Blog Post

Goals and Mission of the Futures Initiative

About the Futures Initiative

The Futures Initiative advocates greater equity and innovation in higher education at every level of the university. Housed at the Graduate Center and reaching throughout the CUNY community, the Futures Initiative empowers the next generation of intellectual leaders with bold, public, and engaged teaching and learning. With an emphasis on student-centered practices, the Futures Initiative redefines graduate preparation to include translation of specialized research into the best undergraduate teaching.

Each year, the Futures Initiative offers several interdisciplinary, team-taught courses at the Graduate Center, taught by GC and CUNY faculty. Each course (1) has equity, diversity, and innovation built into the course design and (2) dedicates some of the course to innovative and engaged graduate student teaching methods and translation of specialized research for introductory courses or a wider public. The Futures Initiative offers students in these courses several kinds of support, including:
The opportunity to participate in a Spring Symposium, to be held this year on April 3.
Access to the Futures Initiative website, a CBOX-based platform that allows anyone with an account to create discussion groups, customized websites, and more. This can be used for your graduate course as well as for any undergraduate courses you may teach, or for a personal/academic website.
An embedded Graduate Fellow who can help make connections with the Futures Initiative's goals, prepare for the Symposium, and assist with technology related to the FI website.
A standing invitation to all Futures Initiative events, such as the University Worth Fighting For series, which can help you to draw connections between your research and teaching.
The chance to get involved in HASTAC, a network of 15,000 teachers and learners across the country, where you can blog, share announcements, and build community.
Connection with the Futures Initiative Peer Mentors, undergraduate leaders at 13 CUNY schools who can help your students succeed in navigating the university.

More about the Futures Initiative's Work
Student-centered pedagogy: Non-hierarchical learning structures that emphasize peer learning, peer mentorship, and student agency.
Technology: Using network and communications tools to build community and foster greater access.
Leadership: Equipping graduate students to expand career horizons and connect their learning to the wider world.
Research: Conducting meaningful, high-level research and connecting it to the wider world in creative ways.
Advocacy: Promoting institutional change, social justice, and the reinvestment in higher education as a public good.



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