Afghanistan Junior Faculty Development Program | Program Details

Program Details

Program Goals

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The faculty development program will benefit the junior faculty from Afghanistan, the host institution, and its community.

Goals for participants:

  • Increase English language proficiency;
  • Gain skills in pedagogy, including curriculum and course development, student engagement, teaching methodologies, and effective teaching with and without access to electronic technology;
  • Be acquainted with the structure, leadership, and administration of U.S. higher education;
  • Be acquainted with the dynamics between an academic department, the broader academic community and the job market;
  • Develop leadership and teambuilding skills;
  • Gain skills in working with different demographic groups in an academic setting;
  • Gain computing skills to support academic programs and instruction;
  • Be able to engage more deeply with academics in their disciplines;
  • Be exposed to American culture in academic,  non-academic, and social settings;
  • Attend a professional conference relevant to the teaching methodologies;
  • Gain exposure to academic research resources
  • Develop a network of support resources available to the participants after the program concludes.

Goals for the host institution and community:

  • Engage more deeply with junior faculty from Afghanistan;
  • Deepen mutual understanding between United States and Afghanistan through activities with community and host institution;
  • Deepen pedagogical knowledge of the institution’s teaching community;
  • Expand linkages in higher education between Afghanistan and the U.S.;
  • Implement a short-term professional development program that successfully addresses the above goals for the participants.

Program Activities

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Participants will spend their nine-week academic program engaged in activities and seminars focusing on theoretical and practical topics such as teaching methodology, pedagogy, resources, and technology, as well as the historical structure of the higher education system in the U.S.; sessions should, to the extent possible, focus on issues related to each Afghan faculty member’s academic discipline.

Specifically, host institutions will coordinate substantive academic and cultural activities for participants from Afghanistan which will include the following:

  • Orientation
  • One week of intensive English training, followed by ongoing training
  • Overview of U.S. higher education and education administration
  • Pairing of participants with faculty mentors
  • Introduction to theoretical and practical topics in teaching
  • Observation of courses
  • Visits to nearby institutions, schools
  • Participation in a professional conference
  • Instruction on research methodology and building research capacity
  • Teaching with and without technology
  • Access to campus facilities and libraries
  • Effective teaching strategies for diverse range of learners and learning styles
  • Engagement with the community and cultural visits, including family visits or home-stay

Host Institution Component

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The Afghanistan Junior Faculty Development Program invites U.S. institutions to submit proposals to host participants from early January through mid-March 2013. Participating institutions will enjoy a unique opportunity to establish lasting relationships with faculty members at universities in Afghanistan and to build upon current efforts to internationalize their campuses and surrounding communities.

Institutional Logistical Support

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Host institutions are asked to provide:

  • Suitable individual furnished housing for every participant;
  • A designated principal faculty or administrative staff member who will be responsible for implementing the program and making the logistical arrangements for the participants while they are on campus;
  • Assigned faculty mentors who are available and committed to meeting weekly with the grantees;
  • Access to institutional facilities such as library, computer, laboratory and office/ work space where possible;
  • Assistance in accommodating any religious dietary practices for participants, such as appropriate vegetarian or Halal fare;
  • Transportation to and from the airport upon the scholars’ arrival and departure. 

Participant Profile

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The approximately 20 participants will be nominated through an open, merit-based competition run by the Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Final selection of the candidates will be made in August 2012, and applications of selected finalists will be available in October 2012.

Participants will hold junior-level faculty positions (meaning mostly faculty with a three-year bachelor’s degree but no further education and possibly a few faculty with a master’s degree) at an Afghan university. Every effort will be made to select candidates representing a broad range of universities and regions throughout Afghanistan. It is anticipated that the selected candidates will have teaching backgrounds in various disciplines. Each participant will have taken the Institutional TOEFL or TOEFL exam during the selection process. A minimum TOEFL score of 550 is recommended for participation in the program.   

Visa Arrangements

Visiting scholars will enter the United States on J-1 Exchange Visitor Visas issued under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor Program G-1-00005.