First Year Teaching Assignments

Section II, Article 5

Laney Graduate School seeks to ensure that a scholar’s education includes thoughtful and thorough preparation in the art of teaching. All chemistry scholars will serve as Teaching Assistants as part of their education.

For information on Advanced TA (all TA after First Year) go here.

Teaching requirements for candidacy

  • Laney Graduate School TATTO (Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity) Program—including the two-day TATT 600 workshop and microteaching during graduate orientation.
  • Completion of a Teaching Assistant assignment for two semesters—once in the Fall and once in the Spring of the first year.

First Year TA assignments

  • TA assignments are made by the DGS in consultation with the Graduate Committee. Class size and type are the primary driver of TA assignments.
  • Faculty are allowed to request specific students and/or skill sets for their assigned TA(s) via the DGS. These requests are given priority over scholar requests but are not guaranteed.
  • First year scholars may make requests for specific TA placements to the DGS and the DUS, but these selections are not guaranteed and, in many cases, cannot be honored. Most first year scholars will TA in laboratory courses.

First Year TA responsibilities

  • Provide classroom instruction as needed
  • Develop laboratory course materials as needed
  • Lead a lab section (if applicable)
  • Grade homework and quizzes
  • Proctor exams
  • Work closely with your faculty supervisor to ensure duties are completed to a high standard of excellence
  • Other duties supportive of University instruction as assigned

TA assignments are 10 hrs/week for a TA enrolled in TATT 605. Laboratory TAs may be required to occasionally work more than 10 hrs/week to assist with exam grading. The expectation is that lead instructors will balance this requirement with a lower work load in other weeks.

TA grading procedures

The Instructor of Record for TATT 605 is the Director of Graduate Studies. The DGS will seek input from each TA lead as to the scholar’s research progress at the midpoint of each semester. Scholars will be graded as:

  • Progressing well, no concerns 
  • Some concerns will need improvement 
  • Major concerns, needs significant improvement 

Scholars will be informed of their mid-semester evaluation and will be provided with notes from the TA lead regarding the assessment if any improvement is needed. At the end of the semester, TA leads will again be asked to advise the DGS of any changes to the mid-semester evaluation. Scholars must receive an assessment of “progressing well, no concerns” to earn an “S” grade in research in a given semester.

TA probation procedures

Graduate TA assignments are graded on an S/U basis. Scholars are expected to achieve an “S” grade. If a scholar receives—or is advised that they are on track to receive—a “U” grade, the following probationary procedure will be followed.

  1. The graduate scholar must re-take any failed assessments.
  2. The graduate scholar must arrange a meeting with their lab/course director, the primary research mentor, the DGS, and the Graduate Program Coordinator to collaboratively develop a plan to achieve an “S” grade either by improving performance in the current semester or via an additional TA assignment.

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