Teaching Assistant Information

Duties of Teaching Assistants

A teaching assistantship (50% time, 20 hours per week averaged over the full semester) may involve teaching two lab sections in an introductory course or the lab section of a 200- or higher level course. A 25% time TA (10 hours per week averaged over the semester) teaches only one lab section in an introductory course, or less commonly may be a grader for a course without a designated lab section. The distribution of time and effort spent may vary from week to week.

Typical other duties of the TA in addition to normal laboratory classroom and grading duties are listed below:

  1. hold scheduled office hours for students seeking help;
  2. attend each lecture session of the course being assisted;
  3. attend a weekly TA meeting with the faculty member teaching the course and/or the Director of Undergraduate Laboratories;
  4. proctor and grade mid-term and final exams;
    at the end of each class return the lab to good condition;
  5. assist in maintaining the teaching labs and materials secure and damage-free.

An annual Excellence in Teaching award is presented by the Department to one or more TAs.

International Teaching Assistants

All ITAs from non-native English speaking countries are required to demonstrate oral proficiency in the English language. All such incoming foreign students will be required to take an English Oral Proficiency test, also known as the SPEAK test, immediately after their arrival at the University.

Depending on the test results, an international TA may be required to enroll in ESL 401 (ESL = English as a Second Language). The exact section will depend on the score received on the test. Inadequate spoken English skills may preclude service, and therefore a stipend and tuition waiver, as a TA in the Department.