Click here for a blog from the Center for the Advancement of Teaching
on Preparing Summer Course Materials
Teaching during the summer is an excellent way to maintain engagement with students and fellow faculty members during a time when campus is a bit more quiet and relaxed. Not only are faculty members able to use summer teaching to supplement their regular income, but it also offers the opportunity to grow as an instructor and further develop your personal pedagogy. Past instructors have used summer teaching as a time to:
- Pilot new course ideas.
- Consider changes to the pedagogy or delivery of existing courses.
- Work more closely with ITG’s to integrate new technology into classes.
- Transition in-person classes to online or blended delivery.
- Teach courses they don’t often get to teach during the regular academic year.
The opportunities are endless! We hope you will consider spending your summer in the forest with us.
Frequently Asked Questions for Instructors
Do I need my chair’s permission to teach during the summer?
While faculty do not need explicit permission from their Department Chair to teach during the summer, we strongly suggest discussing your interest with them prior to finalizing your plans. This will ensure your plans are cohesive with other department offerings and guarantee support of your summer goals.
How can I decide which summer term is best for the class I want to teach?
Summer offers several teaching schedule options. Summer Session I typically runs from the Tuesday or Wednesday the week following Commencement through the end of June. Summer Session II typically begins after the Independence Day holiday and runs through mid-August. There are also Full Session options, during which faculty can spread a course across the full 10 weeks of summer.
Choosing when to teach is largely dependent upon your goals and availability as an instructor. Session I is generally attended by current Wake Forest students looking for everything from divisional offerings to upper level classes. Session II has a greater variety of student types and may include current Wake Forest students, visiting college and high school students, and incoming freshman who will formally matriculate in the fall semester. We especially encourage divisional offerings and lower level classes during Session II, though we always welcome upper level courses, as well. Session II is also the perfect time to consider offering FYS courses.
What if I have a brand new course that I want to try teaching for the first time?
We encourage faculty to use the summer terms as an opportunity to try new course ideas. If the course has not been formally approved, departments may use their “Special Topics” course numbers when scheduling these classes.
How many classes can I teach?
There is no official limit on the number of courses a faculty member can offer during the summer, however, we ask that you strongly consider the workload of teaching multiple classes of a condensed nature at once. The majority of summer instructors teach no more than two classes per session, with most choosing to only teach during one session.
Full-time staff who wish to teach during the summer are welcome with their supervisor’s permission. Staff are limited to teaching one summer course per calendar year.
What are typical summer class sizes?
The minimum required capacity for summer classes is 10 seats, unless pedagogy or space demands otherwise. The maximum allowed enrollment is 26 students, unless special circumstances warrant otherwise. In general, we encourage enrollments of 12-15 students per class.
Who takes summer classes?
Most Summer Session students are current Wake Forest students looking to get ahead or trying to catch up on their coursework. In Session II, we also have many student athletes and incoming freshmen attend in order to get accustomed to college level requirements before taking on a full course load. We do accept non-WF, visiting college students and advanced high school juniors and seniors, as well.
Can I teach while away from campus?
Yes! There are opportunities for teaching abroad and in online formats for instructors who are unable to teach on campus during the summer months. More information about these options can be found below.
How do I teach online?
If you want to teach a class that is not currently in an online format, you will first need to work with the Office of Online Education to develop the course for online delivery. There are funding opportunities to support these efforts with calls for proposals being announced throughout the year. If your class is already in an online format, the course can be scheduled as normal with notifications sent to the Office of Online Education and the Summer Session office.
How do I teach abroad?
What will I get paid for summer teaching?
Contact Anna Henley (firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-758-2330) for all questions related to summer salary for teaching undergraduate courses. Contact the Graduate School for questions related to graduate level teaching.
When will I get paid?
Instructors teaching Session I classes will receive their payment for those classes on June 30. Instructors teaching during Session II will be paid on July 31. Instructors teaching courses which span both sessions will be paid partial payments on both June 30 and July 31.
How do I find space for my summer classes?
Generally, department admins locate appropriate space for all summer courses. If you would like to consider alternate spaces, all reservable spaces can be found and requested in DeaconSpace.
Can I teach and work on research at the same time?
Yes! Many faculty are able to prioritize both teaching and research responsibilities during the summer. We do, however, ask that you reconsider teaching during a certain session if your research demands will make it difficult to adhere to the required contact hours for the course.
Don’t see your question answered here, please contact us!