The recent NIH Biomedical Research Workforce Report indicated that training programs should prepare biomedical PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to participate in a broad-based and evolving economy. While our training programs are primarily focused on laboratory based training, many of our trainees enter into non-traditional career paths such as full time teaching careers. Indeed many of our trainees find positions in colleges or universities where teaching is required as a part of faculty responsibilities. To meet some of recommendations of the NIH Workforce report, it is important that our trainees have access to formal training in educational theory and practice, Graduate students who have had some formal training and mentored experience in undergraduate teaching find that they have a competitive edge when it comes to searching for their first faculty position.
In collaboration with the School of Health Related Professions as well as area community colleges and universities, SGSHS has established a program for students to participate in a teaching practicum. Faculty identify areas of content in courses in which a PhD student or Postdoctoral Fellows experience would be an asset. The PhD or Postdoc is then matched to these areas of content and mentored to provide lectures in these areas. The student may register for ID 715, Teaching in Higher Education (3 hours credit), and meet once per week with a mentor to refine teaching technique and presentation materials. Participants receive instruction on the basics of learning styles, teaching philosophies, course development, and assessment in addition to teaching and learning techniques. Students then register for ID 716, Teaching Practicum (1 hour credit). After the student receives his/her teaching assignment and teacher mentor, the teaching mentor will observe the student for one class period; provide feedback and guidance then do a formal evaluation culminating in a course grade.
The Teachers in Training Program allows participants to experience mentorship, observation, and teaching in an undergraduate classroom at neighboring institutions or universities. This opportunity will offer selected participants the ability to gain an enhanced level of teaching experience, mentoring, and observation designed to increase professional development and preparation for a career in higher education. This is a chance for graduate students who are interested in teaching as a career as well as post-doctoral fellows in the beginning stages of job searching, to experience university teaching with a mentor-teacher.
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