"This is one example of the kind of innovative curricula and teaching methods that the SEA will disseminate," said Tuajuanda C. Jordan, HHMI senior program officer and director of the SEA.
Jordan was formerly associate vice president of academic affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana.
"We are trying to catch students early - before they have a chance to become bored or overwhelmed by the typical large introductory science course," said Jordan
"In the genomics course, our goal is to leverage the knowledge and experience of educators supported by HHMI
over the past two decades to create a national course that will make it possible for undergraduates to have an authentic research experience," said Jordan
says the long-term goal of the genomics course is to provide students with a challenging research project that results in the complete genome characterization of a total of at least 12 unique bacteriophages per year, leading to peer-reviewed publications with student co-authors in mainstream scientific journals and science-education-focused journals.
Based on the pilot-course experience, Jordan
collaborators will develop a resource guide for the course and design a training workshop for faculty to be held during summer 2008.
staff is now beginning formal recruitment of the first 12 participating institutions that will implement this unique course during the 2008-2009 academic year.
The goal, according to Jordan
, is to identify a mix of colleges and universities to participate with an expectation that up to 20 students would take that course at each location.