Graduate College

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Teaching and Research Assistant Resources

Teaching Assistant Development (TAD) program – orientation

The Teaching Assistant/Associate Development (TAD) Program is required for all TAs and designed to provide new Teaching Assistants/Associates (TAs) with an orientation to ASU and the TA position.

There are three components of TAD:

TA Training Modules

The TA training modules include trainings required by ASU for all staff and covers various topics that are important for TAs. Information can be found on the TAD Blackboard site*. The training modules should be completed prior to the orientation, but must be completed within one month of the start of your appointment.

*The TAD program is administered through Blackboard (ASURITE ID and password required). All ASU TAs should be enrolled in the Teaching Assistant Development (TAD) TRN-TAD-Program Blackboard course. To self-enroll go to asu.edu/go/blackboard/selfenroll/?cid=268862. TAs who cannot see the course or have any questions should email tad-q@asu.edu for assistance. Students should include their ASURITE ID in the email.

On-site Orientation (Registration Required)

Topics cover tools and resources to help TAs learn about various expectations of them in their new role and resources on campus.

New TAs only need to attend one of the TA Orientation Sessions. If you miss this orientation, email tad-q@asu.edu as soon as possible; you still must complete the other components of the TAD program.

Anyone arriving more than 15 minutes late will not be allowed to enter. Please arrive early so we can begin on time, as we have a full agenda.

Development Experiences

TAs are required to complete at least two professional development activities related to their teaching during the first year of their appointment. These Developmental Experiences can be chosen from the documents, podcasts, and videos found in the TAD Blackboard Course*.

*The TAD program is administered through Blackboard (ASURITE ID and password required). All ASU TAs should be enrolled in the Teaching Assistant Development (TAD) TRN-TAD-Program Blackboard course. To self-enroll go to asu.edu/go/blackboard/selfenroll/?cid=268862. TAs who cannot see the course or have any questions should email tad-q@asu.edu for assistance. Students should include their ASURITE ID in the email.

Assistantships

The teaching and research assistant/associate role is an important one to the ASU community. A TA/RA appointment provides graduate students with professional development opportunities that are unique to academia while also supporting the university's teaching, research and service missions.

TA/RA positions are offered and managed by individual departments. For information about open positions and application processes, please contact your academic department. Though award processes vary by department, generally, you must apply separately for an assistantship once admitted to your graduate program of study. In most departments, admission to a graduate program is not a guarantee of the availability of TA positions or funding.

Type of Appointments  

ASU offers two kinds of assistantships/associateships:

  1. Teaching assistantships/associateships (TAs)
  2. Research assistantships/associateships (RAs)

Each classification has its own specific attributes and conditions, carefully read the relevant sections below.

Teaching Assistant

A teaching assistant is an enrolled student appointed part-time by the university whose primary responsibility is in an instructional capacity. Teaching assistants may lecture, lead discussion groups, serve as an assistant to laboratory classes, tutor students, proctor examinations, grade tests and papers, and provide general assistance in the instructional process under the direct supervision of a faculty supervisor.

Teaching Associate

A teaching associate is an enrolled graduate student appointed part-time by the university under the direct supervision of a faculty member whose primary responsibility is in an instructional capacity and who holds a master’s degree or its equivalent. The roles of the teaching associate are similar to those of the teaching assistant, but may differ in terms of responsibilities (e.g., course level). Departments may consider students who have completed a master’s degree or its equivalent (30 hours of graduate work) for a teaching associateship.

Research Assistant

A research assistant is an enrolled student appointed part-time by the university whose primary responsibilities are research related. Graduate research assistants may assist faculty members in research and creative activities, perform administrative or editorial duties directly connected to research and creative activities, develop and evaluate instructional materials and/or curricula, or assume responsibilities for a designated research area under the direct supervision of a faculty member.

Research Associate

A graduate research associate is an enrolled student appointed part-time by the university under the direct supervision of a faculty member whose primary responsibilities are research related. Research associates are similar to research assistants but generally have a higher degree of research responsibility. Departments may consider students who have completed a master’s degree or its equivalent (30 hours of graduate work) for a research associateship.

Contact: If you have any questions or would like additional information about the TAD program, please send an email, and include your ASUrite ID, to tad-q@asu.edu. International students who need to take the SPEAK test should visit aecp.asu.edu/international-teaching-assistants.

For more information about the duties and responsibilities of TAs/RAs, see the TA/RA Policies and Procedures Handbook.

 

Information and Resources

TA/RA vacancy information

Graduate teaching/research assistantship/associateship vacancies are offered through the academic units and departments. Students are encouraged to contact those units where their academic credentials, skills, and/or experience may be appropriate for an assistantship or associateship.

TA/RA requirements

Assistants and associates must be enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours each semester (audit hours do not count towards the six hour minimum). Appointments will normally range from ten to twenty hours per week; additional guidelines regarding the maximum number of hours worked can be found at https://www.asu.edu/hr/documents/grademploymentmay2014.pdf.

TA/RA Policies and Procedures Handbook

The graduate TA/RA Policies and Procedures Handbook describes the roles and responsibilities of TAs and RAs as well as policies regarding their supervision and evaluation.

 

Teaching Resources

Whether you are a first-time teacher, TA, or if you have a number of years of experience in the classroom, you will find valuable teaching information within the TA Community of Scholars web pages. There are resources to guide you at every stage—start with Diary of a New TA for tips from fellow TAs, then check out the TAD program resources with the TAD Blackboard course (under the TAD tab above).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is TA Orientation required for all graduate students?

If you are a first-time teaching assistant or have not previously completed TAD, attendance at TA Orientation is mandated by Arizona State University.

When is the next TA Orientation?

TA Orientation for the Spring 2017 semester will be held Friday, January 6, 2017, 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM.  If a TA was unable to attend the Fall 2016 session, they may attend the Spring 2017 session.

How do I sign up to attend TA Orientation?

You can register to attend the next orientation at graduate.asu.edu/ta-ra. Please note that you must register to attend TA Orientation. All Pre-Orientation Modules must be completed via Blackboard before your Orientation session.

You will be required to log in with your ASURITE ID and password. If you are unsure of your ASURITE ID or have difficulty accessing Blackboard with it, please refer to About ASURITE.

The day of the orientation please arrive early so we can begin on time as we have a full agenda. The doors will close 15 minutes after the session begins. Anyone arriving after the doors close will not be allowed to enter.

How do I access the TAD Blackboard?

To access the TAD Blackboard shell, click on the ‘Blackboard’ link in the ‘My Classes’ section of your My ASU page. The TAD Blackboard module is listed as ‘Teaching Assistant Development (TAD).’ If you are not yet enrolled in TAD, see "TAD Program" on graduate.asu.edu/ta-ra for instructions on enrolling.

I was not able to attend TA Orientation. What do I do now?

TA Orientation is required of all new TAs. TA Orientation is offered in both fall and spring semesters. If you are not able to attend TA Orientation in the semester you start your TA appointment, you are still required to enroll in the TAD Blackboard course (see ‘TAD Program’ on graduate.asu.edu/ta-ra for instructions and timelines for this process) that semester, completing all pre-orientation modules and developmental experiences. Once you are enrolled in TAD, you must attend TA Orientation the following semester.

TA Orientation Make-Up Policy (for online/out-of-state TAs)

If you are incapable of attending TA Orientation due to physical limitations (resides out of state as a continuing graduate student or online student only), Graduate College may offer an alternate option on a case-by-case basis. To be considered for an alternate TA Orientation option, email tad-q@asu.edu.

How do I confirm that I have completed the TA Orientation Pre-Orientation modules?

It is the responsibility of each student to save and record any post-assessment completion certificates or documentation for your individual records.

Why don’t I see a grade for my attendance at the TA Orientation session?

Attendance will be recorded at TA Orientation. In order to receive credit for attending, you will need your ASU ID number; this ten-digit number can be found on your Student ID card or My ASU page.

Note: due to the high number of students attending TA Orientation, it may take up to 4 weeks for your attendance status to be updated in the TAD Blackboard grade center. Graduate College will post an announcement in Blackboard and via email once attendance has been posted.

If you do not see a grade posted once it has been announced that attendance grades are available, please contact Graduate College.

Do I have to attend TA Orientation every semester?

No; all new TAs take TA Orientation only in the first or second semester of their TA appointment.

If I do not yet have a teaching assistantship, how do I apply for one?

TA positions are offered and managed by individual departments. For information about open positions and application processes, please contact your academic department. Though award processes vary by department, generally, you must apply separately for an assistantship once admitted to your graduate program of study. In most departments, admission to a graduate program is not a guarantee of the availability of TA positions or funding.

If I am an international student interested in becoming a TA, what are the testing requirements?

International students wishing to become TAs must first pass either the TOEFL/iBT test with a score of 26 or higher on the oral portion of the test or must take and pass the SPEAK test with a score of 55 or higher. SPEAK scores from ASU's Global Launch program are the only SPEAK scores allowed. For more information on international TA requirements, visit the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) page.

Required Orientation Dates

First-time TAs must attend a TA Orientation Session. Registration is mandatory. 

For Fall 2017, two TA Orientation sessions will be held -- students are required to attend ONE. Please expect to remain for the duration of the session (approximately four hours). Parking for this event is not validated; for adjacent parking and costs, please refer to the ASU Parking and Transit Services homepage: https://cfo.asu.edu/parking.

Thursday, August 10, 2017
1 - 5 p.m.
Register for this session
 
Friday, August 11, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Register for this session
 
All TA Orientation sessions held on Tempe campus, in Neeb Hall 105. For students without valid 2017-2018 ASU parking permits, nearest visitor parking can be found in Lot 20.