The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning hires consultants each spring for its Learning Consultation Program
Do you want to improve your own academic performance while helping your fellow students improve theirs? Interested in honing skills for professions beyond Princeton, including business consulting, medicine, seminary studies, graduate school, and teaching? Are you curious about:
- how people learn and how we can learn more efficiently for academic purposes?
- motivational dynamics and ways to harness them for success?
- how to promote growth and change in oneself and others?
- strategies and techniques for effective consultation and collaboration?
- university culture and how it works; what some have called the “hidden curriculum”?
If so, then join the McGraw Center a Learning Consultant in our Learning Consultation Program. Express your interest now and we will add your name to our records and contact you at the outset of the spring semester.
The McGraw Center for Teaching & Learning hires consultants each spring for its Learning Consultation Program. You can express your interest at any time, and we will share more information with you about both the position and the hiring process. This is a paid position (approximately $15.00/hr).
A good way to get involved with McGraw in the meantime is by participating in Principedia. Contact us.
Learning Consultant Recruitment and Hiring Process
Becoming a Learning Consultant
The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning Undergraduate Learning Program invites applications each spring semester from sophomore and junior students for the position of learning consultant. We seek a diverse cohort of learning consultants with a wide range of interests and concentrations. Academic attainment (e.g. GPA) per se, is not the main consideration. Rather, students who have encountered challenges at Princeton, have adapted their approaches to meet new expectations and demands, and have improved their learning and achievement are likely to be strong candidates (here are some examples of reflections by current consultants). Students with a particular interest in how they (and others) learn effectively, how to navigate Princeton’s ‘hidden curriculum’, and who want to help others thrive, while learning skills to do so themselves, are a good fit for the program.
The main responsibility of the role is conducting one-to-one learning consultations or ‘academic coaching’ sessions. Learning consultations focus on helping students develop their own approaches to learning, time management, motivation, balance, well-being, attaining success, and generally navigating academic life at Princeton at any juncture. Learning consultants also do outreach, facilitate workshops, contribute to Principedia, and undertake projects of their own design, if they wish. We conducted over 900 consultations in 2018-19.
Learning consultants should expect to dedicate six hours per week, including training, during the regular semester, all of which are paid. Prior to offering consultations, LCs participate in paid pre-service training. Starting the week before spring midterm week and continuing until reading period (not including midterm week and spring break), consultants meet weekly as a group exploring topics related both to learning from instruction (especially at Princeton) and the methodology of consulting. Consultants must also participate in a paid 2-3 day intensive training session immediately prior to the start of the fall term—early arrival will be arranged by McGraw. Training is on-going with weekly 90 minute training sessions except during midterm week, reading and finals periods.
Learning consultants can expect anywhere from one to five one-hour consultations per week, though consultants can request additional hours if they choose. Consultants make a schedule of regular appointments around their courses and other commitments.
Application and Hiring Process
Applications are submitted online on a rolling basis during the first month or so of the spring semester. During this period, several information sessions designed to provide more information about the program, meet its director, Nic Voge, and chat with current learning consultants will be offered. While attendance is not required to submit an application, they are an efficient way to learn more about the program and role. Additionally, attending a McGraw learning strategies workshop or two and making an appointment with a learning consultant are encouraged.
The written application consists of a half-dozen or so questions and a Principedia course analysis. You may also submit, if you wish, a resume (or less formal description of relevant experience) and a brief statement or cover letter conveying your interest in the position. Interviewees are selected from the applicant pool for a 30-60 minute conversation, usually in early March. Decisions are made thereafter and all applicants will be notified of the results of the selection process.
Consultants frequently say that serving in this role is a highlight of their Princeton experience. They gain valuable consulting skills, become more effective students, learn about themselves, and become part of a genuine community. They are inspired by their consultees and fellow consultants alike, and appreciate the unique connections and conversations they have among the group.
Questions? Contact Nic Voge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s what a few consultants said about their experience:
“It has been such an amazing experience working for you and the McGraw Center these past few years. I have learned so much from you and the rest of our team and I am so thankful for that. You have really helped to transform the way I think about learning and academics and it has been integral to my success.”
“McGraw has been a life-changing experience in a myriad of ways and I can't express how happy I am to be a part of this team.”
“I am really glad I have become so involved in the McGraw Center. This really has helped shaped what I want to do for my career when I graduate.”
"I originally joined McGraw to pass along what I had learned to the younger classes; if I couldn't go back and change my own "froshmore" experience, I wanted to ease their transition into Princeton life. While this has certainly been a rewarding part of my time in McGraw, it is not why I have stayed a consultant. I have remained a part of McGraw because of the vibrant community Nic has created. He and my fellow consultants are more thoughtful about the Princeton experience than any other group I have met on campus. Being a McGraw consultant is as much about learning as it is about teaching."