UIC IMPROVING COLLEGE TEACHER TRAINING
Teaching assistants and graduate students at the University of Illinois at Chicago are now able to enroll in a new curriculum designed to improve college teacher training for future English and political science teachers. Dick Simpson, professor of political science, and Patricia Harkin, professor of English, both at UIC, have partnered with various four-year and Chicago-area community colleges to develop new criteria for training potential college teachers.
Simpson and Harkin's primary goal for the program is to improve and broaden discipline-specific college teacher training, increase independent classroom experience and serve as a model for other graduate schools. Seminars and workshops will acquaint graduate students with issues faced by college teachers, such as recognizing the range of students' abilities and interests, planning courses, classroom management, testing and evaluation, and ethical issues. Students will be assigned to faculty as teaching assistants and eventually will instruct courses independently either at UIC or at a partner institution.
UIC's political science and English departments will be working with the City Colleges of Chicago, Joliet Junior College, the University of Illinois at Springfield, Chicago State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Elmhurst College, North Central College and Purdue University-Calumet.
"The program will introduce new courses for teaching assistants at UIC and for graduate students who teach at cluster colleges and universities," said Simpson, and will also help students in the preparation of teaching portfolios for job placement.
The program was initially funded by a $40,000 grant to the political science and English departments during a national meeting of the Preparing Future Faculty Program in Colorado Springs. UIC was one of four universities awarded these grants. Both departments won in national competitions conducted by their professional associations to develop pilot programs that will serve as models for this aspect of graduate student education throughout the country.
The project is directed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Council of Graduate Schools and funded by the Pew Charitable Trust, National Science Foundation and a private donor.
With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area and one of only 88 national Research I universities. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of the entire metropolitan region.
- UIC -
Copyright © 2000 University of Illinois at Chicago