The Genetic Counseling Program faculty strive to meet the
needs and goals of each and every one of our students.
There are many examples of how basic components of the
Program design were enhanced and individualized for
Testimonials follow that further describe enhanced training experiences of several past students. Experiences include the Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program, the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) program, the Bioethics Clinical Elective Rotation, the International Adoption Center Elective Rotation, and the StarShine Hospice Elective Rotation.
Click on the links below to read student blog posts about their rotation experiences.Bioethics Clinical Elective Rotation
Preparing Future Faculty
Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program is designed to
provide teaching experience to graduate students and prepare
them for careers in academia. Many
students spend a majority of their time in graduate school
in a lab and get little to no teaching experience.
Most of these students pursue careers at academic
institutions where teaching is a high priority and without
any teaching experience or knowledge, this can be an
overwhelming experience. The PFF program
helps to bridge the gap between graduate school and academic
The PFF program is a certificate program at the University of Cincinnati. Individuals completing the program earn a PFF Certificate which appears on their transcripts. The requirements for completion of the program include attending two colloquia, five workshops, and three reading groups, as well as participating in a 40-hour mentoring experience. These requirements total about 100-110 hours and can be completed in one year or spread out over two or more years.
The first PFF colloquium is the Effective Teaching colloquium which is held spring semester of each academic year. In this colloquium students learn about different teaching methods and strategies. Many talented faculty members from UC and neighboring institutions share their experiences and knowledge of teaching. Students are taught about syllabus design and are expected to write and present a syllabus for a class they may teach in the future. The second colloquium, Job Search, is offered each fall semester. In this colloquium, students learn about expectations at different types of institutions. They are able to visit institutions of different sizes and missions. They learn the differences between institutions that are more research based and those that are more teaching based, as well as those in between. Students are also introduced to effective ways to write a cover letter, CV, and teaching philosophy.
Reading groups and workshops are offered throughout the academic year. Students can choose from many different workshops that focus on improving teaching. Examples of types of workshops include technology in the classroom, classroom management, and learning techniques. Many of the workshops PFF students attend are through the Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CET&L). These workshops are attended by graduate students and UC faculty members. Reading groups are offered through the PFF program, so usually only individuals in the program attend. Readings are sent out a few weeks before the scheduled reading group, and interested students read the articles and come prepared to discuss what they have read. Individuals at reading groups are usually separated into groups of 10 or less so everyone has a chance to participate in the discussion.
Finally, the 40-hour mentorship rounds out the certificate requirements. For this experience, students are matched with faculty members at UC or neighboring institutions. Students can choose the location and subject material for their mentoring. During the mentoring students may help design a course or project, write exam questions, attend faculty meetings, or assist in advising students. The students work with their mentors to ensure they meet their personal goals for the mentorship. Students are expected to teach at least one class while being critiqued by their mentor. The mentoring experience really allows students to get a sense of what life is like for a faculty member. It also encourages students to use the tools and resources they have been learning about and discussing in the colloquia, workshops, and reading groups.
As a genetic counseling student, I found the PFF experience to be very valuable. As counselors, one of our most important roles is educating our patients, colleagues, and students. After participating in the PFF program, I feel confident in my teaching abilities and welcome educational experiences. I realize as a genetic counselor I have valuable information to provide, and I am certain that I can relay that information in an effective way. My PFF experiences have even helped me in clinic. I now have a better understanding of the different ways people learn and understand things, which helps me provide information in the best way to my patients. Although my position is much different than other PFF students that go on to academic careers, I think the PFF program will prove to be very beneficial in my career as well.
Erin Acra, MS, Genetic Counselor
Division of Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
UC/CCHMC Genetic Counseling Program graduate, Class of 2008
Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities
First year graduate students in genetic counseling may apply to become a trainee in the LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities) interdisciplinary training program at CCHMC/UC during their second year. The goal of the LEND program is to train leaders who will improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents with or at risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities and other special health care needs. Emphasis is on developing family-centered, culturally competent interdisciplinary leadership skills. In addition, a major focus of the LEND training programs is to increase the number of professionals with the knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based screening for and diagnosis and treatment of developmental disabilities including autism.
LEND trainees participate in the LEND Core Curriculum along with graduate students and pre-and post-doctoral students and fellows from multiple disciplines (audiology, medicine, dentistry, health administration, nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology, social work, special education, speech-language pathology, as well as family members of children with disabilities and other special health care needs). The LEND Program at CCHMC/UC is one of 40 LEND Programs nationally funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the federal government. LEND trainees become part of a nationwide network and have opportunities to participate in advocacy and policy activities at the local, state and National Level.
Each year, two to three second year genetic counseling graduate students have participated in the LEND Program. Genetic counseling students who are not LEND trainees attend a portion of the LEND Core Curriculum as well.
Trainee Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/107398142716469/