Graduate Teaching Requirement

Plant Science graduate students in Plant Stress Biology, Horticulture, Crop, Soil & Pest Management and Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics are required to complete a teaching experience plan as part of their plan of study. Graduate students in Entomology are exempt, however they must still complete the form. Graduate students may fulfill the teaching experience requirement through attendance in a formal course or as a course assistant in a Plant Sciences course or Extension presentation.

The first step is to discuss your plan with your advisor and committee. Once you have made a decision, you will need to submit the Student Plan for Teaching Experience form with your M1 or D2 form.

Student Plan for Teaching Experience, to be filed with M1 or D2 (PDF) (DOC)

Category A: Completion of a Course in College Science Teaching.

The suggested formal courses include:

    • Bio S/CI 8724 College Science Teaching. (3 credits)(same as Learning, Teaching and Curriculum [LTC]8724). Study of leatner characteristics, teaching strategies, and research findings related to teaching science at the post-secondary level. Graduate standing required.
    • ED LPA 9456 The Professoriate. (3 credits) Overview of faculty roles and work in U.S. colleges and universities. Explores institutional and disciplinary differences and seeks to prepare future faculty for academic life.
    • Ag ED 8350 College Teaching of Agriculture. (3 credits) A course designed to assist current or future college faculty who wish to improve their teaching skills. Topics include theories, principles and practices associated with effective teaching and learning in higher education.
    • Ag ED 8330 Advanced Methods of Teaching Agriculture. (3 credits) Explres the principles and psychological aspects of teaching and learning; teaching strategies, methods, and techniques; curriculum organization; evaluating student learning; motivating students; managing the learning environment; use of technology; and personal teacher behaviors that influence learning. Prerequisite: Agricultural Education [AG_ED] 4330 or instructor’s permission.
    • ED LPA 9455 The Community College (3 credits) An overview of the community college. Topics include historical roots and development of the community college, organization and goverance, finance, students, faculty, administrators, curriculum, social role, and recurring and emerging issues.
  • The Graduate School offers additional Teaching, Leadership & Future Faculty programs aimed at further preparing graduate students.

Additional courses proposed by students will be considered on an individual basis by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Category B: Teaching Experience as a Course Assistant.

You can find opportunities as a course assistant for either the fall or spring semesters. Contact the course instructors as early as possible on availability of teaching opportunities in their course, as individual course instructors will be responsible for choosing their course assistants.

Fall Semester

  • PS 3355, Introductory Turfgrass Management – Xiong
  • PS 3210, Principles of Weed Science – Smeda
  • PS 3270, Forage Crops – Naumann
  • PS 4500/7500 Biology and Pathogenesis of Plant-Associated Microbes –  Schoelz
  • Soil Science/Environmental Science 4306/7306, Environmental Soil Physics – Anderson
  • PS 3715 Insect Diversity – Barrett

Spring Semester

  • PS 4355/7355, Advanced Turfgrass Management – Xiong
  • PS 2125, Plant Structure and Function – Naumann
  • PS 4315, Crop Physiology – Fritschi

To complete the requirements for the teaching experience, you will need to solicit feedback on your performance from the students in the course and the course instructor. Please download the TA evaluation form and make sufficient copies for all of the students in the course.

Teaching Experience Evaluation Form (PDF) (DOC)

Allow at least ten minutes of class time for completion of the course evaluation. The course instructor will be responsible for collecting the forms and submitting them. The course instructor will also be expected to write a letter evaluating your teaching performance. You should expect to receive a summary of the student evaluations and the letter from the course instructor.

Category C: Extension Teaching Experience.

Students will collaborate with extension faculty within the Division of Plant Sciences to participate in an approved extension teaching experience. Examples of appropriate extension experiences could include, but are not limited to: the development of training modules, websites, videos, publications, guide sheets, etc. related to a need identified by the student and faculty member within a given extension programmatic emphasis area. The extension faculty member may also choose for the student to develop a series of presentations related to a particular extension programmatic emphasis area and to deliver these presentations to appropriate audiences throughout the course of a given semester.

Individual extension faculty will be responsible for choosing and approving all students who wish to participate in an extension teaching experience, and will also decide on and approve each specific project. To complete the requirements for the extension teaching experience, you will need to solicit feedback on your performance from the extension faculty member who will be expected to write a letter evaluating your performance at the end of the semester.

Students with a strong interest in teaching may be interested in pursuing a minor in College Teaching.