Faculty, Costa Rica – Fall 2023
Title: Teaching Faculty
Location: Turrialba, Costa Rica
Term: Fall 2023 Semester (4-month contract) and/or Academic Year 2023-2024 (9-month contract) (Varies by location & position availability)
Min. Experience: 2 years of teaching experience at college level
Division: Academic Affairs
Verto is on a mission to provide the best possible start to college. We start by making travel and experiential education a core part of every student’s Freshman year. Our students begin college overseas in one of 6 Verto locations, before seamlessly transferring to one of over 70 partner universities in the United States. While completing 1 or 2 semesters with Verto, students become more mature, empathetic global citizens who have a greater sense of purpose and direction for their lives.
At Verto, we’re creating a different model. We’re driving the costs down and acceptance rates up. We connect students to the world and give them a chance to discover who they are before making them choose a major. We’re out to build a transformational company that makes higher education more accessible and impactful. We are backed by First Round Capital and other top VCs.
At Verto Education we value voices of all backgrounds and experiences. We know that creating a diverse environment takes dedication and intentional hiring practices. We are cognizant of the gap between our current state and our commitments. In order to bridge that gap, we have to humbly evaluate where we are today.
Faculty are invited to apply to teach as part of the Verto Study Abroad Experience, which focuses on immersive learning and experiential education for first-year college students. Students earn college credits and a pathway to postsecondary education through Verto’s Academic Provider, the University of New Haven (Connecticut, USA) Verto is on a mission to help change higher education in positive, student-focused ways, creating new pathways to help students access college. You can learn more about the larger Verto Academic program here.
Faculty will teach dynamic, engaging and experiential courses for all students participating in the Verto Experience. The successful candidates are highly motivated, student-oriented educators who will bring courses to life for students through a combination of active classroom learning and experiential field activities. Faculty must possess a strong commitment to undergraduate experiential education and be prepared to work with diverse students who are beginning their higher education journey.
Active and experiential learning is a key element of teaching. Faculty will work with program staff to embed experiential activities into the course prior to the start of each term. During the semester faculty teach in settings that include traditional classrooms and beyond. Faculty will have opportunities to regularly meet with the local Academic Director to discuss ideas, successes, and areas where further support will aid faculty, staff, or students, and resolve any challenges that might arise. The Director of Academics will help ensure unity across instructors, conduct classroom observations and evaluations, offer feedback and coaching, and provide a selection of course materials.
Facilitate policies and coursework in compliance with academic requirements established with Verto’s Academic Provider(s). This includes, but is not limited to:
- Enforcing policies on Attendance and Academic Integrity
- Verify academic rosters at the beginning of the term and following the course withdrawal deadline.
- Submitting accurate grade reports on time in the SSBanner system
- Regularly input grades in the learning management system (Canvas) following the established parts of the academic term
- Provide an engaging classroom experience based on active and experiential learning model and structured academic activities.
- Maintain highly accurate academic information related to the course and provide assessments of student learning
- Foster learning environments that are respectful and positive, conducive to early college student development, adhere to Verto values, and that are characterized by aspects such as:
- Appropriate language and tone,
- Appropriate management of of power dynamics in faculty-student relationships,
- Correct use of preferred names and pronouns,
- Engage with students at different academic levels and help them connect the coursework to their experiences in and out of the classroom.
- Engage with students to build academic skills and habits for academic success and reinforce academic norms regarding academic integrity
- Maintain flexibility with the curriculum as dictated by dynamic settings.
- Accompany students on academically-focused excursions.
- Build and maintain positive, collaborative, and professional relationships with program participants, staff, and community partners.
- Evaluate students’ course submissions, provide ongoing, formative feedback, and score student work in a timely and constructive manner.
- Use Canvas (Learning Management System) and Cengage textbooks and resources effectively and as required.
- Assess student mastery of Student Learning Outcomes in your course(s).
- Diligently meet the specific, documented needs of students with academic accommodations.
- Work closely with Academic Success Coordinators on specific student issues related to student academic success in your course(s).
- Participate in 12 hours of faculty training & development prior to program start date and up to 8 hours of training/professional development throughout the semester.
- Submit final grades at the end of the term, within 72 hours following the requirements of the Academic Provider(s).
- Share good practices with other faculty and staff in your location and globally.
- Demonstrate high levels of professionalism and commitment to teaching.
- Other duties as reasonably assigned.
QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE
- Master’s or terminal degree (PhD) in the field of study or a closely related field.
- Minimum eighteen graduate credits in the field of study relevant to the course(s) of interest.
- A minimum of two years of teaching experience in the English language, at least one year at the collegiate level
- English fluency required.
- Demonstrated success in teaching students with varied learning styles and abilities.
- Appreciation for, and proven record of, success in working with students of diverse economic, racial, cultural, and educational backgrounds.
- Able to assess student progress on Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for the course and Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for the organization.
- Able to be flexible and adapt to challenges as they arise.
- Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills.
- Ability to work with careful attention to the fine details.
- Ability to receive and apply feedback.
- Passion for active, experiential, reflective and discussion-based learning and helping students make meaning of their experiences.
- Eager to learn from colleagues and enjoys open collaboration and teamwork.
WHO WE’RE LOOKING FOR:
The successful candidates are highly collaborative. They work closely with team members within and across global Verto locations, including the Program and Academic Director(s), Academic Managers, and Academic Success Coordinators to provide comprehensive student care and excellence in teaching and learning to a diverse student body. Faculty are an integral part of helping new college students build appropriate academic skills and will integrate academic skill building into courses and help identify growth opportunities for learners.
Candidates must be dynamic teachers who are motivated by working with a diverse student population and building professional relationships with students and peers to support student engagement and academic success. Faculty will participate in academic and professional development training prior to, and throughout, the semester to support teaching and learning. Faculty are required to utilize the established academic policies and daily reporting tools for attendance, as described below. All faculty will develop and lead experiential learning activities as part of the curriculum.
- Faculty who are intellectually curious and motivated, and understand how to teach concepts in various teaching settings (e.g., with or without access to technology and internet).
- Faculty who demonstrate genuine care about students and ability to connect and engage students in learning.
- Faculty who are willing to go that extra mile to ensure students succeed in academics and in their start to their new college career.
- Faculty who excel at and love teaching, but are also willing to learn from their students.
- Faculty who are flexible with dynamic and changing environments.
- Faculty who demonstrate high levels of professionalism and commitment.
- Verto seeks faculty who can be a bridge to the local culture and help bring learning to life for students above all else.
To apply, please submit the following:
- Cover Letter – a letter of interest (no more than 2 pages) that articulates your experience and qualifications in relation to the job description. Please share your experience with US higher education and higher education systems in the country where you are applying to teach.
- Teaching Philosophy Statement that articulates your approach to teaching, highlighting specific examples of active and experiential learning, your commitments to student diversity, and how to support diverse learners needs (no more than 2 pages).
- Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- References – Names and contact information of three persons who will provide a professional recommendation.
- Unofficial transcripts of your graduate work. If your graduate degree was conferred from an institution that doesn’t traditionally issue transcripts, please upload a scanned copy of your diploma.
- Teaching evaluations from up to three separate semesters, if available.
Faculty will be asked to share a schedule of availability and complete a background check as part of the hiring process.
ENROLLMENT SIZES & COURSE DETAILS
Course assignments are typically 45 hours (3 US credits) or 60 hours (4 US credit) courses, depending on the course and discipline. Faculty will typically teach multiple sections of the same course, and/or multiple courses directly related to their academic field of expertise, if related courses are available. Course syllabi are developed and approved by the relevant Academic Provider, along with specific information regarding course learning outcomes, academic policies, assessment of learning, and overall expectations. Faculty will develop their own course materials, including readings, assignments, experiential learning activities, and develop and manage a course site via the Learning Management System, Canvas.
Class enrollment by section varies by program location, scheduling, student enrollment, and classroom size. Specific information will be provided by the local program staff.
- Language courses: Approximately 15-18 students
- Non-language courses: Approximately 20-30 students
- Lab courses: Typically fewer than 25 students
Course Offerings for Fall 2023: This is an initial overview of Fall 2023 course offerings. This will be updated in Summer 2023 and is subject to change based on Academic Provider course approvals and student enrollment.
All course offerings can be found under Academic Pathways → Fall Course Offerings.