Preceptors: the Basics

What is PTYS 297A (Formerly LASC 297A)?

PTYS 297A is a workshop dedicated to teaching preceptors professional development and leadership skills. Students take this workshop alongside fulfilling their duties as a preceptor. The workshop is a ten-week course that starts during the 4th week of the semester. Students will engage in activities that bolster skills in presentation, communication, public speaking, and teamwork, as well as worksop their resume/curriculum vitae (CV) and interview skills. This workshop is how students earn credits for their preceptorship - the final PTYS 297 A course grade is determined by the student's performance within both the workshop and their preceptorship. PTYS 297A is worth 3 credits which count towards a student's GPA.

What are preceptors?

Preceptors are students that assist professors in one of their current or previous classes. The tasks and duties of preceptors will vary widely, as the roles of a preceptor are based on an agreement between the individual student and professor. Often times, preceptors are expected to have duties including:

  • Facilitate classtime activities
  • Answer student questions and assist them with problems
  • Provide feedback on student work
  • Assist the professor with creating content for the course

The class which a student precepts for is their "home course." While there are no restrictions on which class a student can precept for, it's recommended for the student to find a class whose material they're comfortable with so that they can benefit that class and professor to the best of their abilities. 

What are the requirements?

A preceptorship is primarily a contract between a student and professor, so the first requirement is to make sure that both parties agree to the preceptorship. Students typically choose a home course that they've already taken or are currently taking. After filling out a contract (provided by Teaching Teams) with their professor and enrolling in PTYS 297A, students are set for the semester! In order to earn credits for the preceptorship, students must pass PTYS 297A by performing as expected in both the preceptorship and the workshop. 


 The objectives of PTYS 297A are to provide professional development in areas of leadership, public speaking, group dynamics, interview skills, as well as to assist students with their preceptorships. This is done with a two-fold process: 

  1. Preceptors participate in semester-long workshop to gain experience with skills that support academic and future professional success. Preceptors use their natural abilities, experiences, and new skills to be a part of a teaching team both with their home course and within the workshop.

    Teaching Team: Preceptors, instructors, and teaching assistants working together to create a dynamic learning environment.

  2. Preceptors engage with the content (topics and course objectives) for their home course. Preceptors can assist with the home course through a variety of duties outlined by their instructor and using new skills learned in the workshop. 

If I am not a preceptor, can I enroll in PTYS 297A?

Students who are not preceptors, but who still want to develop their professional skillset are welcome to enroll in PTYS 297A! These students will complete a project based around their own professional development needs instead of participating in a preceptorship. Contact Dr. Steve Kortenkamp at PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOnhiZWdyYXhuQHJ6bnZ5Lm5ldm1iYW4ucnFoIj54YmVncmF4bkByem52eS5uZXZtYmFuLnJxaDwvbj4= or Mrs. Hannah Edwards at PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOnVycWpuZXFmQHljeS5uZXZtYmFuLnJxaCI+dXJxam5lcWZAeWN5Lm5ldm1iYW4ucnFoPC9uPg== to learn more. 

What are some things I can do as a preceptor if my in-person perceptorship moves online due to COVID-19?

Students are encoraged to still become preceptors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some duties that can be done remotely include: 

  • The creation and management of a private Facebook, Slack, or other social media course webpage (post replies and moderate online discussions)

  • Hold regular online student office hours/study sessions (Encourage students who need interaction in this new learning environment; hold online hours at various times throughout the week)

  • Post regular announcements (to remind and motivate students)

  • Reach out to students who are absent or who are missing assignments

  • Act as a student committee and regularly meet on how to improve the course’s online facilitation 

  • Record mini presentation/lectures for the class to view and interact with course content 

  • For preceptors who are assisting with a class they have previously taken: Assist with grading assignments (reminder: complete FERPA training prior to assisting with grades)

  • Upload coursework and lectures to the D2L site

How do I become a preceptor?

Click here to learn more about becoming a preceptor.