paradigms for teaching pedagogy and study in the Humanities for both faculty and graduate students at UCLA. Made possible by the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, EPIC aims to achieve the following long-term goals:
- Create an infrastructure that drives continual pedagogical improvement among faculty
- Prepare graduate students to leverage humanities training for greater career success within and beyond academia
- Engage undergraduates in innovative learning environments that demonstrate the value of a humanities education
To achieve these goals within the five-year span of the program, EPIC seeks to collaborate with the departments and programs within the Division of Humanities to develop pedagogical resources that address the dynamic needs of 21st century students and provide faculty and graduate students tools and resources for sustained excellence in teaching.
Seminars in Teaching Excellence (STE)
The largest component of the EPIC Program is the Seminars in Teaching and Excellence (STE). Each seminar will be facilitated by two faculty leads, and enroll eight faculty members and ten graduate students as MellonN-EPIC Fellows. There will also be two spaces reserved in each seminar for Santa Monica College (SMC) faculty as part of the effort to strengthen the community college transfer pipeline towards the studies in the Humanities at UCLA.
Comprised of twelve individual seminars, the STE will explore specific topics that are fundamental to teaching and learning in the Humanities, forge innovative approaches to humanities curricula, and open spaces for productive discussion and collaboration between faculty and graduate students.
STE Cluster One: Foundational Issues
The first STE cluster focuses on foundational issues at the heart of humanities pedagogy in the 21st century. These seminars will address the pedagogies surrounding established components of humanistic study, as well as consider techniques towards more inclusive classroom cultures. The following seminars will be offered during 2017-2018 academic year (AY):
- Inclusive Classrooms (Fall 2017)
- Excellence in Writing (Fall 2017
- Language Expertise (Winter 2018)
- Course Design and Assessment Techniques (Spring 2018)
STE Cluster Two: Collaborative Humanities Tracks
The second STE cluster will be dedicated to developing a set of undergraduate curricular tracks that will allow opportunities for creating innovative and interdisciplinary courses in the humanities. These tracks will work as learning laboratories in which seminar participants will discuss, assess, and formulate the pedagogical approaches that will inform the teaching of these curricular tracks. The following seminars will be offered during the 2018-2019 AY and continuing onto the fall 2019 quarter.
- Medical Humanities (Fall 2018)
- Environmental Humanities (Winter 2019)
- Digital Humanities (Spring 2019)
- Urban Humanities (Fall 2019)
STE Cluster Three: Special Topics Seminars
The third STE cluster will target special topics that enhance the field of humanistic study across the board. Some of the topics considered in these seminars include the role of technology in humanities classrooms, service learning pedagogy, the purported crisis in the humanities, career development, preparation for graduate students entering the job market; and information on careers tracks within and outside of academia, and the contributions of the EPIC Program towards sustainable practices in teaching and study within the humanities. The following seminars are scheduled for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 AYs:
- Technologies of Teaching in the Humanities (Winter 2020)
- Community Learning (Spring 2020)
- Markets and Values for the Humanities PhD (Fall 2020)
- Humanities and the Changing University (Winter 2021)
Community College Pipeline to the Humanities
Along with inviting Santa Monica College faculty to participate in the STEs, EPIC aims to further strengthen our relationships with area community colleges as way to support transfer students throughout and beyond the transfer process. EPIC will be piloting a workshop on the humanities transfer pipeline led by a collaborative team from UCLA and SMC. Participants—UCLA faculty and TAs and SMC faculty—will learn about how SMC prepares students for transfer, identify resources for transfer students, asses the needs of transfer students in humanities classrooms, and hear direct feedback from transfer students.
For more information on the Foundational Issues STE offered during the 2017-2018 AY, including faculty compensation and Mellon-EPIC Fellowship award please click here