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TA Training at UCSB

TA Training Programs at UCSB

The Graduate Division and the Graduate Council determine campus guidelines for TA employment and training on campus. Instructional Development's TA Development Program (TADP) offers numerous campus-wide training activities, while academic departments provide discipline-specific and course-specific training. The Graduate Division and the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program ensure that international TAs (ITAs) meet the language requirements necessary to undertake their first TAship. Both the TADP and ESL Program help ITAs improve their language and classroom skills. Individual departments have the responsibility of conducting discipline specific training prior to or concurrent with the TA's first TAship. Training beyond this "survival" level is both formal and informal: faculty supervision and mentoring of TAs has an important influence on these graduate students who are to become our future faculty.

The TA Development Program (TADP) offers campus-wide training activities, serves as a resource for departmental training programs, provides instructional development opportunities for TAs, and works closely with other campus units on projects and policies concerning TAs. The TADP and Graduate Division host a campus-wide day-long orientation two days before classes begin in the fall for all first-time TAs. Nearly two-thirds of departments require their first-year TAs to attend this campus-wide event. The TADP also offers a videotape and consultation service, to both faculty and TAs, for the purposes of instructional improvement. Experienced TAs are trained by the TADP to facilitate the first-year TAs' viewing of their confidential classroom videotapes. Over half the academic departments require their TAs to be videotaped during the first year in which they serve as TAs.

Departmental TA Training Programs: All departments have submitted a Departmental TA Development Program Plan to the Graduate Division that outlines the expected training of TAs in the department. The last update of these plans was in 1990.

Departmental TA training programs are usually coordinated by a chair-appointed faculty member and may consist of mandatory attendance at campus-wide orientation at the beginning of fall quarter and/or departmental orientations, a quarter long TA training course or numerous symposia on teaching, in-class faculty observation or videotaping, faculty evaluations of TAs, and student rating of TAs.

With encouragement from the Graduate Division and Graduate Council, many departments have developed guidelines explaining the roles and responsibilities for TAs and the faculty who supervise them. In some cases, these statements have been incorporated in a departmental TA training handbook. If your course has been assigned TAs, check with your department to see if such guidelines or handbooks have been developed.

The TA Departmental (TAD) Training Grant program is designed to assist departments in carrying out their Departmental TA Development Program Plan. The deadline for grant proposals is usually at the end of June.

For further information, contact the TA Development Program (x3341 or (TADP).

consultation contacts

George Michaelsexecutive director2130 Kerr Hall
lisa berrysenior instructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
mindy colininstructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
Mary Lou Ramos database and ESCI administrator1130 Kerr Hall
Aisha Wedlaw ESCI assistant1124 Kerr Hall
Breana Barakoffice manager 1130 Kerr Hall
faxfax: 805-893-5915