Welcome to GC-170A! I hope you will consider this invitation to join an Honors Section of the course!
As an honors student enrolled in a GC-170A Honors section, in addition to your participation in the large GC-170A lecture class (as 1 of 150+ students!), you will also have the opportunity to meet weekly with your professor (Dr. Katie Hirschboeck) and her graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) as part of a small team that is passionate about issues related to global change and dedicated to enhancing the GC-170A class by sharing this passion and interest in effective and creative ways.
During our small group meetings we'll discuss everything from the nuances underlying key global change controversies to how to engage disinterested students in learning about global change science. In addition, you will have special opportunities to probe course topics in more depth, tour a lab, and enhance your overall experience and understanding of the course material. Your responsibilities as a student in the honors section will be two-fold: (1) to explore a selected course topic that relates to your own global change interests or concerns and communicate what you've learned in a creative way, and (2) to serve as a preceptor on the GC-170A Teaching Team. (Preceptors are undergraduate students who assist in the class by helping their fellow students in a number of ways.)
Interested? To learn more about what is involved, see STEPS 1 - 7 below:
STEP 1. Read the GC-170A Honors Preceptor FAQ below to learn more about how preceptors will participate in this course.
STEP 2. Click on each photo to hear these two former honors students talk about their experiences as a GC-170A Preceptor:
STEP 4. Read through the Honors Preceptor Contract. to be fully informed about what will be expected of you. (You will be asked to sign this contract at our first meeting of the Honors section.)
STEP 5. If you decide you'd like to enroll for honors credit and join the Teaching Team as an honors preceptor, enroll in either honors lecture section number (Lec 002 or 004) depending on what time you wish to attend the large lecture section part of the course. You will automatically be enrolled in the separate honors discussion section number (002A or 004A) that corresponds with your lecture as indicated below. (I know this is confusing, but it's the way the new Class Schedule format has arranged it !)
Honors Lec 002 (T TH 12:30 - 1:45 pm),
GC-170A Honors Lec
004 (T TH 3:30 - 4:45 pm),
Note that the textbook and class notes packet are the same for all lecture sections.
STEP 6. Please also fill out the Online Preceptor Application. (When you do, be sure to select the Honors Credit Preceptor option in the drop down list). After you submit this application online, Dr. Hirschboeck will follow up by emailing you to see if you have any further questions and to confirm your interest in joining the honors section.
STEP 7. Attend the regular (large lecture) GC-170A class on Tuesday & Thursday of the first week of classes and also attend our first honors section meeting on Monday August 26th from 4:00 - 5:30 pm in Room 110 of the Bryant Bannister Tree-Ring Building (northeast side of the Lobby level). At that time there will be an opportunity to learn more details about how your honors preceptorship will work. We'll also start some in-depth exploration of the upcoming course content, and I will meet with each of you individually to get to know you better.
WHAT IS A PRECEPTOR?
Suitably qualified and motivated students enrolled in this course are invited to participate as honors preceptors in our GC-170A class. An honors preceptorship combines elements of an internship, an assistantship, honors work, and peer tutoring. The program allows lower division undergraduates in the Honors College to receive honors academic credit for working on a teaching team with the instructor and GTAs to help fellow students with the course.
WHO CAN BE AN HONORS PRECEPTOR?
Enthusiastic and self-motivated students in the Honors College who enjoy learning and helping others learn can qualify. As an honors student, this is probably a good description of YOU!
[FYI - students not in the Honors College may also participate as preceptors in the GC-170A course by enrolling in a 3-unit course offered by the UA Teaching Teams Program (LASC 297a or 397a) in addition to our GC-170A course. Honors section students do not need to enroll in the LASC course to be a preceptor.]
WHAT SKILLS ARE REQUIRED?
Curiosity and interest in the subject matter, coupled with a willingness to be challenged and a desire to help fellow classmates, are all essential attributes for successful Honors Preceptor students. You will develop your own communication and leadership skills while helping classmates learn by facilitating hands-on learning activities in the classroom. A good work ethic, punctuality, reliability, and effective time management are also important because you will make a commitment for the entire semester to act as an important bridge between the class and the instructor.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO?
In general, being a preceptor contributes to a peer support system that significantly augments the ability of the instructor and GTAs to help the class with assignments and in-class collaborative learning activities. Here's an overview of what's involved:
WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF THE EXPERIENCE?
One tangible return is honors credit, of course! In addition your experience as a preceptor could be an important talking point in your resume some day when you want to convince someone that you are self-motivated. But there are more rewards than just another entry in your transcript! Being an honors preceptor is guaranteed to enrich your own understanding of the course material, hence you are likely to do very well in this course. The leadership and communication skills that you will develop in the preceptorship will benefit you throughout your academic career and beyond. In particular, the experience of helping fellow students will not only help you learn the material better, it will also most certainly develop a practical sense of what it might be like to be a teacher or expert communicator some day. You will also meet many classmates, thus reducing the anonymity of being one face in our large class. Finally, by working as a team with the professor and GTAs you will establish important faculty contacts that could influence your academic growth at the University.