This is a renewal application for the San Diego IRACDA. We will build on the success of the 1st decade, with enhancements in teacher training and a focus on improving teaching/learning success in biology courses at our minority-serving partner institution. We will choose 6 entrants a year for mentored postdoctoral training in teaching and biomedical research. Fellows will devote 75% of their time to research and career development (presentations, grant writing, research ethics, job-hunting) at UC San Diego, and 25% of their time to acquiring and practicing teaching skills. Teacher training will begin at UCSD with a methodology course at the Center for Teaching Development (CTD);CTD will provide periodic workshops (emphasis on active learning;reverse design of lectures), the CIRTL College Classroom Course leading to Practitioner level certification, and annual assessment. Preparation will continue at San Diego State with an introduction to Blackboard and mentored teaching in select biology courses, each Fellow giving 3-4 lectures per semester for 5 semesters. Fellows will help design course, coordinate with other lecturers, help write and grade exams, and hold office hours. SDSU Teaching Coordinator will direct and assess Fellows'teaching. Under Teaching Coordinator, Fellows will re-design a cell biology course, run as an experiment, with collection of baseline data (student demography, pre- and post-tests, assessment of pass/fail/retention rates in majority and minority populations, etc.) for 2-3 semesters and then introduction of new teaching methods, to test the hypothesis that active learning will diminish the majority/minority disparity in performance and reduce the overall failur rate. If the data support the hypothesis, we will try to persuade established teachers at SDSU and UCSD to adopt these new methods;if not, we will continue with alternative approaches. In their 3rd year, Fellows will be mentored in writing grants (K Award, etc) and in job hunting skills Requirements include semi- monthly meetings, and repeated annual events (research ethics, book club, attendance at major scientific meeting and National IRACDA meeting as a presenter (poster), and research seminar to IRACDA group). Postdoctoral work is intensely individual;thus, we will assess progress by individual achievement (publications, presentations, teaching evaluations, invited talks, grants garnered, service, jobs offered/accepted, subsequent promotion). Fellows will be followed for up to 6 years after finishing the program.
The San Diego IRACDA is a 3-year mentored postdoctoral training program in biomedical research, modern teaching methods, and classroom experience, to prepare the fellows for academic careers. The program emphasizes socio-economic diversity in the professoriate.
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