Note: Enrollment in seminars is permitted only with the permission of the instructor.
Option 1: Directed Studies
When enrollment in a regular course in the curriculum is not possible, students may be permitted to enroll in Econ 496 under only extraordinary circumstances, such as when graduation in a timely fashion would otherwise not be feasible. This course normally entails detailed examination of a selected economics problem or problems and a critical analysis of pertinent theories.
Option 2: Undergraduate Teaching Assistants:
Economics 496††††††††††††††††††††††† Honors Practicum in Economics††††††††††††††††† up to 3.0 semester hrs
This course is intended to provide practical experience to superior undergraduate students with at least a 3.5 GPA and who have completed several economics courses, including credit for:
1. Econ 101: Introduction To Economics
2. Econ 400: Elementary Statistics
3. Econ 410: Intermediate Theory: Price and Distribution
4. Econ 420: Intermediate Theory: Money, Income, and Employment
This Honors Practicum requires a time commitment on the part of the student of several contact hours per week for two semesters. Students are (a) assigned to an instructor teaching Econ 101, (b) required to attend the lectures for that course, (c) attend occasional classes on how to present economic material and the standards expected of TAs, (d) serve as teaching assistants for one recitation section of the Econ 101 class or one hour leading a help session on MTWR evenings, and (e) hold one office hour weekly for students in their recitations. Moreover, undergraduate TAs are encouraged to hold help sessions for all Econ 101 students prior to scheduled major examinations.
1. Students who serve as TAs will gain richer insights into basic economic concepts and how they can be applied.† Students vary tremendously in the ways they learn. Teaching others frequently requires explaining concepts in numerous ways, often entailing the development of examples and expanding on explanations that may previously have seemed obvious to the teacher. This process will enhance the undergraduate TAsí appreciation of the power of economic analysis.
2. In resumes and applications for graduate school, undergraduate TAs will be able to point to this course as an honor. This experience will help these students by distinguishing them from other students who lack such experience, and it will enable them to compete effectively with students from the many schools that already offer such opportunities.
3. Moreover, undergraduate TAs will have more extensive contacts with some faculty, facilitating letters of recommendation that more comprehensively assess their qualities as potential employees or graduate students.
4. The ability to offer more recitation sections for Econ 101 will: (a) allow reduction in the number of Econ 101 students per recitation, (b) will provide Econ 101 students with more flexibility when scheduling classes, (c) reduce the workloads of busy graduate TAs, who sometimes teach recitations in which they are expected to provide personal attention to as many as 38 Econ 101 students.
1. Some students enrolled in Econ 496 will be able to graduate with one less course that entails exposure to comparatively new material in economics.
2. The undergraduate TAs may require more preparation before being able to lead a recitation section successfully than would graduate students. However, undergraduate TAs would be self-selected as interested in this activity, and may be expected to be even more interested in and enthusiastic about leading recitations than are many graduate students.
3. Change always entails costs.† Professors accustomed to the existing structure of Econ 101, which employs only graduate students as TAs, may initially find dealing with a larger number of relatively less-experienced TAs onerous.