To submit a course proposal for our courses to start in 2017, read this page and scroll to the bottom for the course proposal instructions.
Sphere is an exciting new learning paradigm where the teaching quality is high, mentorship is valued, and our topics are inspiring and relevant to life as we know it today. We believe that high quality teaching translates into students’ ability to gain knowledge and put it to work in their lives quickly and effectively. We also believe that high quality teaching inspires a lifelong interest in learning, which is one of our goals. Read more about who we are…
Course Proposals are Currently Being Accepted:
Currently, Sphere is accepting course proposals for our January 2017 session. We are seeking proposals in two areas:
· Tools for Effective Living
· Special Interest Topics
Tools for Effective Living are courses that help adults function well in the world. Subjects include basic financial & numerical literacy, cultural & relational literacy, language and communications, health, and technology & media. Special Interest Topics are courses that enhance personal and professional growth, but are specific to a particular area of interest. Subjects may include: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), and the arts & humanities.
We are looking for eclectic courses as well as innovative takes on traditional subjects in both areas.
At the heart of Sphere’s curriculum philosophy is a belief in the interconnectedness of all life, and the abilities and actions that this awareness brings. We therefore strive for subject matter that is not only highly relevant – in both knowledge and application – but that touches on other, and possibly multiple, disciplines (at whatever level is appropriate for the topic and learning level at the time), thereby fostering participants’ curiosity in both learning and relationship.
It is our deepest interest that anyone who participates at Sphere (students, teachers, mentors, staff, volunteers, etc.) grows in their capacity to think critically and relationally, but also experiences increasing confidence in utilizing their unique talents and gifts toward the creation of a more effective, harmonious existence for all. So rather than dictating to students what they need to learn, coursework ideally empowers students to discover and put into action the knowledge that would most improve life conditions for themselves and their community at any given time. This is the heart of social innovation, and at the basis of our mission.
Most of Sphere’s courses will take place within the structure of a 5-week course, 2 meetings a week, each lasting an hour-and-a-half. However, proposals for classes up to 8 weeks, with a diversity of class meetings and time lengths, will be considered.
Sphere is looking for teachers who:
- are passionate about teaching;
- appreciate the benefits of collaboration;
- listen well and are proficient, balanced communicators;
- have the ability to engage students at different levels in creative and caring ways;
- are enthusiastic about participating in the evolution of Sphere’s teaching practices; and,
- are well-rounded, bringing a broad range of knowledge and experience to the classroom.
Read our Teacher Ethos.
Compensation: You may propose any amount that you wish. Sphere College Project is a 501(c)(3) organization with the mission of providing innovative, high-quality education to any adult, regardless of means. Read our Vision Package. Because of our social orientation, we run with a generous but lean budget as possible to ensure that we are serving as many in the community as possible. Our course budget for all 1st Session 2017 courses is $6,000*.
If your course is accepted, Sphere agrees to pay your requested amount, and help advertise the course, as long as we have enrolled your minimum number of students. To cover the expenses of your course, Sphere raises money through student contributions and other private and public donations to Sphere.
We pay teachers ½ of their requested amount prior to starting the course, and the balance within two weeks after the course has ended.
Class Structure: We anticipate our courses to enroll 7-12 students, generally. However, we are open to larger and smaller learning groups, depending on the subject and student needs.
Submit a Proposal
Right now, there is only one way to submit a proposal: Download our fillable proposal PDF. Once the PDF is downloaded, fill it out on your computer and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use “Course Proposal Form” as your subject line.
Guidelines for completing the form:
- Be sure to fill in each field.
- Make sure that your course title is exciting as well as representative of the content.
- You may request that students purchase books and other materials for classes. (Please aim to keep costs low for participating students and advise us of a materials cost in the “Comments” section of the form.)
What to Anticipate
Once the course proposal deadline has passed, we will contact you to set up a 40-minute interview with the Sphere Curriculum Committee. The purpose of the meeting is to learn more about you, your subject matter and teaching style. Both teachers and course subjects will be evaluated for fit in relation to not only Sphere’s values, mission and purpose, but also where we are in our development, including budget considerations. Since we are just beginning, and in the process of our “soft launch,” many details are still being worked out. So, we ask for your patience in this process.
After teachers are interviewed, the Sphere Curriculum Committee will decide what courses will be offered for the session, and Sphere will notify you in writing about the results. Because of our commitment to connection, collaboration, and growth, we invite all teachers who present or wish to present for Sphere to participate in our teacher meetings for the purpose of elevating the quality of teaching at Sphere, and fostering camaraderie amongst teachers.
* Our intention is that Sphere College Project is a community-run, community-driven educational program. Anyone from the community is welcome to participate in the design, delivery and evolution of this initiative, as a part of our advisory and steering committees. Accordingly, we consider Sphere’s policies, procedures, budget and guidelines as perpetually works in progress, meaning that published strategies may be updated when it is determined that new strategies may better meet the needs of the Asheville and Sphere communities.