CLS 460: Teaching Internship

Interested in becoming a CLS Student Fellow?  Please submit an application and don't hesitate to run any questions or concerns by us! 

Course Description:

      The purpose of CLS 460: Teaching Internship is to provide you with an exciting and challenging opportunity to guide new students as they expand their intellectual interests, improve their critical thinking skills, and enjoy conversation in a community of learners. Your role is to help CLS 101 students read, understand, discuss, critique, present on, and write about the course texts.  These texts cover a wide range of topics from philosophy to brain science, and a wide range of genres from poetry to scholarly articles. The main course themes are knowledge, identity, and community.

      You will help new students engage in dialogue that involves a variety of perspectives across many disciplinary topics; you are the facilitator for involving new students in university life and in college level learning through reading, thinking and dialogue. You alongside the instructor will help challenge students to think and communicate in a small group setting while developing critical listening skills and honing their writing abilities.

CLS 460 Course Goals:

Successful students in CLS 460 will:

  • Learn and practice teaching strategies
    • Develop daily conversation questions that are thoughtful and related to the text
    • Initiate conversation that is exciting, intellectual, and text-related
    • Guide conversation toward intellectual, diverse and constructive questions and topics
    • Enforce standards of critical thinking and presentation of textual and other evidence in the classroom
    • Take attendance in conjunction with the methods of the instructor
  • Learn and practice mentoring skills
    • Answer student questions about MSU and university life
    • Be available to coach students having difficulty in the class or in college
    • Guide students toward the improvement of their written and oral expression
    • Complete a final project under the guidance of your instructor

Central Course Questions:

1. What does it mean “to know”? What does it mean “to be wise”? What is “truth”?

2. What is the nature and function of conversation?  How does it relate to our acquisition of

    knowledge and our understanding of truth?

3. How can we recognize and question our own preconceived notions and develop a
    better understanding of the world and our place in it? How do preconceived notions
    influence our actions?

4. What is human nature? What shapes our identity?

5. What is a good life for humans? What is a good way for humans to live?

6. What is a responsible citizen?  How should a responsible citizen act?

7. What are the roles and responsibilities of teachers, students, and the academy in society?

8. What responsibilities do citizens have for thinking critically about their society? What
    responsibility do we have to act for the good of society?


Fellow Responsibilities:  

1. Attend all classes, out of class activities, and instructor/fellow meetings 

2. Take attendance as asked by your instructor

3. Be able to answer questions about the syllabus, assignments, and course requirements.

4. Model courteous, respectful, and civil in-class behavior to students. This means, at a minimum, arriving on time, not having side conversations during discussion, turning off your cell phone, and not packing up and getting ready to leave before the end of class.

5. Model intellectual in-class behavior.  This means that you will come to class prepared and ready to talk about concepts found in the readings, actively participate in discussion, and practice compassion and intelligent guidance when students in the class encounter difficulties.

6. Print all on-line readings and bring them to class, and bring assigned books.

7. Check D2L at least every 48 hours.  Your instructor may post important announcements on     D2L, and you are responsible for that information.

8. Be available to help students complete all the oral and written assignments.

9. Let your faculty know if you are having problems in the course.

10. Adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty.  At the least, plagiarism, deliberately

using someone else’s language, ideas, or other original material without acknowledg­ing your source, will result in failing an assignment.  This policy applies to texts published in print or on-line, to manuscripts, and to the work of other student writers. Depending on the severity of the offense, a person who engages in academic dishonesty may fail the course and/or face further disciplinary action by the university.

We are here to help

We know that facilitating a class can be challenging! If you have questions or concerns about meeting the course requirements and/or developing your skills as an instructor, or if you want to talk about the class or your relationship with anyone in the class, please contact Course Manager, Jennifer Storment (contact info is on the left side of this page).  You are welcome to stop by at anytime as well.