The Center for Professional Education promotes the following courses:
- The Art of Science: SYGN501 - This course consists of class sessions and practical exercises. The content of the course is aimed at helping students acquire the skills needed for a career in research. The class sessions cover topics such as the choice of a research topic, making a work plan and executing that plan effectively, what to do when you are stuck, how to write a publication and choose a journal for publication, how to write proposals, the ethics of research, the academic career versus a career in industry, time-management, and a variety of other topics. The course is open to students with very different backgrounds; this ensures a rich and diverse intellectual environment. Questions regarding this course may be directed to Dr. Roel Snieder.
- Introduction to Research Ethics: SYGN502 - A five-week course that introduces students to the various components of responsible research practices. Topics covered move from issues related to the planning of research through the conducting of research to the dissemination of research results. The course culminates with students writing and defending their own ethics statements. Questions regarding this course may be directed to either Dr. Carl Mitcham or Dr. Roel Snieder.
- College Teaching: SYGN600 - The course is designed for graduate students planning careers in academia and focuses on principles of learning and teaching in a college setting; methods to foster and assess higher-order thinking; and effective design, delivery and assessment of college courses. Questions regarding this course may be directed to Dr. Ron Miller.
- Advanced Science Communication: LAIS523 - This course examines historical and contemporary case studies in which science communication (or miscommunication) played key roles in shaping policy outcomes and/or public perceptions. Examples of cases might include the recent controversies over hacked climate science emails, nuclear power plant siting controversies, or discussions of ethics in classic environmental cases, such as the Dioxin pollution case. Students study, analyze, and write about science communication and policy theories related to scientific uncertainty; the role of the scientist as communicator; and media ethics. Students are exposed to a number of strategies for managing their encounters with the media, as well as tools for assessing their communication responsibilities and capacities. Questions regarding this course may be directed to Dr. Jennifer Schneider.
- Academic Publishing: LAIS601 - Students will finish this course with increased knowledge of general and discipline-specific writing conversations as well as the ability to use that knowledge in publishing portions of theses and dissertations. Beyond the research article, students will also have the opportunity to learn more about genres such as conference abstracts, conference presentatioins, literature reviews and research funding proposals. Prerequisite: Must have completed one full year (or equivalent) of graduate school course work. Questions regarding this courses may be direct to Dr. Jon Leydens.
- Professional Oral Communication: LICM501 - A five-week course which teaches the fundamentals of effectively preparing and presenting messages. "Hands-on" course emphasizing short (5- and 10-minute) weekly presentations made in small groups to simulate professional and corporate communications. Students are encouraged to make formal presentations which relate to their academic or professional fields. Extensive instruction in the use of visuals. Presentations are rehearsed in class two days prior to the formal presentations, all of which are video-taped and carefully evaluated. Questions regarding this course may be directed to Dr. Veronica Koehn.