Teaching experience is essential and required of all Genetics Program graduate students. This experience will involve the student in the intellectual aspects of assembling and teaching a course, as well as the problems and responsibilities of teaching.
All Genetics Program graduate students are required to assist in teaching one semester of the introductory genetics course, ZOL 341. The timing of the teaching assignment will be made by the Genetics Program Director in consultation with the graduate student. During the teaching semester, the graduate student will be paid through a College of Natural Science teaching assistantship, and will enroll in GEN 810 Theory and Practice of Teaching Genetics. Since this teaching experience provides a broad review of all aspects of genetics, it is a good way to review basic genetic concepts prior to the comprehensive exam.
Students who are appointed as teaching assistants are responsible to the instructors of the classes in which they are assisting, and their performance will be evaluated by those instructors. The Teaching Assistant Program issues a handbook for T.A.’s and offers various workshops throughout the year. The Teaching Assistant Program’s web site is http://grad.msu.edu/tap/.
Optional Certification in College Teaching
Genetics Program graduate students may elect to participate in the MSU's Certification in College Teaching, an initiative of The Graduate School in partnership with departments and colleges. It is designed to help graduate students organize and develop their teaching experience in a systematic and thoughtful way, with assistance from faculty and campus offices and programs, in a manner similar to that already in place for research experience. As part of this program, participants will develop a teaching portfolio to highlight, organize and reflect upon their teaching experiences. Upon completion of the program, the student will receive an MSU Certificate in College Teaching from the appropriate department or college. A transcript notation will also be provided.
More information regarding the MSU Certification in College Teaching Program may be found at the Graduate School’s website: https://natsci.msu.edu/academics/graduate/certification-in-teaching/