Congrats to Elizabeth S. Che who successfully defended her pilot project titled “Do Graduate Students Aim to Teach Undergraduates Employable Skills?”
Abstract: Employers’ low ratings of student preparedness for the workforce indicate the need for stronger emphasis on developing employable skills and workforce readiness in college coursework (Appleby 2014). This study aimed to find out whether graduate student instructors of undergraduate courses report teaching employable skills and if their self-reported teaching of employable skills aligns with student-centered teaching approaches, while identifying possible associations between teaching strategies and self-reported teaching of employable skills. Participants completed an online Qualtrics survey (N = 123; 71.5% women, M age = 30 years) that included an adaption of the Employable Skills Self-Efficacy Scale (Ciarocco & Strohmetz, 2018), Approaches to Teaching Inventory (Trigwell & Prosser, 2004), an assessment of teachers’ awareness of their students’ goals (Whiteman et al., 2017), and a teaching strategy scale. Findings suggest that graduate student instructors self-report alignment with conceptual-change/student-focused approaches and mostly agree with practices relating to student goals. Research methods as a teaching strategy was linked to analytical inquiry, collaboration, and professional development skills. Despite being a high-impact practice, relatively few instructors indicated they incorporated research methods (e.g., data collection, labs) in their courses, suggesting the need for professional development.
Committee Members: Dr. Patricia J. Brooks and Dr. Joan M. Lucariello