Last week UBC's Okanagan Senate approved a new course for doctoral students who are passionate about learning best practices in teaching.
The course, Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) 630, is designed to give doctoral students nearing completion of their doctoral studies practical training in course design and implementation.
"As a Tier One research-intensive university we are focused on not only producing great researchers who make a global impact, but great researchers who have the ability to communicate and teach others to change the world through knowledge, exploration and learning," says Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, Provost and Vice Principal of UBC's Okanagan campus.
Up to 10 graduate students will be accepted into the new course which requires them to not only develop an undergraduate class in their area of expertise, but work with a faculty mentor to execute it to undergraduate students.
"IGS 630 will help doctoral students prepare for teaching at a university in a mindful manner that stresses the art and importance of teaching," says Daniel Keyes, Interim Director of Interdisciplinary Studies. "This course teaches the next generation of the professoriate how to effectively structure and deliver courses.
"It will benefit not only PhDs lucky enough to be admitted into it, but the undergraduate students who will take these freshly-designed courses."
Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies, with support from the Centre for Teaching and Learning, will offer up to 10 scholarships in the coming academic year to cultivate this unique training opportunity for post-candidacy doctoral students.
The financial support is available to all doctoral candidates but preference is given to IGS students who have demonstrated an interest and desire in the scholarship of teaching, who have had limited opportunities to teach at the undergraduate level, and who have normally achieved post candidacy.
"It is important that IGS students demonstrate the ability to teach an undergraduate course within an established discipline," says Peter Arthur, Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning. "This new course teaches the skills of their profession. Almost surprisingly, many graduate students don't get an opportunity to develop these skills as students -- this is a fairly new and innovative course and one we feel will benefit them and their future students immensely."
For more information on the course and the financial support available, visit http://web.ubc.ca/okanagan/gradstudies/advising/IGS.html.
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