CCA’s graduate teaching assistant (TA) program provides practical teaching experience for graduate students as well as valuable support to introductory-level courses.

Faculty members who participate in the program agree to act as mentors to graduate students in exchange for assistance with the planning, preparation, and delivery of course material.

TAs and their faculty mentors share a professional responsibility to communicate proactively and constructively with each other. Below are guidelines and suggestions that should be reviewed by faculty and TAs before working together.

Introductions

The faculty member and TA should meet before the start of the semester or during the first week of classes to discuss the expectations of the course and exchange contact information.

The TA should become familiar with the syllabus, projects and assignments, the course calendar, and important deadlines. TAs should also have copies of all handouts and readers.

Faculty should introduce the TA to each of the studio managers, as necessary, and also discuss logistics such as lockers, the slide library, materials, and equipment, etc.

Professional Practice & Evaluation

Whenever possible, the faculty member should include the TA in curriculum development, discussing methodologies and pedagogies in teaching.

Faculty members should discuss their teaching philosophy and critique format with their TA.

Faculty and TAs should discuss types of student challenges, including issues of culture and diversity, English as a second language (ESL), individual learning styles, and physical challenges. It is also important to be aware of the CCA resources that support and handle student issues.

As part of professional development, TAs are encouraged to document their contributions and participation in the course.

TAs and mentoring faculty submit written evaluations of one another at the end of the course. These evaluations are kept on file in the home program of the TA. Student evaluations of the TA will also be collected. TAs will have access to their evaluations.

Expectations & Hours

Most TAs are expected to work an average of 6 hours per week. Faculty and TA should set the schedule together, keeping in mind that some work may occur outside of the regularly scheduled course time slot.

Graduate teaching assistants should help with class preparation and be provided with opportunities to participate in the teaching experience.

As employees of CCA, TAs may work with sensitive information and are expected to maintain confidentiality.

Substitutions & Emergencies

TAs are not substitute teachers. In the case of a faculty emergency or planned absence, faculty members must notify their program manager and the Academic Affairs Office.

Faculty members are expected to be present at the beginning and end of each class. Avoid leaving the TA as the sole responsible presence in the classroom for long periods.

Faculty members are responsible for handling classroom emergency situations. TAs should not be the attending presence for a student in distress.

It is recommended faculty members review emergency and safety guidelines with their TA, or direct the TA to a campus resource who can supply this information, such as a studio manager or a Public Safety officer.