Success in the work place will be promoted by the participation of scholars in Worksite Engagements. Job placement can also be facilitated by means of direct interaction with potential employers through internships, job shadowing, networking and collaboration. According to the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Engagement in career-related activities is one of the best practices to assist women and other underrepresented studentsl to obtain STEM related jobs (Kuh, 2008).
- BioTiER Scholars planning on entering the biotechnology, environmental/green technology, biomedical engineering or pharmaceutical industries will coordinate site visits to shadow at companies or government agencies. Students shall choose companies or agencies that reflect their area of interest. Worksite Engagements will be arranged by each student, with Department aid in the form of a support letter. Students may choose up to 5 separate companies, to fulfill 5 days of worksite engagement, or fewer companies where each company will have a maximum of a 2-day worksite engagement. Students will be encouraged to use the SoCalBio.org directory of companies. The consortium website lists more than 900 active companies related to life science technology located in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Ventura and Riverside Counties. State Government agencies, such as the Department of Food & Agriculture, the California Environment Resources Evaluation System, etc, can be found online at CA.gov.
Students pursuing a career in science education will coordinate visits to local community colleges to observe lecture & laboratory courses. The worksite engagements will also entail interviews of the Community College faculty by the BioTiER scholars regarding Student Learning Outcomes, course assessment, as well as successful & failed learning strategies. Courses for visitation will be selected with the guidance of the BioTiER program director, the Chairs of the life science departments at the Community Colleges, and the course instructors. Six California Community Colleges reside in the area surrounding Cal Poly Pomona, including Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, CA), Citrus College (Glendora, CA), Chaffey College (Rancho Cucamonga, CA), Rio Hondo College (Whittier, CA), Pasadena City College (Pasadena, CA), Fullerton College (Fullerton, CA) and Norco College (Norco, CA).
Students applying to PhD programs will plan visits to research labs at R01 Research Universities. Our experience at Cal Poly Pomona has made us aware that many students become apprehensive and nervous during the actual PhD application process due to fear of PhD program expectations and separation from their undergraduate institution. We have found that visitation of institutes resumes enthusiasm and builds confidence. R01 Research Universities in the local vicinity of Cal Poly Pomona include the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), the University of Southern California (USC), the University of California at Irvine, the University of California at Riverside and the City of Hope Beckman Research Institute.
Skills Course: Career Development
Implementation of career skills is a model that follows Cal Poly Pomona's philosophy of learning by doing. The Career Development skills course (Fall, Winter, Spring) will be offered as Bio 691 Directed Study (2 Units). The goal is to utilize the skill sets learned in the summer workshop series so as to better prepare students for their practical application in occupational settings.
As part of the Industry Skills workshop series, students will have the opportunity to develop a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manual, applied to a particular laboratory or field procedure. This can be for a procedure associated with their research or unrelated to their work. Students will serve as reviewers of each other's SOP, write a critique of assigned SOPs developed in the class and participate in critique discussions as a group. The final manuals produced by each scholar will be evaluated by Dr. Wei-Jen Lin.
Students pursuing science education, will select one undergraduate laboratory lesson plan from the course they are serving as a Teaching Associate (TA). They will re-develop it using new materials and/or instructional approaches based on their new understanding of how students learn and pedagogical strategies. They will also develop an assessment plan to gauge the effectiveness of the new approach and the previously established lesson. New lesson plans will be reviewed by the head instructor of the laboratory-associated course and, if approved without further revision, implemented in one laboratory section. Outcomes will be evaluated by learning assessment tools developed for each lesson.
Students, whose plans entail applying to a PhD program, work on finalizing a personal statement, writing a cover letter to be sent to potential professors, creating a professional CV, learn how to choosing a graduate lab and improving General GRE scores.
Annual College of Science Research Symposium
All graduate students in the Biological Sciences MS program are required to attend the annual College of Science Research Symposium during spring quarter. Students in their second year in the program are required to present their research at the Symposium in the form of a poster presentation.