Graduate students will get many opportunities to develop teaching and mentoring skills.
Students are required to do a minimum of two (2) semesters teaching. The courses in which graduate students are TFs include the first level Foundations of Biology course, the intermediate levels courses of Genetics, Biochemistry, Cell and Development, Mammalian Physiology, Ecology, and Evolution, and the upper division courses. TF responsibilities vary by course but include grading, meeting students during office hours or review sessions, running laboratory sessions or recitation sections, and giving lectures. Ambitious graduate students have designed labs and have been responsible for entire courses (based on Faculty approval).
Apprenticeship in Teaching
The Department encourages interested graduate students to participate in the Apprenticeship in Teaching (AT) Program sponsored by the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS). The AT program is designed to enhance the preparation of graduate students as teachers. The AT program offers graduate students the chance to participate in workshops and engage in authentic, teaching-related, typical faculty tasks with mentorship from current faculty and CNDLS professional teaching staff. These tasks are designed to give participants increased confidence and preparation for an academic position with teaching responsibilities.
Most faculty in the Department of Biology engage undergraduate students in their laboratories to conduct research projects. Graduate students frequently have the opportunity to mentor these students during the academic year and during the summers. This interaction can hone the graduate student's skills in communication, supervising others, and helping them to achieve their educational and personal goals.