Practicums and Community College Experiences

UTEP provides a fellowship experience every spring to allow graduate STEM students to explore the possibility of a rewarding career at two-year institutions through a meaningful and intensive mentoring relationship. The students selected for the ASPIRE fellowship engage in an effective teaching and mentoring program, which may open doors to the possibility of a lecturer position at a two-year institution.

Selected students will engage in a triad mentorship-protégé model consisting of a mentor each from the two-year and four-year institution. As part of the mentored fellowship, the students are expected to:

  • Develop a relationship with the mentors assigned from EPCC and UTEP. The goal of these instructional, mentorship triads is to learn about effective teaching, the community college culture, and higher education best practices in teaching.
  • Observe at least two classes at the community college: Classes may or may not be taught by the CC mentor, but the CC mentor should help facilitate the observation. Following each observation, students are required to submit a reflective summary (about 150 words) of the class session to be submitted by the end of the respective month.
  • Attend a number of compulsory workshops/seminars over the semester. Each workshop/seminar will focus on a specific element of professional development.
  • Compose a Teaching Philosophy based on the teaching workshops and the experience and knowledge gained through the mentorship triad. Fellows are required to submit their Teaching Philosophy to their mentors for review and to make necessary modifications based on feedback prior to the final submission.
  • Develop a Teaching Portfolio for submission as a final document of the internship experience. The portfolio will contain the finalized Teaching Philosophy, a Lesson Plan, and reflective summaries.
  • Participate in a compulsory end-of-term survey.

For more information, please contact Agniprava Banerjee at