School of Graduate Studies

TA Training

English-speaking Students

The teaching assistant workshop is required for graduate students who have been awarded or are pursuing a teaching assistantship.

The course is a 1-credit, online class that is graded pass/fail. No incompletes are allowed for this course.

The workshop will address: course preparation, facilitating classroom discussions, lecture effectiveness, testing and grading, and active and problem-based learning.

There is also a required, 2-hour classroom session that addresses FERPA, sexual harassment prevention policies, and how to accommodate students with disabilities. Students should expect to invest 40-45 hours of time to complete the training.

Passing the course does not guarantee a TA position. Departments are responsible for granting teaching assistantships and making sure these students are registered for this course.  The workshop only needs to be completed once. Students may continue to work as TAs during future semesters once they have passed the class.

The School of Graduate Studies will pay the class fee.

Non-native Students

The teaching assistant workshop for international students is required for graduate students who have been awarded or are pursuing a teaching assistantship.

The workshop is a 1-credit course. Registration for the course is handled by the instructor. The course will address understanding American undergraduates, classroom practices and environment, microteaching practicum, classroom language, cross-cultural awareness, and classroom management.

All applicants must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in spoken English. This will be measured by the SPEAK Test or the Test of Spoken English (TSE). Students must score at least a 200 on the first version of either of these tests. On the SPEAK II or TSE II, with a different scoring scale, the cut-off is 45. If you score below the cut-off, you should work with your department regarding alternative assistantships that do not involve teaching.

The workshop culminates in a videotaped presentation of the student that is evaluated based on overall comprehensibility and effectiveness in a teaching role. Passing the course does not guarantee a TA position. Departments are responsible for granting teaching assistantships and making sure these students are registered for this course.

The TA workshop for international students is only offered during the fall semester.