Teaching Assistant (TA) and Instructional Assistant (IA) positions exist in the College of IST for the purpose of assisting instructors in providing challenging and meaningful learning experiences for students enrolled in the courses that faculty teach. The introductory information on this page is separated by position type. The remaining information on this page pertains to both positions.
Teaching Assistant Job Description
Teaching Assistantships, awarded almost exclusively to doctoral students who work closely in a mentor-type relationship with College faculty, are 20-hour/week positions created to support teaching and learning. Teaching Assistants (TAs) are assigned to one or more sections of courses. TAs assist both the students who are enrolled and the instructors who teach. As doctoral students, TAs work closely with faculty members on both research and teaching and are supported by the College to learn both research and instructional processes. The TA and instructor relationship is considered as mentoring, often with preparation for a future academic position. Graduate students who are TAs are compensated with tuition and a stipend.
Instructional Assistant Job Description
Instructional Assistant (IAs) positions, assigned to successful applicants in Master’s students and College of IST Integrated Undergraduate Graduate (IUG) programs, are hourly positions created to support teaching and learning. IAs are assigned to one or more sections of courses. They assist both the students who are enrolled and the instructors who teach. They are an integral addition to the teaching team. While they may be assigned many of the same responsibilities that TAs are assigned, the position is not considered as preparation for a future academic position. Rather, it functions more like the Learning Assistant (LA) position for superior undergraduate students. As such, IAs are compensated with an hourly wage. The College pays $18/hour.
Mandatory Responsibilities for All Graduate Assistants
- Meet with the instructor, including attending all specified class periods and/or regular weekly organizational meetings, as determined by the instructor
- Communicate effectively with supervising instructor, any additional teaching staff, and enrolled students
- Prepare for specific teaching- and learning-related assignments
Additional responsibilities will be assigned by the instructor and indicated on the TA-IA & Instructor Agreement form. Graduate Assistants meet with their assigned instructors at the beginning of the semester to complete this form and submit it to the Graduate Programs Office.
Brand new TAs and IAs are required to participate in training, in the form of a 1-credit course, IST 602. Successful applicants who are scheduled for their first semester in a TA or IA position are scheduled by the Graduate Programs Office for the course. Check the course schedule for the time and day that the course meets. Typically, the course ends after 7 weeks, given that it is only 1 credit.
Feedback & Evaluation
Formative feedback should be given at mid-semester, from both the students enrolled in the course to which the assistant is assigned and the instructor who teaches that course. Feedback at mid-semester is shared only with the assistant and the supervising instructor—for the purpose of improvement. A performance evaluation occurs at the end of the semester, by both the students enrolled in the course to which the assistant is assigned and the instructor who teaches that course. Results are shared with the assistant, the supervising instructor, and the Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies.
- Start date is Friday before classes begin. (Graduate students may work with instructors online prior to the start of the semester.)
- End date is the last day of Finals Week—or whatever earlier date the instructor sets. (Make end-of-semester travel plans accordingly.)