Mentored Professional Experience
Mentored Professional Experiences (MPE) are an innovative programmatic feature that allow students to enhance their professional portfolios in contexts that can bridge academy and society, provide opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and skillsets to industry or organization needs, and to develop networks and literacies that complement their coursework and research. Mentored Professional Experiences bring experiential learning into a PhD program’s curriculum, opening up exciting pathways for students.
Students may identify an on-campus office / unit where they could pursue an MPE; they could look within the STL region for partners for these professional experiences; or they may look beyond for organizations, industry partners, start-ups, agencies, or offices with which to explore the MPE opportunity. The Office of Graduate Studies encourages students to reach out with questions about MPE networks and to learn more.
A mentored professional experience option may be offered, at the discretion of a department and in accordance with their Mentored Experience Implementation Plan (MEIP), as an option for completing part of the program’s Mentored Experience requirement. The Implementation Plan should reflect the requirements of the MPE as defined by the department. Mentored Professional Experience will be documented on the students’ transcripts as LGS 603 with two possible outcomes – successful or unsuccessful.
The Office of Graduate Studies acknowledges and supports the ambitions of students who choose to pursue diverse career options. Engagement in an MPE is one avenue for students to explore career options and develop professional skills during their studies at Washington University. MPEs should be substantive and meaningful in nature akin to an internship.
Students engaging in an MPE must follow these guidelines:
- Be enrolled in LGS 603 (Mentored Professional Experience)
- Only engage in one MPE per semester
- Identify an on-site mentor
- Provide a brief description of the mentored experience to the department prior to the start of the experience
- Provide a calendar of activity and outcomes (this calendar may align with the Washington University standard semester or the activities may take place during summer)
- Devote approximately 150 hours to the MPE during the scheduled period (based on 10 hours per week for a 15 week semester; total time should be no less than 130 hours and no more than 180 hours)
- Not be paid by the host organization, institution, or business
Students planning to enroll in LGS 603 will complete a short registration form available through the OGS Portal. The OGS will share this enrollment request with the department and the DGS will determine whether a student is permitted to enroll in LGS 603 in accordance with their Mentored Experience Implementation Plan and the minimum requirements defined above.
Not all departments will permit Mentored Professional Experiences as an option to satisfy a portion of their Mentored Experience requirement. Students receiving funding from a federal grant may be ineligible for an MPE.
Mentored Teaching Experience
The term mentored teaching experience (MTE) offers precise language for the aims and intent of doctoral students learning to teach in our academic programs. This experience represents a collaborative mentoring process between graduate students and faculty members to reflect on and interpret disciplinary knowledge; find multiple ways to represent disciplinary content; adapt content to students’ abilities and prior knowledge, and develop methods to assess and improve the teaching and learning process in a discipline. We categorized enrollment in MTE as LGS 600 with two possible outcomes—successful or unsuccessful. Students enrolled in MTE have a faculty mentor supporting the students’ development as a professional able to communicate or evaluate disciplinary knowledge. This intellectual development is important for those seeking careers as academics or citizen scholars. Students enrolled in the MTE may be referred to as an assistant in instruction (A.I.) on course materials and should be included in course evaluations. Typically, the faculty mentor, director of graduate studies, or a designated faculty member serves as the instructor of record. However, if the student is enrolled in MTE and has full course responsibility, they should be listed as the instructor of record in WUCRSL and the faculty mentor should be listed as support. While a student is engaged in an MTE and enrolled in LGS 600, the student should not receive monetary compensation directly related to these teaching experiences. Students may only be enrolled in an MTE once per semester.