All graduate students in the Field of GGD are required participate in a one semester teaching experience which is associated with the course BIOMG 6980: Graduate Student Teaching Assistant Experience in Molecular Biology and Genetics. This course has been specifically designed to provide pedagogical skills necessary for teaching at the college level. Students fulfill this requirement during their second year of matriculation.
Each spring semester students will have the opportunity to identify and rank preferred BIOMG courses for this teaching experience through the required application process. The MBG TA Coordinator will communicate when the application period is open, and will assign positions following review of submitted applications. Students will not be assigned to a course led by their mentor.
Once the Teaching Experience requirement has been filled, GGD students may choose to also apply for Teaching Assistantships (within or outside of MBG), either because they would like more teaching experience or because student costs are then paid by the department which offers the TA appointment. Note that preference for MBG courses will first be given to any student that has not yet met the Teaching Experience requirement, and next to those students whose thesis research advisor is a member of the Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics.
For international students, the University requires participation in a Language Assessment Interview by the International TA Development Program (ITADP) in order to assess competency in English prior to TAing. Only students who received a 28 or above on the Speaking portion of TOEFL are exempt from this assessment. On the basis of this assessment, some international students are required to take an additional course(s), given by the ITADP to improve their teaching skills. Occasionally, students may also be required by the ITADP to take an English-as-second language course.
Each year, the Field of GGD acknowledges outstanding teaching efforts by presenting TA awards. One award is given through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Another award, the Joe and Rita Calvo Teaching Award, is given directly by the MBG Department.