Resources » Lab Faculty Job Description

Lab Faculty Job Description

Position Description - Overview:

College Unbound’s curricular model is designed around in-depth project work that is administered through an every-semester requirement of student enrollment in a 3-credit Workplace and World Lab course that runs across the 18 week semester.   Students experience this weekly 3-hour in-person seminar with their learning cohort. The course acts as a bridge between a student’s project and their life outside of school. It integrates their coursework with their individually-designed action research project. It also functions as an ongoing support structure for adult learners who have faced barriers to more traditional educational settings.  Rather than assuming that students will apply and practice principles and theories learned in their coursework, the lab requires that learners do so through guided assignments like weekly Personal Learning Plans and Reflections, 1:1 meetings with faculty and mentors, and regular Public Exhibitions of their work. The Lab also provides time and space to ensure shared/integrated assessment practices across the students’ Personal Learning Networks.  

Lab Faculty are hired to instruct the Workplace and World Lab course, develop and support a learning community, create course materials, and facilitate student engagement tied to the learning outcomes.   Lab Faculty are hired with the expectation that they will support a student cohort, designed to be 10 -15 students, for multiple semesters. Full-time students enroll in a semester-long Workplace and World Lab as their foundational educational experience for each semester they are taking courses through CU. The course balances both requirements of a CU cohort: 1) building a learning community around project development;  and, 2) supported individualized study and practice, where student and faculty map out a course of study/plan of action. Lab faculty meet weekly with each student individually to ensure adherence to their plan of study. Lab faculty also coordinate with instructional faculty to ensure integration of coursework across the learning plans of the cohort.

Lab Faculty Requirements:

Pre-employment: BA required with requisite experience in higher education and/or working with adult learners in case-management capacity. Master’s preferred.

During employment: Attendance in summer faculty orientation, a weekly check-in with the Dean of Instruction and Student Services, and an individualized Professional Development plan approved by the Office of the Provost.

Weekly Commitment and Compensation:

The Lab Faculty is 15 - 20 hours (approximately 1.25 hours per student per week and an additional hour of admin). Pay is at a rate of $750/student for a 6-month contract (July-Dec; Jan-Jun)

Lab Faculty Responsibilities:

Course Design and Instruction

Adhere to and customize Workplace and World Lab syllabus for advisory cohort and current events.  This includes enacting core requirements of each iteration of Workplace and World Lab:

  • Design and instruct weekly 3-hour in-person seminar for cohort.  This includes suggesting and finding speakers, developing resources and materials, and facilitating learning and feedback.
  • Ensure proper documentation of student learning to meet standards of CU and that all artifacts are in the student’s online-portfolio.
  • Submit grade and written assessment to Dean’s Office at midterm and end-of-semester assessing student progress toward learning goals.
  • Weekly 1:1 with each student.
  • Reviewing student documented conversations with a professional mentor (at least two per 9-week session).
  • Attending Mid-semester and Final Learning Exhibition.
  • Semester foci which could include:
    • Research Methods
    • Building a Personal Learning Network
    • Action Research Project Proposal
    • Common text


  • Weekly 1:1s with each student in cohort (20-25 minutes each) face-to-face, video or phone call. During this time Lab Faculty:
    • Ensure each student submits a weekly Personal Learning Plans (PLP) that accurately reflects the ongoing needs of personal and project development, while also demonstrating course integration.
    • Help facilitate and support students in building a Learning Team composed of at least one professional mentor, a field expert, and peer invested in his/her success
    • Hold student accountable for cultivating this network through discussions (online or otherwise)
    • Any other aspects of project and professional development.
  • Accessing and directing student to the appropriate support system
    • An important part of the work Lab Faculty do is helping students access any support services they may need to be successful in college. This list could include:
      • Learning assistance related to their success in courses
      • Connecting students to case management for health care, housing, food, etc
      • Supportive coaching to students who may doubt their ability to succeed
  • Communicate with each student’s Professional Mentor once per 9-week session


  • Lab faculty are also expected to attend and participate in weekly faculty meetings, annual orientation, and professional development (face to face, video, or phone calls).
  • Keep accurate student attendance records
  • Keep PLP engagement and other assignment completion records

Successful Lab Faculty Possess the Following Qualifications:

  1. Personalize learning for every student, assessing needs and providing appropriate resources.
  2. Hold high standards for students, and positive expectations that all can perform at high levels.
  3. Demonstrate appreciation for and sensitivity to diversity among individuals.
  4. Engage in reflective practices—use reflection to improve educational practice and relationships with students and staff.  Supports other learners in their reflective practices.
  5. Participate in ongoing professional development trainings and activities as appropriate.
  6. Demonstrate computer proficiency and willingness to learn appropriate instructional technologies.
  7. Take initiative/self starter.
  8. Establish and maintain cooperative, professional relationships with others.
  9.  Collaborate with diverse agencies and professionals.
  10. Demonstrate communication skills that are clear, direct, and responsive.
  11. Adapt to changing conditions; understand a culture of change and ambiguity.
  12. Articulate a personal set of values and goals pertaining to education.
  13. Engage in risk-taking in the field of educational change.
  14. Manage conflict.
  15. Give and receive constructive feedback.

To see our Lab Faculty/Advising Handbook click here.

To apply please fill out this form here.