Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) is a professional development program for new faculty members in Mathematics. The program is funded by the MAA (Mathematics Association of America). The program helps 1st and 2nd year faculty members acclimate to their new work environment in academia.
The program provides workshops and seminars on improving and developing teaching practices, engaging in research, as well as finding new and interesting service projects.
I was accepted into the 2017 cohort of Project NExT. Our first meeting was during MATHfest hosted by the MAA in Chicago. Throughout the program, I learned so much about teaching and implementing active learning in my classroom, managing my time, as well as staying on track for promotion.
The most valuable part of Project NExT, for me, was the community I gained. I met 89 other newly hired mathematics faculty members working all over the country. The program was designed so that we would meet and make connections with as many of the other 89 members as possible.
We were grouped based on research areas, teaching interests, and location throughout the program. We now have a Facebook group as well as an email listserv where we ask each other questions and share our wins, concerns, and fears throughout the semester. The community alone makes the program more than worth it!
But there are many other benefits:
Active Learning Groups: We formed groups based on the types of teaching techniques we were planning on implementing in our classes.
Shared Google Folder: We share papers, worksheets, and other helpful resources with each other.
Plenary Sessions: We had sessions on Teaching Math in the 21st Century, Academic Time Management, Rising to the Challenge of Diversifying the Mathematics Community, Research-based Strategies for Reducing Stereotype Threat and Fostering Learning and Engagement in Math.
Courses: We took courses on NSF Funding and Grant Writing Tips, Getting your Research Off to a Good Start, Teaching Math to Future Teachers, Using Technology in the Classroom, Teaching Statistical Concepts with Activities, Student-Centered Assessment, and Undergraduate Research.
Sessions at the JMM: We will be organizing sessions at the JMM which looks great on your CV.
How to Apply for Project NExT
Go to https://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/project-next for complete guidelines.
Complete an application form
Submit a personal statement
Submit a research statement
Submit a CV
Get your department chair or dean to submit a letter of support
Who should apply for Project NExT
You should apply for Project NExT if you are finishing your last year of grad school or a post doc and have accepted a position in academia. You should also apply if you have completed your first year as a faculty member in academia.
What to do if you do not get accepted in Project NExT
If you are not accepted into the program, you will receive a mentor from the MAA who holds a similar position to you. This was really helpful for me. I was not accepted into the program the first year I applied. But I worked with my provided mentor and she helped me with my application.
I hope that this post helped you decide to apply for Project NExT. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.