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A Teaching Certificate Program At Michigan State University

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.118.1 - 6.118.10



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Paper Authors

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Robert Y. Ofoli

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Mackenzie Davis

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Craig W, Somerton

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2655

A Teaching Certificate Program at Michigan State University

Craig W. Somerton, Mackenzie Davis, Robert Y. Ofoli College of Engineering, Michigan State University


A college teaching certificate program has been established in the College of Engineering at Michigan State University. Students participating in the program must complete two courses. The first course deals with the theory and practice of teaching engineering. In a once-a-week, two-hour meeting, students are introduced to both the pedagogy of teaching engineering, as well as the practical aspects. In each two-hour session, there is some lecturing, some active learning exercises, and considerable discussion. Guest instructors are frequently utilized. In this paper, the course is described in detail, including its evolution through two offerings. The results of a course survey for the latest offering of the course are also presented and discussed.

The second course involves a mentored teaching experience under the supervision of a college faculty member. The main component of this course is classroom teaching. Typically, a student will teach two to three weeks of a course that is officially assigned to a faculty member. In addition to preparing class presentations, the students will hold office hours, and prepare, monitor, and grade assignments including homework and examinations. A mentoring contract is agreed to by the student, faculty mentor, and program coordinator to insure that the experience is more than an unpaid teaching assistantship. The mentoring experience has been evaluated by program participants by the use of a survey. The survey results are provided in the paper, and their use to address problems with the mentoring experience is discussed. This paper also presents the steps in the development of the program, and discusses the evolution of the theory and practice course. This is followed by a description of the mentored teaching experience, including student feedback on this experience. The paper concludes with a review of the current status of the program and where it needs to go.

Program Development

The development of this program is detailed in Somerton et al [1]. A proposal for this college teaching certificate program was formulated by a committee of faculty and graduate students during the 1998-99 academic year. The proposal was forwarded to the Dean of the College of Engineering at Michigan State University, and after review by the administrative group of the college, the decision was made to go forward with the program. A coordinating committee of three faculty members (the authors of this paper) were identified to develop the two courses associated with the program. One purpose of this coordinating committee was to provide, on a rotating basis, the instructor for the first three offerings of the theory and practice course. The college anticipated that these three instructors would develop a turnkey course that could then be offered by the college as needed. The first offering of the theory and practice course occurred during the spring semester of 2000 with Mackenzie Davis as the instructor. This offering had an enrollment of eighteen students, predominantly from the Department of Mechanical Engineering (7) and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department (5). However, five of the seven Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Ofoli, R. Y., & Davis, M., & Somerton, C. W. (2001, June), A Teaching Certificate Program At Michigan State University Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9853

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