Teacher Scholars Capstone


Undergraduate Teacher Scholars

The Undergraduate Teacher Scholar Program is a two semester experience that consists of two options which the student may choose between.  Each mechanism requires the Undergraduate Teacher Scholar (UTS) to identify a faculty mentor who agrees to work with the UTS to prepare educational material the first semester and will be the instructor of record the second semester.

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, qualify for the Undergraduate Teacher Scholar Program.

Undergraduates who participate in the Undergraduate Teacher Scholars (UTS) capstone will:

  • Hone their organizational and presentation skills while delving deeply into material relevant to their major(s), interests and career goals
  • Develop a new 1 credit seminar (small, interactive) course, OR Develop educational material to enhance an already existing course
Students will:
  • Submit an application that includes a proposal of a course or teaching project developed in collaboration with a faculty mentor
  • Develop, organize, deliver, and assess instructional material
  • Present their work in a public arena

Developing A New 1 Credit Seminar

For this option, the Undergraduate Teacher Scholar (UTS) must propose a topic to be covered in a one semester, one credit course designed for about 10 students with the mentorship of a faculty advisor. For the first semester, the faculty member and UTS will work together to develop the framework, content, materials and assessment for the seminar.  The second semester, the UTS will be the primary instructor for the seminar with the assistance and oversight of the faculty mentor.  The UTS and faculty mentor should meet at least every other week so that the faculty mentor can give feedback on instructional technique.  The faculty mentor will be responsible for evaluation of the students within the course and assigning grades.  This course will probably be taught as UGST 285.

The UTS will be expected to:

  • Submit a short (250 word) course description by one week prior to the deadline for listing courses for registration for the coming semester so that Honors and Undergraduate Research has the opportunity to publicize the course
  • Have a completed syllabus ready for the faculty member to upload by the end of the first semester
  • Prepare for each class meeting ahead of time so that each meeting flows smoothly
  • Provide answer keys to homework, quizzes or exams in a timely manner
  • Lead class discussions
  • Hold an office hour once a week

The Faculty Mentor will be expected to:

  • Ensure the overall quality of course content (topics, order of presentation, depth of material)
  • Ensure that the teaching style is appropriate for the content (discussion, group work, field work, etc.)
  • Obtain necessary permission for teaching style (field trips, laboratory work, human subjects)
  • Mentor the UTS with respect to pedagogical skills (lecture, discussion, PowerPoint)
  • Make any grade assignments for students registered for the course

Supporting An Existing Course

For this option, the Undergraduate Teacher Scholar (UTS) must propose types of educational materials or experiences that will be designed and implemented throughout the following semester to enhance the instruction of an already developed course under the mentorship of the faculty member who will have primary instructional responsibility for the course.  For the first semester, the faculty member and UTS will work together to develop the framework, content, materials and assessment for the additional educational materials/experiences.  The second semester, the UTS will have primary responsibility for implementation of the materials/experiences within the context of the course taught by the faculty mentor.  The UTS and faculty mentor should meet at least every other week so that the faculty mentor can give feedback on instructional technique.  The faculty mentor will be responsible for evaluation of the students within the course and assigning grades.

The UTS will be expected to:

  • Provide a summary (1 page, double spaced) plan of action organized either chronologically or by topic of enhancement activities one week before registration for the following semester starts
  • Provide a detailed description of enhancement activities (group discussions, problem solving, field trips) to be uploaded as part of the course syllabus at the end of the first semester
  • Having all enhancement activities "ready to go" by the end of the first semester (i.e. web based materials should be set up, quizzes written, outlines for discussion topics with supporting materials, etc.)
  • Conduct all enhancement activities throughout the course of the semester
  • Keep track of students who participate in the enhancement activities
  • Work with the faculty mentor to assess the success of the enhancement activities

The Faculty Mentor will be expected to:

  • Provide the overall course content
  • Provide time in class for the educational enhancement or provide adequate incentive for students within the class to engage in the educational enhancement outside of regularly scheduled class times
  • Ensure that the type of educational enhancement is appropriate for the content (discussion, group work, field work, web-based instruction etc)
  • Obtain any necessary permission for educational enhancement (field trips, laboratory work, human subjects)
  • Ensure the appropriate level and coverage of educational enhancement
  • Mentor the UTS with respect to pedagogical skills (discussions, facilitating group work)
  • Work with the UTS to assess the success of the enhancement activities
  • Make any grade assignments for students registered for the course