Teaching assistantships allow our graduate students to develop their skills as instructors of English literature and creative writing. As teaching assistants, students teach courses under the supervision and with the guidance of faculty members in the English Department.
For their first year in the New Writers Project, TAs assist a faculty member in a large lecture section, usually a sophomore-level survey of American, British or world literature, by leading weekly discussion sections, attending lectures, grading student papers, and holding conference hours with students to discuss their papers. Along with guidance from the professor, students gain valuable experience attending lectures, designing lessons, leading discussions, evaluating undergraduate writing, and meeting with students during their office hours.
During the first semester of their second year, creative writing students who have been awarded teaching assistantships usually assist in E315F, an introductory creative writing course. Teaching Assistants lead a small group of undergraduates through review sessions, discussions about craft, and several workshops in fiction, poetry or nonfiction. Students who have been awarded assistant instructorships will teach their own courses in creative writing, typically introductory, craft-centered workshop courses. It is through teaching others, particularly in these workshops, that many of our graduate students gain a better understanding of their own writing.
ELIGIBILITY AND QUALIFICATIONS
Although no prior teaching experience is required, graduate students in the English Department must be in good academic standing and receive satisfactory TA evaluations in order to maintain their support.
To be considered for a teaching assistantship, you must meet all departmental and Graduate School requirements for admission and submit all the required application materials by the December 15 deadline. There is not a separate application for teaching assistantships.
The TA/AI Program makes recommendations to the chairman of the Department of English, who must approve all appointments before forwarding them to the dean for final approval. Candidates are appointed either as TA 1 (those who hold only a bachelor’s degree) or as TA 2 (those with an M.A. in English or 30 hours of approved coursework). Appointments are normally made for nine months. All TAs must be unconditionally admitted to the Graduate School and currently enrolled in nine semester hours of course work. All TAs must remain in good standing academically and must make satisfactory progress in their degree programs.
The salary for TAs without M.A.s in 2016–17 is $13,684, and $15,074 for TAs with an M.A. or equivalent. In addition to this salary, TAs receive paid employee health insurance and a non-taxable Tuition Reduction Benefit of $4,254 each long semester, which will cover the total cost of nine resident graduate hours. The total value of the compensation comes to $27,475 for TAs without an MA or equivalent, and $28, 839 for TAs with an MA or equivalent.
The compensation during the second year increases to$15,363 on top of a full tuition waiver and funding for health insurance for students without a previous M.A. Part of this is salary for teaching or TAing for one semester (the third semester of the program), and the other part is fellowship support for completing the thesis in the final semester while not employed.
The graduate program normally reappoints all TAs who make satisfactory progress with their teaching duties. The program announces these reappointments in the spring semester, as early as budgetary approval permits, for the following fall, and are subject to administrative approval.