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Graduate Teaching Assistantship

Last updated on Aug 02, 2023

CCA’s graduate assistantship program offers graduate students meaningful, sustained, and practical employment experience in a variety of areas.

Graduate Teaching Assistantship

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) play an important role in the classroom community--providing mentorship, support, and technical expertise, to help students reach their educational goals. This position offers valuable practical experience and meaningful exposure to teaching. Working closely with faculty members, GTAs participate in course design and curriculum instruction, gaining insights into the faculty experience and enhancing their own teaching practices. GTAs assist both during and outside of class, engaging in activities such as one-on-one student support, leading discussions and demonstrations, grading assignments, preparing lectures, and contributing to special projects as needed.

Graduate Teaching Assistants are selected and placed by the graduate programs through a competitive application process. GTAs are generally assigned to introductory-level undergraduate courses.

The following goals help ensure CCA’s graduate teaching assistantship program remains a vital and viable part of the graduate experience:

  • Provide GTAs with mentoring from an experienced faculty member who is committed to sharing the skills and knowledge needed for successful teaching and course design.
  • Offer graduate students with experience and feedback to enable them to be successful in the kinds of teaching opportunities they are most likely to encounter upon completing their degrees.
  • Lend assistance to undergraduate faculty and students in realizing the learning outcomes of the undergraduate curriculum.
  • Augment financial support to graduate students as they develop professional skills.

The selection of graduate students for teaching assistantships and their specific assignments is made on the basis of merit, available assistantships, and undergraduate course needs. An applicant’s experience and particular skills may also factor as selection criteria.

NOTE: Preference is given to continuing students who have yet to hold a TA position in prior semesters.

Expectations & Hours

TAs work closely with a faculty member on many aspects of the course including student advising, providing technical expertise and classroom support, co-leading critiques, preparation of course material, designing assignments, and leading class discussions or lectures. In addition:

  • TAs should attend class every week on time and stay for the full class time, unless other arrangements are made with the faculty member for the benefit of the course objectives or for TA meetings.
  • TAs are expected to work 90 hours during the semester, with an average of six hours per week. Breaks should be taken as required by law.
  • Faculty and TA should set the schedule together, keeping in mind that some work may occur outside of the regularly scheduled course time slot and may include a heavier workload during the week before the semester and the first week of classes, to be balanced out later in the term.
  • For a full overview of the TA position, visit the Teaching Assistant Handbook (CCA Log-in required)

Program Allotments

Each semester, the directors of each division compile a selection of undergraduate courses eligible for TA assignments. (Note: The number of teaching assistantships is limited.)

Application, Selection & Evaluation

Applications and policies are available at Graduate TA applications.


  • Graduate students submit applications to their respective graduate program managers by the stated deadlines.
  • Teaching assistantships are awarded by the graduate program chairs or faculty committee appointed for this purpose. Program managers administer the process throughout, communicating the offer/assignment to the TA and the faculty mentor; program managers also provide the finalized placement lists to the directors.
  • TA guidelines are available at Graduate TA/Faculty Guidelines.
  • CCA uses the EvaluationKit for its online course evaluation processes. TAs will have a unique evaluation of their work in the course from the students.

The selection of graduate students for teaching assistantships and their specific assignments is made on the basis of merit, undergraduate course needs, and mentor-TA compatibility. An applicant’s experience and particular skills also factor as selection criteria.

Preference is given to continuing students who have yet to hold a TA position in prior semesters. Programs should rotate TA placement through experienced faculty members. As a general rule, a single faculty member should not mentor more than one TA per year.