1.G. Positive Attitude

A Satisfactory rating requires a positive attitude toward students, as shown by availability outside of class, assistance with student professional development, and jobs/ graduate school placement.

I really enjoy spending time with my students, facilitating their creative and professional development, and forging relationships that extend beyond graduation. Through my interactions with them, my goal is to help each person grow into a professional peer — to be come someone I would trust to be a valued collaborator, and solve problems with, up to and after graduation. Documentation of my positive attitude towards students is provided below in the form of course evaluations, student comments (particularly about availability),  extra class time, and letters of recommendation.

Course Evaluations – Course evaluations in the area of attitude towards students have consistently been very high (see Figure below). Course evaluation questions used to provide evidence include #6 (concern and respect towards students), #7 (maintaining adequate office hours), and #8 (effectively helping students outside of class). Lower scores are evident only during the semesters where major changes to course content or structure were undertaken, for example during the introduction of the honors course in spring 2012 (SH12) and during the introduction of an entirely new approach to course organization and grading in SP13.


Student Comments – Several student comments have indicated my attitude towards helping each one thrive individually. Here are a sample from courses spanning general education through upper-level ISAT:

“She was always willing and available to do anything she could to hold the student’s interest and help them succeed. I love how she gave students the ability to direct their own style and schedule for learning, while somehow still keeping herself heavily involved over the four weeks. This and her method of evaluation made for an extremely productive and enjoyable learning environment, defying my expectations completely.” — GSCI 104, Summer 2014

“She was very helpful and fair with everything. It was a great environment.” — ISAT 341, Spring 2013

“She was very friendly and welcoming. You could always contact her and she was willing to help.” — GISAT 251, Spring 2012

“She’s easily accessible if we have questions.” — GISAT 251, Spring 2012

“Nicole is a very fair and helpful teacher who always seems willing to put in the extra effort for her students so they can succeed.” — GISAT 251, Spring 2012

“Great instructor who assisted during all hours of the day.” — ISAT/CS 344, Fall 2011

Extra Class Time – Since 2010, I have consistently spent 4-5 hours in open lab on Monday nights at hacking sessions, and since 2012 I have offered one or two open labs on Saturday and Sunday afternoons each month. In addition, written comments from student course evaluations overwhelmingly commend my availability by text message, even sometimes in the middle of the night. 

Letters of Recommendation – Since 2010, I have prepared letters of recommendation for jobs and graduate school placements for approximately 15 students. Many of these recommendations were submitted via online forms directly to the employers and graduate institutions. [Example Letter – Mulford]