BACKGROUND: In the last round of bargaining, which concluded in Fall 2022, your Union secured funds to establish a Training Fund for Sessional Faculty. The viability of the current fund is evaluated at the end of each academic year. The Union’s benefits committee has voted to continue to the fund for the 2023-24 academic year. It will continue to provide limited, one-time payments for members who complete select training through the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching prior to August 30, 2024.

The eligible training includes the 2024 Sessional Faculty Orientationthe Learning to Teach Online Course, any of the EDUCATN courses that comprise the Teaching & Learning Certificates of Completion Program, the Instructional Skills Workshop, the Course (re)Design Workshop, the Assessment Development Workshop, and Professor Hippo-on-Campus (McMaster’s Student Mental Health Education Program for Educators and Navigators), as well as the completion of in-class teaching observations.

AMOUNT OF THE AWARD: Payment is capped at $100 per member for each completed training, to a maximum of $300 per member, per year.

ELIGIBILITY: The payment is open to current members of CUPE Local 3906, Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty, MELD Faculty, and Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty), who complete (or have completed) training associated with any of the following programs offered by the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation & Excellence in Teaching between September 1, 2023 and August 31, 2024:

HOW TO APPLY: Please complete Parts 1-3 of the attached form and submit it via email to no later than August 31, 2024.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION:  The Local will accept forms an ongoing basis until August 31, 2024.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please note that the award is subject to the availability of funds.  Awards will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible applicants based on the eligibility criteria.

CONTACTS: For any questions about the course content or enrollment, please fill in this MacPherson Institute Support Request Form.

For questions about the fund itself, your eligibility, or payment, please contact

COURSE INFORMATION (PLEASE NOTE: Training opportunities vary significantly for time commitment, in some cases the training can take 24 hours to complete):

  • The 2024 Sessional Faculty Orientation (~1.5 hours) – In this online synchronous orientation, you will learn about the McMaster teaching context and effective teaching practices, and connect with other McMaster sessional faculty
  • The Learning to Teach Online Course (~15 hours) – In this self-enroll, self-paced Avenue to Learn course, you will learn the foundational pieces/steps in creating an engaging online learning experience. As you move through the elements, you will also be able to build (and get feedback on) your own online course, using an online course planning guide and weekly content, activity, and assessment worksheets.
  • The Instructional Skills Workshop (~24 hours) – In this intensive workshop, you will learn about the BOPPPS model of lesson planning (including intended learning outcomes, active learning, and assessment) before designing and delivering three 10-minute lessons in a small group setting (4-5 peers). You and your peers will serve as learners for each of the lessons and provide verbal and written feedback. In addition, you will be provided with a recording of your own lessons for later viewing.
  • The Course (re)Design Workshop (~15 hours) – In this intensive workshop, you will work on designing or redesigning a course. The workshop includes facilitated sessions on course design topics (e.g., constructive alignment, intended learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities, and assessment) and includes dedicated time for independent reflection/work, peer feedback, and consultation.
  • The Assessment Development Workshop (~15 hours) – This intensive workshop provides you with the opportunity to focus on the enhancement of a new or existing assessment in your course(s). Through peer feedback and guided work time, informed by facilitated sessions on relevant topics, this workshop will help you implement meaningful assessments that support student learning.
  • Any of the EDUCATN courses from the Teaching & Learning Certificates of Completion Program (range from ~12-36 hours) – There are six zero-unit graduate level courses available that range in length and format. For the course descriptions and course schedule, please visit the Teaching and Learning Certificates of Completion Program website. The courses include:
    • EDUCATN 640: Essential Skills in University Teaching
    • EDUCATN 740: Peer-Evaluated Teaching Experience
    • EDUCATN 750/751: Principles and Practices of University Teaching
    • EDUCATN 760: Self-Directed Study
    • EDUCATN 770: Digital Literacies for Teaching and Learning
    • EDUCATN 780: Self-Directed Teaching Experience
  • Professor Hippo-on-Campus (~3 hours) – In this online asynchronous mental health education program built in Avenue to Learn, you will learn about common sources of stress and distress, how to recognize warning signs of stress and difficulty, how to communicate with students in distress or difficulty, and how to create a mental health positive learning environment.
  • The completion of in-class teaching observations (varies)– A Teaching Observation entails someone from MacPherson having an initial meeting with you to discuss and identify your goals for the observation. That person then (a) attends your class if offered synchronously or face-to-face, or (b) reviews your teaching materials (including, but not limited to, your course site if you are an instructor, or your lesson plan if you are a TA). They record their feedback and then meet with you again to share their observations, make suggestions, and discuss your ideas regarding the next steps you’d like to take with your teaching.


CONFIRMATION OF TRAINING (this MUST be included with your application form):

2024 Sessional Faculty Orientation: You will receive an email from Zoom Events showing proof of registration.

The Learning to Teach Online Course: You must submit your course plan for feedback for your engagement in the course to be considered complete.

The Instructional Skills Workshop: At the end of the workshop, the facilitators of the workshop create Certificates and either give them in print format (when the workshop is offered face-to-face) or electronic PDF format via email (when the workshop is offered online).

The Course Redesign Workshop: You will receive an email from Eventbrite showing proof of registration.

The Assessment Development Workshop: You will receive an email from Eventbrite showing proof of registration.

The EDUCATN Courses That Comprise the Teaching & Learning Certificates of Completion Program: If you are a graduate student, your proof of registration will be available in Mosaic. For all other roles, proof of registration will be provided via email by the MacPherson Institute.

Professor Hippo-on-Campus: A student project assistant tracks module and survey completion. Once all of the surveys and modules are done, a customized Certificate of Completion is emailed to the participant as a PDF.


APPLICATION FORM: CUPE 3906 Unit 2 training fund application form 2024 (please use this form for all 2023-24 training fund applications)