At Clemson University, advanced graduate students typically teach stand-alone sections of courses ranging from college algebra through the calculus sequence. We will supplement existing graduate student training by integrating graduate students into the pedagogy of upper-division undergraduate courses and basic graduate courses.
Within an RTG student’s first three years, the student will assist a faculty member in the teaching of an upper-division undergraduate course such as abstract algebra. During the student’s last two years, the student to similarly assist a faculty member in a graduate course such as algebraic number theory or coding theory. In this way, our graduate students will have significantly broader training and experience in teaching than most graduate students. Specific duties of graduate student assistants will include helping to design homework assignments and exams. We also plan for graduate students to prepare and give several lectures. The student will provide the supervising faculty member with prepared materials before the lecture; the faculty member will make comments and suggestions both before and after the lecture. These students will not be used as graders for their primary duty for the course they are assigned. These assignments will count as the student’s departmental teaching assignment for the given semester. This experience will serve as valuable training for a future tenure-track position. It will also serve as a prototype for a new way to mentor graduate student teaching.