Why request a TA?
The primary role of a TA is to supplement course content with review sessions to improve academic performance for all students enrolled in the course. For large, intro-level, historically difficult courses, a TA can lead review sessions, help to facilitate classroom discussion, and model successful student behavior. TAs should not be requested for writing assistance, for First-Year-Seminars or Writing-in-the Discipline courses, unless the responsibilities are distinguished as providing content support. TAs typically work 2 to 4 hours per week, with a maximum weekly limit of 4 hours.
How do I request a TA?
Faculty select their own TA applicant by identifying a student with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, who has both the demonstrated knowledge in the content area and the appropriate disposition for working with fellow students. Faculty must receive approval from their department chair prior to submitting the official TA Request Form.
The Center for Writing and Academic Achievement (CWAA) no longer oversees the TA Program. For more information, please talk with your department chair or contact the appropriate Dean.
What paperwork do I need to complete?
Faculty need to complete a TA Request Form and for each TA applicant each semester and submit it to the appropriate chair or administrative assistant. Due to the increasing demand for TAs, not all requests can be honored. TA requests are due in December and in May. Deadlines will be announced mid-semester.
* A TA/Faculty Contract will be due after the request has been processed and approved. The signed contract is due by the first day of classes.
Minimum Criteria for TA Request Approval
Please note: satisfying the minimum criteria does not guarantee you a TA. Preference is given to TA requests that clearly justify the need for a TA to provide assistance for historically difficult courses. Late submissions may result in delayed or rejected requests.
- TA Request submitted by due date (not late).
- Supports a 100- or 200-level course.
- Supports a historically difficult course.
- Course enrollment: 18+ students.
- TA applicant has earned a 3.0+ GPA.
- TA responsibilities are clearly defined and include directly assisting students with course work.
TA responsibilities include:
- Provide TA Review sessions
- Lead class discussions and offer in-class support
- Hold office hours to answer student questions/concerns
- Meet with professor to plan for upcoming review sessions
- Serve as liaison between students and faculty
TA responsibilities DO NOT include:
- Proctor examinations
- Grade or correct student work
- Teach class without the faculty member present
- Conduct research unrelated to class preparation
- Provide clerical support to faculty
- Conduct personal business for faculty
- Discipline students
- *Provide 1:1 tutoring services outside of the classroom
*If a TA would like to tutor students, he or she must contact the CWAA.
What is the role of the faculty?
Faculty work with TAs by including them in the teaching and learning process. Faculty also:
- Keep open communication with TA via email, phone, in-person meetings, etc.
- Guide TA(s) on best practices for holding review sessions, leading class discussion, etc.
- Be aware of review session attendance, hours worked, and budget limitations
- Provide feedback to the TA on student engagement, progress, concerns, etc.
- Promote TA Review Sessions in class and on syllabus.
Exploring other options:
The scope of the TA Program has narrowed to focus on those courses whose students are at the greatest risk for retention (first and second year) and who could benefit most from supplemental instruction. If your request does not meet the above criteria, please consider other options, such as having the TA complete a directed study or internship, or by creating opportunities for honors or honor society students to serve in their major or program.
Additionally, the CWAA partners with faculty to provide academic support for students. Peer subject tutoring services are available for most intro-level courses (drop-in and appointment based). The CWAA has a trained staff of Writing Fellows and Writing Consultants who can provide individual writing support for any course, in any discipline, and at any stage of the writing process. Please contact the Director of the CWAA for more information about writing support.
Devon Sprague, Director of the Center for Writing and Academic Achievement
Office: MacPhaidin Library, Room 315
Have questions related to the TA Program?
Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences
Office: Duffy 124
Dean of the School of Business
Office: Stanger 212