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PETALS: Partnership for Enhancing Teaching and Leadership in Science


PETALS is an undergraduate teaching assistant program for undergraduates within the School of Life Sciences. The program offers an opportunity for Assistant Teaching Assistants (ATAs) to earn course credit while facilitating student learning and developing their own skills and knowledge.


Participating ATAs receive training that equips them with communication, pedagogical, leadership, and teamwork skills essential for supporting near-peer learning along with being applicable beyond the classroom. They will also develop a deeper understanding of course materials through hands-on teaching experiences.


One of PETALS' distinguishing features is its emphasis on fostering growth and advancement among its participants. As ATAs accumulate experience, they are provided with pathways for progression within the program, allowing them to refine their teaching abilities and acquire invaluable project management and supervisory skills.


PETALS not only empowers ATAs to excel in their academic pursuits but also nurtures an environment conducive to their continual personal and professional development, fostering their success beyond the program.

Examples of training and workshops

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Earning course credit

Students can register for Bio 494: Topic: Advanced Study Practicum: Lecture to earn credit for serving as an ATA in PETALS. More information can be found here. Generally, 1 credit hour equates to 45 hours of work over the course of the seemster. Students should check with their advisors to determine whether Bio 494 credit can be applied toward their major.

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