June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
It is widely accepted that graduate studies in STEM fields should include education in many aspects of a professional career beyond the traditional focus on research skills and productivity. These include grantsmanship, entrepreneurship, leadership, and teaching skills. The continuing issues with retention in engineering and other STEM fields, the increased diversity of the undergraduate population, and the economic importance of a well-trained STEM workforce have led to a growing focus on preparing graduate students to be effective future educators of undergraduates. Future faculty need to understand how to use evidence-based teaching methods and technology to engage and retain diverse groups of students in STEM at all universities. A consortium of 46 research universities called the Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL.net) has a particular focus on preparing graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to teach. Significantly, all but 7 of these universities have BME programs, making this of particular relevance to the ASEE BED. Here we will describe the rationale for going beyond the often haphazard training of graduate students as teaching assistants to incorporate real learning about the cognitive, social, and practical dimensions of undergraduate education in mentored and peer-learning settings. We will then review the opportunities for biomedical engineering graduate students (and by extension other STEM graduate students and postdocs) at the CIRTL universities, and highlight the opportunities for BED faculty to assist in this aspect of education of future faculty, while simultaneously improving education in their own classrooms. Finally, we discuss elements of CIRTL and other programs that are available to all BME graduate students and postdocs, not just those at CIRTL universities.
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