P792: Combining teaching, research, and professional development: Graduate TA training in chemistry and biochemistry at UC San Diego
A professional development program for graduate teaching assistants (TAs) in Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego is unique in that it combines in parallel training, practice, and critical reflection through a required, for-credit, 10-week course and apprentice teaching. The goals are: (1) to prepare new M.S./Ph.D. candidates for immediate and future TA responsibilities, by developing their proficiency in evidence-based teaching practices that foster student learning in chemistry lecture and lab settings; (2) to build a strong and supportive peer network in the first year of graduate studies; and (3) to cultivate transferrable skills relevant to both research and future careers. As the TAs progress through a “backward by design” curriculum that emphasizes learning outcomes, assessments, and the planning of activities and instruction, their understandings are applied and their performances evaluated as part of the mentored teaching assistantship. The course design and delivery, as well as preliminary findings that confirm its positive impact on the graduate student experience, will be presented.