Liberal Studies Program > First-Year Program > For Faculty > FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions: Chicago Quarter & Focal Point Seminar

Discover Chicago

When does Immersion Week begin?

Immersion Week for Discover Chicago courses begins the week before the official start of Autumn Quarter classes. In 2018, Immersion Week runs from Monday, August 27, through Friday, August 31​​​. ​​​

When is the Discover Chicago informational meeting?

The Pre-Immersion Week meeting for all members of Discover Chicago teaching teams​ is typically held the Thursday before Immersion Week. In 2018, the meeting will be held on Thursday, August 23, 10:00 a.m.-noon, location TBD.

What is New Student Service Day?

New Student Service Day (NSSD), which takes place the day before regular Autumn Quarter classes begin, provides new students with the opportunity to become acquainted firsthand with DePaul’s Vincentian mission, as well as their new DePaul family. Each Discover Chicago class travels to an assigned service site somewhere in the city before returning to campus for an afternoon barbecue. For more information, please contact Katie Sullivan, in University Ministry, Student Center 311, 773-325-4490.​

In 2018, NSSD will be held on Tuesday, September 4. 

Because NSSD occurs on the same day as the Honors Retreat and School of Music auditions, students in Honors sections and sections reserved for School of Music students are provided with service opportunities later in the autumn quarter.

Explore Chicago

When is the Explore Chicago informational meeting?

The “Great Starts” meeting for all members of Explore Chicago teaching teams is typically held the day before the official start of Autumn Quarter classes. In 2018​, the meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 4, 3:00-5:00 p.m., location TBD.

Common Hour (Chicago Quarter)

What is Common Hour?

Within each Chicago Quarter class, one hour of class each week (10 hours total) is dedicated to Common Hour, a co-curricular program designed to address common issues of transition for first-year students. Common Hour is comprised of information sessions, discussions, activities and workshops led by Chicago Quarter Mentors and staff professionals and designed to help students make a successful academic and developmental transition into DePaul University. The curriculum centers on three key ideas: understanding and believing in myself; connecting to the DePaul community; and transitioning to college.


What is the role of faculty in Common Hour?

Assessment data about Common Hour show that faculty participation in Common Hour has an important and positive effect. While Common Hour is conducted primarily by the Chicago Quarter Mentor and Staff Professional, faculty presence and participation reinforce several key ideas: that the course is team-taught, not taught by a tag-team; that Common Hour involves serious work that is important to student success in this class and beyond. While never taking over the Common Hour, faculty can serve as a good source of feedback and an important support for the staff professional and student mentor. ​


Why are the course proposal deadlines so early?

The Chicago Quarter course proposal deadline is set for December 15 in order to meet the mid-March date when information about Chicago Quarter courses is posted online for the incoming students to view. The intervening three-month period is necessary to allow the committee to review, possibly request revisions, and finally approve new course proposals; and then for the Office of the First-Year Program to coordinate the scheduling of 100+ sections of Discover and Explore Chicago in coordination with some 40 departments and programs drawn from across the colleges and schools of the university, followed by NSFE's assignment of teaching teams.

The February 1 Focal Point proposal deadline is set for similar reasons to allow for a thorough approval process followed by the scheduling of Focal Point classes, which takes place during the spring quarter; it also allows faculty interested in proposing a FY@broad section the opportunity to apply for a QIC travel grant.

I will be teaching in the Loop and would like to hold office hours there; can I get office space in the Loop?

Instructors may request office space in the Loop (on the 16th floor of the Lewis Center) during the quarter they are teaching there. Instructors teaching in the Loop should expect to receive an email about office space, mailboxes, etc. about a month before the quarter starts. If the start of classes is fast approaching and you have not received such an email (or if you simply want to take care of things earlier), please contact Eunice Morales​, Lewis 1630, 312-362-8882.

Staff (Chicago Quarter)

How do I become a Discover Chicago Staff Professional?

Contact NSFE , the Office of New Student & Family Engagement, 773-325-7360, and request an application form. The application deadline for staff professionals is in February.

I'm a DePaul staff member with an interest and expertise in a certain topic; can I teach in the FYP as an instructor?

While the Chicago Quarter teaching teams are designed to provide students with connections to people occupying three different university roles (faculty, staff, student), some DePaul staff members, with advanced degrees and college teaching experience as instructor of record, do teach in the First-Year Program, in some cases having taken on an existing course, in other cases having had a new course proposal approved. Typically, they have first served as Chicago Quarter staff professionals. ​​

If I have questions about...

Who is the right person to contact?

Proposing or scheduling a Chicago Quarter course or Focal Point Seminar Michael Edwards, Office of the FYP, 773-325-1187
The Chicago Quarter Welcome Letter
Online Teaching Evaluations
Jennifer Tatum, Office of the FYP, 773-325-7439
Class budget & reimbursement
Transportation & logistics
Brent Nunn, Office of the FYP, 773-325-7188
Chicago Quarter Mentors, staff professionals, or how to become a CQM or staff professional NSFE, New Student & Family Engagement, 773-325-2273
New Student Service Day Katie Sullivan, University Ministry, 773-325-4490
Honors Discover & Explore Chicago Martha Martinez-Firestone, Honors Program, 773-325-4137
FY@broad Scott Ozaroski, Study Abroad, 312-362-6347
QRTL: LSP 120, 121 David Jabon, Quantitative Reasoning Center, 773-325-7248
First-Year Writing:  WRD 102, 103, 104 Erin Workman, First-Year Writing, 773-325-2486