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Teaching Preparation

Because many of our students expect to do some formal teaching in their career, we provide a number of opportunities for students to develop skills and gain experience in this area:

Paid Teaching Assistantship. Students are required to complete at least 2 semesters as a Teaching Assistant (TA), although the majority do so for 8 or more semesters. TA duties typically include supporting student learning, grading assignments and exams, giving 1-2 lectures, and in some cases teaching weekly lab sections. Prior to each semester, students indicate their preferences for courses to be assigned to as TA. The Chair makes TA assignments with scheduled courses with the aim to match a student to one of his/her preferred courses. This is accomplished for over 95% of students each semester. All TAs receive supervision by the Instructor of Record (IoR) for the course, either a tenure-track faculty or full-time Lecturer. The IoR also provides formal feedback at the end of the semester using a standard TA Performance Evaluation Form. In addition, TAs receive standard evaluations from the students in the course.

Appointment as Teaching Fellow. Upon Advancing to Candidacy, students are eligible to serve as Teaching Fellow for a course. A Teaching Fellow performs additional duties specific to the course beyond typical for a TA, which may include assisting in preparing exams, leading exam review sessions, assisting in constructing assignments, and presenting more lectures.

Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning (CETL). Students can complete workshops offered by CETL throughout the year in the Teaching Matters Series that addresses various pedagogy topics, as well as obtain certificates for their participation.

Teaching Preparation item in the Qualifying Exam. Students may opt to complete this element of the Qualifying Exam, including completing (a) a series of teaching-related workshops offered by the CETL and (b) an annotated syllabus (e.g., a week by week paragraph-long summary of what is covered during the week and what kinds of activities will be done).

Seminar on Teaching. This course was developed by Prof. Wiebe and taught for the first time in Spring, 2018. Intended to be offered biennially, it is designed to introduce pedagogical theories, styles, and strategies applied to teaching at the college level, as detailed in the syllabus (Appendix 12).

Appointment as a course Instructor of Record (IoR). Upon Advancement to Candidacy, students may apply for the opportunity to teach a course as the IoR in the summer session. Under the supervision by the Department Chair and/or Undergraduate Program Chair, the student IoR take full responsibility for teaching a course. To qualify for this opportunity, the student must have been the TA for the course at least once and completed the teaching preparation element in his/her Qualifying Exam.

Updated 2021