FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) for Interdisciplinary Studies at City Tech
last updated 9/3/21

Guest lecturers
Instructors teaching an ID Course
Existing ID courses

 Guest lecturers
When do I submit a guest lecture form?
Each time you give a guest lecture in an ID course, submit for your verification form ASAP. You can complete your guest lecture verification form for the 2021-2022 school year here: https://forms.gle/iofmpWSoPBT7PCnj9

How do I earn credit for guest lecturing?
When it comes to compensation, guest lectures are quantified as units. One guest lecture unit is 1 hour and 15 minutes. During the academic school year (not including summer), you earn one release hour for 6 guest lecture units. You cannot earn more than 2 release hours each year (12 guest lecture units).

An example: in the Fall a professor gave two 2.5 hours guest lectures, and in the Spring they gave two 1.25 hour lectures. This means that they’ve earned 1 hour of release time (6 units).

Another example: in the Fall a professor gave four 1.25 hours lectures. The following Spring the professor did not give any lectures. This means they did not earn any release time.

Does anything roll-over?
“Can I earn release time over the course of several academic years by giving guest lectures?” YES. You have three years, per contractual standards.

An example: in the Fall a professor gave four 1.25 hours lectures. That Spring, the professor did not give any lectures. The following year, the professor gave one 2.5 hours lecture during the Fall. This means that at the end of the Fall semester they have earned 1 hour of release time. (it should then be applied to the Spring Workload Form).

When do I claim my release time?
At the end of each semester, you will be notified if you have hit the threshold for 1 or more release hours. You will receive an email from the ID Course Coordinator as verification. The next time you submit your Workload Form to your department chair (i.e., the following semester), indicate your release hours and attach email confirmation from the ID Course Coordinator as evidence.

How do I keep track?
As mentioned above—when you have reached a minimum of 6 guest lecture units (this is determined by your submission of the guest lecture verification form), you will be notified by the ID Course Coordinator. Also, each time you submit the form, you will receive an email confirmation from Google Forms, and you may choose to keep these for your own records. If you are a part-time faculty member giving guest lectures, you will be notified by the ID Course Coordinator at the end of each semester when your hours are submitted and when you can expect to get paid.

Can I get paid for a guest lecture?
Part-time faculty members who are not teaching the maximum number of credits allowed, across CUNY campuses, will receive payment for their time guest lecturing during the academic year and summer semesters. Payment is 2x the non-teaching hourly rate per hour of guest lecturing.

During the Summer, full-time faculty are off-contract, and therefore are compensated as adjunct faculty. You cannot accrue guest lecture units for release time during the summer.

At the end of all summer sessions, guest lecture hours are tabulated and submitted to the college for payment.

Instructors teaching an ID course
When do I have to submit my syllabus to the ID Course Coordinator?
Every semester you teach an ID section. At the start of each semester, you will receive an email from the ID Course Coordinator requesting a copy of your syllabus. Your syllabus is due within the first 2 weeks of the semester.

What happens to my syllabi each semester?
ID syllabi are reviewed by a working group of rotating volunteers from the ID committee. They are checked to make sure that they adhere to ID guidelines (indicated on original proposal for an ID course). For example, reviewers check to see if the class is co-taught or consists of a minimum of 20% guest lecturers from the discipline(s) specified on the original course proposal.

When do I need to complete paperwork for the ID Committee?
Anytime there is a change to your course that impacts the ID learning outcomes, you will submit documentation to the ID committee using the short form found here: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/ids/files/2020/04/Short-form-change-ID-format-changes.docx

Examples of changes to a course that impact ID Learning Outcomes: changing the discipline of a guest lecturer or changing the discipline of a co-instructor. Other changes like switching from in-person to hybrid also apply.

I’m having trouble finding a guest lecturer… what should I do?
First, you can ask your guest lecturer to recommend colleagues from within their discipline at City Tech. You can also explore the discipline using the college website and department listings. Craft an invite to your potential new lecturer specifying how you see their expertise fitting into your course. There is also a list of willing guest lecturers on the ID website, here: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/ids/resources/have-an-id-course-idea/guest-lecturers/

If you are unable to find a replacement from the same discipline, you will have to submit a short form denoting the change in discipline as well as shifts made to the ID learning outcomes. These changes should be reflected in your syllabus to students as well (i.e., don’t just keep previous ID learning outcomes on your syllabus).

I have a recording of a guest lecture given last semester… can’t I just show that again?
Guest lecturers need to be interactive. A recording will not suffice. Always work to have you guest lecturers interact with students. In the case of asynchronous sections, considering the pandemic, recordings can be used, however, there needs to be an interaction plan in place (e.g., discussion boards, office hours).

How many guest lecturers do I need?
If you are co-teaching a course and 2 or more disciplines are represented, then you are not required to have guest lecturers (unless you’ve specified that in your original ID proposal). Please note: one person can only represent one discipline at a time, regardless of expertise.

If you are teaching an ID section using the guest lecture model, then at least 20% of your class meetings need to be offered by a City Tech faculty member from at least 1 discipline other than your own. The same guest lecturer can have many visits, or you can have many visits from several different disciplines. A good rule of thumb: you will need at least six 1.25 hours lectures or three 2.5 hours lectures, or any combination of these that equates to 20% of your total class meetings.

Where can students find detailed information about interdisciplinary courses?
Find detailed information on the college’s website.

Some courses are a mixture of interdisciplinary (ID) sections and non-interdisciplinary sections. Don’t forget to look for the ID designation. See Students, Don’t Let This Be You! Check for ID (Interdisciplinary).


Thinking about proposing a new ID course or new section for an existing course?
How do I propose a new interdisciplinary course?
We provide a form to propose an ID course as well as a checklist.

I want to submit a proposal for an interdisciplinary course. What are the deadlines? To run the course next semester

  • New courses have been approved by College Council Curriculum Committee by first day of semester of the previous semester. For example, to run a course for Fall 2020, it should have been approved by the CCCC by the first day of classes for Spring 2020, which is also our application deadline.
  • Existing courses must be submitted two weeks before the next ID Committee meeting

Can I propose that an existing non-ID course be made interdisciplinary?
Yes. See the ID course proposal page. Also see our application checklist

How are ID course proposals evaluated? 
The evaluation framework includes not only the ID learning outcomes with evaluation strategies, but also the main ID assignment (or representative example of course ID assignments). Here are some sample syllabi.

Questions related to existing ID courses
What is the difference between an ID and non-ID section of the same course?
The ID version of the existing non-ID course needs to go through the same proposal process just like a new ID course. It has to meet a variety of objectives and learning outcomes that align with interdisciplinary learning. These objectives are further detailed in our proposal form and application checklist. The course also has to be team-taught (co-taught, include a minimum number of guest lectures, be part of a learning community) by faculty in different disciplines and have an interdisciplinary theme.

I understand that guest lecturers may get release time or other compensation. What do I need to do as an ID instructor or a guest lecturer?
See our form for guest lecturer verification and related policies.  

If my ID course is switching format (e.g., from co-teaching to guest-lecturer model), do I need to submit documentation?
Yes. See this form.

Who do I contact for questions about ….

New courses Reneta Lansiquot and Sean Macdonald rlansiquot@citytech.cuny.edu
Format changes Reneta Lansiquot and Sean Macdonald rlansiquot@citytech.cuny.edu
Guest lecture verification Amanda Almond aalmond@citytech.cuny.edu