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A black male in a burgandy sweater stands at the chalkboard writing words as he teaches a class.

Teaching Assistants

TAs - Graduate Teaching Assistants

The official title of Graduate Assistant (GA) is used in all university documents, but, in general practice, Graduate Assistants are referred to either Teaching Assistants (TAs), Research Assistants (RAs), or Administrative Assistants (AAs). The specific duties of graduate teaching assistants (TAs) vary across disciplines and departments.  For the majority of teaching assistants, however, assignments and responsibilities fall into four categories:

  • Assuming teaching responsibility for a laboratory or discussion session of a course
  • Assuming teaching responsibility for a classroom section of a multi-sectional course, under the close supervision of the director(s) of the course
  • Assisting a faculty member in the grading, advising, and administrative duties necessary for a course(s)
  • Assisting in general departmental administrative duties, such as advising or the administration of community programs, workshops, etc.

View Policies for Graduate Assistantships from the official University Graduate Catalog. 

UTA - Undergraduate Teaching Assistants

Undergraduate Teaching Assistants (or Undergraduate Learning Assistants) are trained and supported in their college or department. Some units offer for-credit courses to help ULA or UTA learn their role. TLTC has a program to support Academic Peer Mentors (AMP) who often fulfill a similar role to undergraduate teaching assistants.

Resource for GTA and UTA/ULA:

Refer to this "handbook" of clickable links and information on common topics for graduate and undergraduate assistants. It includes sections on understanding your responsibilities, technology support and guidance, lesson planning, ELMS-Canvas use, and more.

The Academic Peer Mentoring Program supports the integration of select undergraduates (AMPs*) into courses and research settings to work with instructors, as part of a team, to promote student learning and engagement. Through coursework (TLTC333) and hands-on experience, AMPs learn about the science behind effective teaching and develop the professional skills necessary to advance the outcomes of their fellow students. The program also provides instructors with guidance and community to help them develop beneficial partnerships with AMPs and determine appropriate AMP roles and responsibilities. The overall goals of the program are to: 

  • Create more active, student-centered, supportive, and inclusive teaching and learning experiences
  • Recognize students as partners in the instructional process
  • Build relationships and community among instructors and students
  • Increase motivation, engagement, and enthusiasm for learning for both instructors and students


Learn More

Each semester, the TLTC hosts an orientation for graduate students and postdocs preparing to serve as a TA or instructor of record. Additional supplemental learning is provided asynchronously (see Handbook button above).

Check here for upcoming orientation to teaching dates and registration links.


The TLTC, in collaboration with the Graduate School, provides professional development for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the area of teaching and learning in higher education. Many graduate students and postdocs will pursue teaching positions as part of their future careers, yet many do not receive formal training in teaching and some do not have direct teaching opportunities.


Learn More

A cohesive collection of documents that communicates your philosophy of teaching, summarizes your teaching activity, provides evidence of your effectiveness, highlights student mentorship, and demonstrates a commitment to professional development.

Teaching portfolios are now required for all faculty wishing to be considered for promotion.


Learn More

Whether you are highly experienced as an instructor or just getting started, TLTC 798 is designed to help you develop your pedagogical thinking, skills, and experience.

Learning Outcomes

As scholars, much of our focus is within our own disciplines, but what unites us all as members of a campus learning community is our shared mission to educate.  This course will introduce you to core theoretical frameworks of learning and the scientific evidence that can inform your scholarly teaching.

After successfully completing this course you will be prepared to:

  • Describe the four pillars of an effective course and some evidence-based practices that relate to each.
  • Implement strategies for engaging students across a wide range of course topics, sizes, and formats.
  • Create an inclusive, supportive, and productive learning environment for a diverse population of students.
  • Teach students to utilize evidence-based learning strategies. 
  • Identify psychological barriers that can detract from students’ performance and strategies for overcoming them.

You will also have demonstrated the technical proficiency required to: 

  • Create an advanced PowerPoint presentation with custom animation sequences, embedded videos, and internal links.
  • Set up an ELMS course page with quizzes, surveys, graded assignments, discussion boards, and SpeedGrader rubrics.
  • Use a response system to poll and assess students in class meetings.
  • Engage and interact with students in a blended or online format via virtual meetings, recorded presentations, and a variety of communication tools.

​Finally, you will have prepared a philosophy statement and portfolio that describes your theory-based perspective on teaching and examples of how you put it into practice.

Sample TLTC 798 Syllabus (draft and subject to change)


This is a two-credit course, which means that you should budget an additional two hours per week on average for out-of-class coursework and preparation. You have the option of registering for only one credit if that's all that fits in your schedule, but the course requirements are the same regardless of whether you enroll for one or two credits.

For approval to enroll in TLTC 798, please email with your name, UID, Program, and email.

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