Undergraduate Teacher Scholar Capstone


LAUNCH_TeacherScholars_box.png

 

Enhance an existing course for a Texas A&M faculty member or create a seminar on a topic that interests you.

Teacher Scholars learn pedagogical skills such as setting learning objectives and creating learning experiences to achieve those, as well as identifying assessment strategies to evaluate learning. They also get practice with schedule coordination, classroom management, and extensive public speaking and discussion coordination.

This capstone can be run Fall/Spring or Spring/Fall. Students interested in the Undergraduate Teacher Scholars capstone should apply to the program the semester before they begin their capstone year. Registration in UGST 497 - Teaching is required in both semesters of the capstone.

The Undergraduate Teacher Scholar Capstone is a two-semester experience in which students can choose between developing a new 1 credit seminar (small, interactive) course, or develop educational material to enhance an already existing course. Both options require the Undergraduate Teacher Scholar (UTS) to identify a faculty mentor who will work with the UTS to prepare educational material during the first semester and will be the instructor of record during the second semester.

 

Learning Objectives

  • Honing organizational and presentation skills

  • Gaining professional development through faculty mentorship

  • Understanding of pedagogy and course development

  • Discovery of personal teaching style and measuring its effectiveness

Qualifications

To successfully participate in and complete the Undergraduate Teacher Scholar Capstone. The student must have:

  • A cumulative GPR of 3.0 or better

  • Established a working relationship with a faculty member within their department who is willing to serve as an advisor

  • A Proposal and Timeline (Proposals must be approved by both the /faculty director and LAUNCH)

 

Selection

Undergraduate Teacher Scholar candidates will submit a two-page proposal (double spaced) and a timeline of activities by early spring or fall semester with the approval of their faculty advisor. Successful candidates will be notified of their acceptance into the program by the end of the add/drop period of each semester.

 

Process

Option 1: Developing A New 1 Credit Seminar

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 the 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 of the faculty mentor. The UTS and faculty mentor should meet at least every other week so that the faculty mentor can provide feedback on instructional technique. The faculty mentor will be responsible for evaluation of the students within the course and assigning grades. This course may be taught as a UGST 285 course.

 

The UTS will be responsible for

  1. Submitting a 250-word course description, one week prior to the deadline for listing courses for registration for the coming semester. This will give LAUNCH an opportunity to publicize the course.

  2. Having a completed syllabus ready for the faculty member to upload by the end of the first semester.

  3. Preparing for each class meeting ahead of time to ensure that each class meeting flows smoothly.

  4. Proctoring quizzes and exams.

  5. Providing answer keys to homework, quizzes or exams in a timely manner.

  6. Leading class discussions.

  7. Holding an office hour once a week.

The Faculty Mentor will be responsible for

  1. Ensuring the overall quality of course content (topics, order of presentation, depth of material).

  2. Ensuring that the teaching style is appropriate for the content (discussion, group work, field work, etc.)

  3. Obtaining any necessary permission for teaching style (field trips, laboratory work, human subjects).

  4. Ensuring the appropriate level and coverage of materials designed to evaluate student progress in the course (quizzes, tests, homework, paper topics).

  5. Mentoring of the UTS with respect to pedagogical skills (lecture, discussion, PowerPoint).

  6. Making any grade assignments for students registered for the course.

 

Option 2: 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 the UTS will work together to develop the framework, content, materials and assessment for the course. The second semester, the UTS will have the primary responsibility for implementation of the materials/experiences within the context of the course taught by the faculty mentor. The UTS and faculty mentor will be responsible for evaluation of the students within the course and assigning grades.

 

 

The UTS will be responsible for

  1. Providing a summary (one-page, double-spaced) plan of action organized either chronologically or by topic of enhancement activities one week before registration for the following semester.

  2. Providing 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.

  3. 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.)

  4. Conducting all enhancement activities throughout the course of the semester.

  5. Keeping track of students who participate in the enhancement activities.

  6. Working with the faculty mentor to assess the success of the enhancement activities.

  7. Completing 3 reflections each semester (Reflections will be submitted through eCampus)

The Faculty Mentor will be responsible for

  1. Providing the overall course content.

  2. Providing time in class for the educational enhancement or providing adequate incentive for students within the class to engage in the educational enhancement outside of regularly scheduled class times.

  3. Ensuring that the type of educational enhancement is appropriate for the content (discussion, group work, field work, web-based instruction etc.).

  4. Obtaining any necessary permission for educational enhancement (field trips, laboratory work, human subjects).

  5. Ensuring the appropriate level and coverage of educational enhancement.

  6. Mentoring of the UTS with respect to pedagogical skills (discussions, facilitating group work).

  7. Working with the UTS to assess the success of the enhancement activities.

  8. Making grade assignments for students registered for the course.

  9. Returning an Assessment of the student’s performance to capstones@tamu.edu

 
  • UGST 497
    Each capstone student must register for UGST 497 upon applying to their specific capstone program. The UGST 497 course has sections designated to each particular capstone. Students applying to the Undergraduate Teacher Scholars Capstone Program are required to register for the corresponding section for two consecutive semesters. This course does not have a physical meeting place or time and may be taken for 0-6 credits.


 

Project Completion

  • Public Presentation and Submissions (2nd Semester UTS only)
    The Undergraduate Teacher Scholar’s Public Presentation is satisfied by their weekly class meetings. Students will also submit a two page summary (double spaced) of their capstone experience. This may be submitted via email or in the form of blog. (Blog entries will be submitted to their ePortfolio if applicable). A link to the student’s blog must be submitted before the last day of Fall/Spring classes to capstones@tamu.edu.
    This capstone may be completed from Fall to Spring or Spring to Fall

Note

Undergraduate Teacher Scholar seminars should be listed and taught in the faculty mentor’s home department and will require approval from the student’s dean. Please be sure to work with your faculty mentor early in your application process to secure approval so that you are not surprised by a rejection after you have already begun working on your project.

Students majoring in the College of Liberal Arts may only engage in Undergraduate Teacher Scholar Capstone projects that entail development and implementation of new learning strategies or modules for existing courses.