Housed within the Center for Professional Development, the Undergraduate Teaching Associate Program (UTAP) allows exceptional undergraduates to teach alongside instructors as they plan lectures, run labs, and organize classroom activities. It is open to all majors. Faculty nominate students to work with them on a semester-by-semester basis.
The Center for Professional Development and current teaching associates and instructors join for monthly seminars. The seminars touch on three themes: pedagogy, culture, and career.
Keith Gora, UTAP Coordinator
- Qualified juniors and seniors who have been identified through faculty nominations serve as teaching associates in selected undergraduate courses under the tutelage of interested instructors.
- Participating faculty and students meet several times during the semester as part of an informal seminar on college teaching to be conducted by the Center for Professional Development.
- While no stipend is provided to participating students, the University will provide appropriate recognition to those involved. Some (non- M & E) resources may be available to fund travel to relevant conferences or other professional development opportunities. Student participation will be recorded on the official Student Development Transcript, if requested.
- The intention is not for students to be involved in grading papers or in clerical work, but rather to assist in planning and at times in helping to teach classes under faculty supervision.
- The student enrolls in a 1-2 credit course in the appropriate department under the appropriate independent study course number. NOTE: Students must obtain and complete an Arranged Course Form to be submitted to the Records Office. This course may be repeated, and will be graded S or U.
Principles and Obligations – Faculty
- Faculty will not expect students to devote more than six hours per week to their responsibilities in this program, including time actually spent in the undergraduate class to which they have been assigned.
- Faculty will provide informal instruction and assistance to the teaching associate in accordance with the purpose of the program.
- Faculty will not expect the teaching associate to “cover” classes in the instructor’s absence, or to evaluate or grade student work.
- Faculty will not expect the teaching associate to perform essentially clerical tasks such as recording grades.
- Faculty will make a serious commitment to attend the seminars on college teaching offered as part of this program.
Principles and Obligations – Students
- Student will attend their assigned class regularly and meet according to an arranged schedule with their supervising faculty member.
- Students will enroll in a 1-2 credit course in the academic department of their supervising instructor.
- Students will attend the seminars on college teaching offered as part of this program.
- Students may be asked to provide periodic reports to the Center for Professional Development explaining the nature of their activities and evaluating the usefulness of the program.
Example teaching associate models
- The lecture TA – Attend class. Develop lecture activities. Help with group work. Hold office hours. Lecture with supervision.
- The discussion TA – Meet with students in break-out sessions. Develop and conduct exercises. Lead discussions. Answer questions. Motivate. Review.
- The practical TA – Assist during application-based activities. Deliver reviews at the start of class. Tutor students upon request.
- The lab TA – Teach basic methods and instrument use. Answer questions. Watch for problems. Help students keep pace.
- The tech TA – Help students stay on task. Clear hurdles related to background issues, like with software, hardware, user inexperience, etc.
- The demonstration TA – Develop, prepare, and deliver demonstrations to facilitate learning.