SJSU undergraduate students who want to chat with professors or graduate teaching assistants outside their classroom can take a coffee break between classes, with SJSU offering a free $12 VIP Gold Card to cover the beverages through the newly launched “Coffee with a Professor” program. The program is intended to foster informal, out-of-classroom interactions between students and faculty by providing a $12 VIP Gold Card that is redeemable at campus dining and retail venues.
Students are eligible to participate twice a semester and cards are available for pick up at the Center for Faculty Development (IRC 213.) To participate, students will need to provide a confirmed date and time of their meeting; their name, email address and student ID number; the name and email address of their professor or graduate teaching assistant; and the course section or class name if they are currently enrolled in a class taught by the professor. Students can meet with a professor or graduate teaching assistant with whom they are not currently taking a class, but the faculty members must currently be employed at SJSU. Participating dining locations include Le Boulanger in Union Square, On Fourth Café in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Just Below in MacQuarrie Hall and the soon-to-open Starbucks (in the Student Union.)
A newly created website, Coffee with a Professor, offers more details about the program. It also includes a “Table Topics” section to help students start their conversations with icebreaker questions. Students can use the time to seek advice on careers, the future of the industry in their major or other questions that can support their educational journey. Those who participate are encouraged to take a photo to share on Instagram with the hashtag #SJSUchatwithaprof.
The Coffee with a Professor program has been created with support from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Associated Students, Inc.