JDP students beyond the third year may gain experience teaching an undergraduate psychology course at SDSU, except when opportunities are limited because of budgetary issues. From time to time experience teaching courses in other universities and settings may be available as well. Teaching opportunities are governed by department need as well as budgetary restrictions, and teaching requires the approval of a student’s guidance committee and the Co-Directors.
The procedure for requesting a teaching assignment is provided here. It is important to read and follow the instructions in this section.
All students who request a teaching assignment must have written approval to do so from their guidance committee; this may be in the form of an E-mail from the Guidance Committee Chair to the SDSU Co-Director. In the past, some students have committed to teaching, only to back out at the last minute after the schedule had been set. It is extremely difficult for the Psychology Department to revise the schedule after it has gone on-line. Because doctoral students are given priority over other part time instructors, when JDP students commit to teaching, part-time instructors are denied the opportunity to teach. In order to ensure students are making adequate progress on their research, written permission from the Guidance Committee must be given before students are considered for any teaching assignment.
There may be some freedom to change one’s teaching schedule or rescind one’s commitment before the schedule is set. However, the student should understand that once a final commitment to teach has been made, the expectation is that the commitment will be honored and the student will teach the course she/he has been assigned.
This procedure not only protects the Psychology Department, but also allows time for any needed modifications in one’s research schedule so that misunderstandings can be avoided as much as possible.
In rare instances (e.g., when a mentor’s funding runs out, if a student does not match for an internship in the expected year) students may teach, serve as the SDSU Psychology Clinic coordinator, or function as the Teaching Assistant for the Assessment Course for their full support. Full support for a student who is teaching requires complete responsibility for teaching two sections of a course both fall and spring semesters. Full support for a student who is serving as clinic coordinator or as the assessment TA requires a minimum of 20 hours per week in the clinic or the JDP.
Students supported by grants or fellowships may teach one section of a course one or both semesters and receive additional compensation for doing so (i.e., in addition to the stipend). Again, written permission from the student’s guidance committee must be obtained to avoid any misunderstandings about other commitments.
When applying for postdoctoral or faculty positions, students may need to submit copies of any teaching evaluations. It is a good idea to keep copies of student comments as well. It is much easier to collect and file these as the student progresses through the JDP than it is to find them after the fact. Along with copies of all syllabi, we strongly recommend keeping any and all evaluations from teaching and any video recordings made while teaching. The program office keeps copies of the quantitative printouts, but not student comments. When applying for a teaching position, the search committee will very likely want to know how he/she was rated by the students in the classes.