What should I use this free elective on?
December 16, 2012 6:36 PM Subscribe
I have a free elective in my final undergrad semester. What should I take?
posted by Scientist to education (40 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
So I'm headed into my last semester as an undergraduate. I am within about 10 credits of graduating and have all of my major requirements checked off. However, I am currently registered for only 11 credits next semester and need to be registered for a minimum of 12 to qualify for my federal financial aid. Hence, I have to enroll in one more course so that I can get my pell grants and such. It can be anything.
What would be a good course to take? I am going into conservation biology as a graduate path and hopefully later as a career within the context of academia. My end goal is to be a researcher and an educator. I would like to take a course that will complement my scientific education and make me stronger in some of the "secondary" skillsets pertinent to my intended field.
I see myself as needing skills not only in the core academics of my discipline but also in project management, communication, interdisciplinary collaboration, community organizing, presentation, pedagogy, sociology, computer programming, and policy advocacy (among other things). I am looking for something I could take at an introductory level (since I am unlikely to have the necessary prerequisites to take anything else in a non-scientific department) which would pay long-term dividends and make me a stronger and more well-rounded scientist.
I've thought about taking something in theater or public speaking, to help work on my presentation skills. I've also considered taking a design course or an intro to sociology course or something over in the Education department. I've taken a few anthropology courses that I feel have significantly informed my scientific worldview, and I've got a very minimal background in programming -- enough to make it easier for me to learn languages on my own later, I hope. I'm already taking language courses. Also, I've already enrolled in everything of interest in the biology department.
Is there anything that y'all could recommend? Anything that would help make me a more effective researcher, educator, and advocate in the future but which is not generally considered to be within the basic expected skillset of a professor? Perhaps you are a science professor yourself and you remember taking a seemingly-irrelevant course back in the day which you've since gotten a lot of mileage out of?
I would love whatever recommendations anybody can come up with.