My biggest challenge in putting together the syllabus is that I had way too much material. There is so much to cover, and 15 weeks at 1.25 hours per week could not hold it all. I decided that some topics we already cover during orientation and/or their first year orientation seminar, and so those topics would be assumed to be understood (e.g., plagiarism, human subjects & IRB issues). There are also topics, like grant writing and going on the job market, that are very important, but that it's probably too early in their grad school careers to cover in detail, so we have overviews on those topics. I'm trying to line up a grant writing class in future years, and I would definitely consider offering a job market course, although there are multiple constraints in doing so.
In addition, I included in the syllabus a list of additional readings on topics we don't have time to cover.
I gave 6 assignments, which may seem high for a 1.5 credit course. But the students do not have to write any large paper or take any exams, nor do they have to write weekly reaction papers. I designed assignments that are super practical, and that students should be doing anyway, like writing a CV, doing informational interviews with alumni, looking at job listing to start thinking about tailoring themselves for the job market, writing a manuscript review, and setting up a website.
A big thank you to Claire Kamp Dush whose work on putting together similar syllabi gave me ideas for readings for mine.
I still have an open week at the end, so if you have an ethical or professional development issue that you think should be included, let me know!
“The post Grad seminar in professional development and ethics first appeared on Eva Lefkowitz’s blog on January 19, 2015.”