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Theme: Support Systems and Programs

Pathways to becoming a professional Biologist: empowering first year students

Sue Franklin and Mary Peat
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Sydney

A challenge for academics is to show first year students the pathway that might result in their becoming a professional scientist. This "Pathways to becoming a professional Biologis " program introduces first year biology students to the milestones and requirements for becoming a professional biologist and what employment areas are available at the end of the journey. Using the philosophy that students listen to the experiences to other students, most of the presenters were senior and postgraduate students, with staff only outlining the process by which one might proceed. The program takes into account that storytelling, as an instructional model, is a powerful aid to long-term memory retention. Evaluation showed that for most attendees the program had clarified a pathway into biology. This paper describes a pilot program developed for biology students, including the development of web-based resources for future use and evaluation of student and staff perceptions of the program.

Full Paper in MS Word

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