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IMGALTTAG Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in the Institute?
Participation is open to all Pittsburgh public school teachers, representing all regions of the city and all levels of education.

What kinds of seminars are offered? How do they work?
During its first three years of operation the institute offered 17 seminars which were open only to teachers from schools originally invited to participate. In 2002, participation in the Institute was opened to all Pittsburgh public school teachers. Since then participation in three of the seminars has been limited to teachers of specified grades or courses so that the curriculum units or other documents that they develop may become a part of the approved curriculum for the grade or course for which they are intended. The remaining seminars are open to teachers of all grades and courses. This year's seminars in which preference is given to teachers of specific grades or courses are Everything You Wanted to Know About the Universe...But Were Afraid to Ask (Cosmology), A Mobile People: American Immigration and Migration, 1750-1900, and The Great Problems of Mathematics; those that are open to teachers of all grades and courses are Healthy Bodies/Healthy Minds, Introduction to Folktales, Rendering the Visible in Writing, Pittsburgh Landmarks and Parks, and The Essentials of African Culture.

Each seminar meets for 15 two-hour sessions. Prior to the sessions, faculty members put together and distribute reading lists for the seminars; during sessions, Fellows discuss with each other and the Seminar Leader both the reading they have done and the development of their curriculum units. After the final seminar meeting, Fellows are given one month within which to prepare the final versions of their curriculum units.

Are seminars appropriate for teachers at all levels?
Absolutely! In fact, some of the most enthusiastic participants have been elementary and middle school teachers. The philosophy of the Institute is that teachers know best how to bring knowledge to their classrooms; Institute seminars are designed to deepen that knowledge.

What are the incentives for participating in the seminar?
In addition to the intellectual stimulus of participating in a seminar and the stipend they receive upon completion of the seminar, Fellows enjoy other benefits. Among them is eligibility for increment and Act 48 credits and the opportunity to apply for two credits toward the conversion of an Instructional I Certificate to an Instructional II Certificate through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

Is there any cost to participate?
While you may be asked to purchase some reading material, all Fellows who successfully complete their seminars and curriculum units are awarded a $1000 stipend, which is more than adequate to cover any expenses you might have incurred.

Where and when do seminars meet?
Seminars meet on the campuses of Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham University. Meetings begin in the first week of February and run through the first week of June. Initially, all seminars are scheduled to meet on Tuesdays from 4-6 p.m. but the time may be adjusted to meet the convenience of the Fellows and the Seminar Leader and with advance notice to the Director of the Institute.

How do I apply?
Application materials, including full descriptions of all seminars, may be requested from the teacher in your school serving as an Institute Representative or Contact, or from the Institute directly at 412-365-1184.
Chatham University
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Jointly sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
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