POLS 591

Teaching of Political Science



Spring 2006†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Professor Gregory Schmidt

Section 1, DuSable 466, Fridays 9:00-11:40†††††††††††††††† Zulauf Hall 415

Section 2, DuSable 466, Fridays 12:00-2:40†††††††††††††††† 753-7039



This course consists of supervised teaching of political science.The course, this semester, is oriented toward mentoring and assisting graduate student teaching assistants who are either teaching their own independent sections of a POLS undergraduate course or leading a discussion section of POLS 100.Registration in the course is limitedto students admitted to either the MA or Ph.D. degree programs in Political Science.


While all doctoral students must register for at least 1 credit hour of POLS 591, additional registration is limited to POLS teaching assistants, whether M.A. or Ph.D. candidates, who may repeat the course for a maximum of 18 hours.POLS 591 credit may not be applied towards the minimum 30 hours for the M.A. degree; it may not be counted toward the field requirements for the doctoral degree, but may be counted toward the minimum 90 hours for the Ph.D. degree.


The key to this course is that the teaching assistant should establish a supervising or mentoring arrangement with a faculty member.For discussion section leaders in the large lecture sections of POLS 100, the lecturing professor (i.e., Professor Wyckoff) serves as the supervisor.†† For students teaching independent sections of undergraduate courses (e.g., POLS 251, 260, 285, 330, 331, as well as independent sections of POLS 100), the mentoring professor may be a member of the graduate studentís advisory committee or the respective field convener; the mentoring professor, however, should be a faculty member who has taught or is qualified to teach the teaching assistantís course.At a minimum, the mentoring or supervising faculty member should visit the teaching assistantís class at least once during the semester to provide constructive feedback on lecture and discussion practices.These visits, it should be noted, provide the faculty member with an invaluable opportunity to enhance letters of recommendation.


Students awarded a full political science departmental assistantship are normally required to enroll for 12 credits during the fall or spring semesters.Such students may enroll in POLS 591 as a fourth course.


Students begin the course by completing the POLS 591 Agreement Form.The Department reserves the right to cancel the registration of any student whose agreement form has not been approved by the POLS 591 Instructor, the supervising faculty member, and the DOGS or Chair by the Monday of the second week of the term.††† The POLS 591 instructor will then coordinate the supervision or mentoring plan between the student and the faculty member.


Students should be familiar with the university's and Department's policies regarding withdrawal from courses and academic honesty (see the departmentís academic integrity policy at pages 26-27 of the departmentís Graduate Handbook 2005-06).The course is graded on an S/U basis.The departmental policy allows "incomplete" grades in POLS 591 only in extraordinary circumstances.


NIU abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which mandates reasonable accommodations be provided for qualified students with disabilities. If you have a disability and may require some type of instructional and/or examination accommodation, please contact me early in the semester so that I can provide or facilitate in providing accommodations you may need. If you have not already done so, you will need to register with the Center forAccess_Ability Resources (CAAR), the designated office on campus to provide services and administer exams with accommodations for students with disabilities. The CAAR office is

located on the 4th floor of the University Health Services building (815_753_1303). I look forward to talking with you soon to learn how I may be helpful in enhancing your academic success in this course.