Teaching Assistant Types
There are three types of teaching assistants engaged at the School: TAs, STAs, and UTAs:
Full-time Teaching Assistantships (TAs) are doctoral-level appointments that provide up to 20 hours per week of teaching-related activity. When a student serves as a TA for a semester, their financial support for that semester is tied to the TA appointment. TAs are normally assigned to large service courses. The School works with each of the doctoral programs to determine where the TAs will be deployed each academic year. Note that students will generally work about 20 hours per week but will occasionally be asked to work more than that in a given week. On the few occasions when that happens, students and instructors should plan for the TA to work an equivalent number of hours less during the preceding or following week.
Supplementary Teaching Assistants (STAs) are graduate-level teaching assistant positions that provide up to 10 hours per week of teaching support to instructors approved for such support.
Undergraduate Teaching Assistants (UTAs) are undergraduate-level teaching assistant positions that provide up to 10 hours per week of teaching support to instructors approved for such support.
Teaching Assistant Assignments/Requests
TA assignments are arranged through doctoral programs and are generally deployed to predictable courses. Instructors who have PhD TAs who anticipate the need for additional teaching support, or those without PhD TAs, are able to request teaching support for their course in the semester prior to its offering. The Office of Education approves the number of supplemental or undergraduate teaching assistants that can be hired and the anticipated number of hours per week for each position. Office staff send a form each semester for instructors to indicate if they anticipate needing STAs or UTAs for their upcoming course offering. Requests are reviewed and a decision delivered. If STA or UTA support is approved, the instructor then completes a Position Description so the position can be posted for students to apply for.
Working with Teaching Assistants
For all teaching assistants, instructors are asked to define the responsibilities and the number of hours per week expected of each level of teaching assistant.
- Instructors and students must arrange to meet to review expectations, roles, responsibilities, etc.
- We advise that students serving as STAs meet regularly with the primary instructor to ensure they are meeting expectations and working the agreed-upon weekly hours, in addition to communicating about course-related issues.
- If students find that their course responsibilities are exceeding the agreed upon hours or the communicated expectations, they should communicate this to the instructor, their GPD, or the Associate Dean for Education.
Instructors are encouraged to explore the resources on Working with TAs. Those with UTAs are directed to be familiar with the College Curriculum Council’s Guidelines for UTAs as well as the additional information found here: Support for Faculty & Advisors.
Teaching Assistant Training
All teaching assistants (TAs, STAs and UTAs) are required to complete the relevant Sheridan Center orientation.