Expansion of the Life Sciences Academy within the curriculum of the Graduate School of Life Sciences

K.J. KJ Koymans
UMC Utrecht
Context / probleemstelling of aanleiding

Context/probleemstelling of aanleiding:

Professional and personal development of students is key in ensuring study and further career success. The Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS) finds it important that skills related to professional and personal development can be honed within the curriculum rather than solely extracurricular. We therefore have the Life Sciences Academy (LSA) as a central curriculum component for all GSLS students for which credits are rewarded (1.5 EC). It runs throughout the 2-year master’s and is comprised of 3 parts: 1) Introducing Life Sciences (ILS, introduction week) 2) Navigation Towards Personal Excellence (NTPE, 3 workshops) 3) C: Broadening Life Sciences (BLS, seminars and career events). The main aims of the LSA are for students to navigate through their programme with awareness, focus on personal strengths and competences, have time for career orientation, and form a community.

Beschrijving van de interventie/innovatie:

In this project, we are working on evaluating, redesigning, and expanding the LSA. The current set-up does not fully reach the set goals of the LSA and students and staff are critical on the coherence, time investments, and rewarded credits for the LSA. Furthermore, students have difficulties with planning and finishing their master’s programmes within 2 years and have indicated that they could use more guidance and want more workshops on professional and/or personal development. In our vision for the expansion of the LSA we focus on four central questions for students to work on: 1) who am I? 2) Who do I want to be(come) as a professional? 3) How can I use my master’s programme to be(come) this professional? 4) How do I take good care of myself while becoming this professional? Answering these questions will stimulate students to find out what fits them and shape their programme with a focus on developing their preferred or to be improved competencies, thereby encouraging them to take ownership over their programme.

Ervaringen/analyse van de implementatie:

Based on feedback from stakeholders and student questionnaires, we propose to use the credits to add Professional Identity Education (PIE) modules within NTPE, which also provides opportunity for 1:1 tutoring. Furthermore, we plan to organize a symposium and career event at the end of year 1 for a mutual closure of the year.

Lessons learned (implicaties voor de praktijk):

To implement this, we propose to expand the Life Sciences Academy with 2.5 EC to reach a total of 4 EC (corresponding with 3.33% of the total curriculum). By enhancing the number of credits and thereby giving the LSA a more prominent place in the curriculum we give importance to students developing both professionally and personally. With the wish for expansion of credits, the execution of the project is largely dependent on the curriculum optimization project of the GSLS, which is also currently running.

Referenties (max. 2):

Beschrijving van de interventie/innovatie:
Ervaringen/analyse van de implementatie:
Lessons learned (implicaties voor de praktijk):

Curriculumontwerp Wetenschappelijke vorming Studievoortgang

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