Learning to teach is an essential part of our graduate training program. It is a critical part of students’ professional developmental and often is a prerequisite for securing an academic job.
Most P&N students begin to serve as teaching assistants in their second year of graduate school. TA’ing could involve leading a discussion section or review sessions, holding office hours, and/or grading.
New TA’s attend a workshop led by Dr. Angie Vieth to learn what to expect when TA’ing. The workshop covers not only basics of sound teaching practice, but also practical or logistic issues commonly confronted by TA’s. Activities may vary, but may include the discussion of classroom vignettes, a Q&A panel with experienced TA’s, and an introduction to various teaching resources, both on Campus and more generally.
Many of our students benefit from training through the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT). Students have the opportunity to earn a certificate in college teaching; this program combines coursework, teaching observations, and an online teaching portfolio.
Preparing Future Faculty is a competitive year-long program that matches students with mentors at other academic institutions, to get a better sense of faculty responsibilities and roles.
Frequently Asked Questions (Teaching)
All graduate students are required to TA a certain number of courses. What are the requirements?
Clinical students are required to be a TA in 3 semesters during their 5 years in residence. Students who enter the P&N Department through the Cognitive Neuroscience admitting program must also complete 3 TAships. All other program students are required to do 4 TAships. A portion of the student’s stipend is paid via the TA budget when a TA is assigned. For students whose stipend funding is paid entirely from external sources (e.g., NSF, grant), course credit is assigned instead. These students will register for Psy 745-S in order to obtain this credit for TA work. A permission number is needed and can be obtained from Pam Smith.
Does summer teaching count toward the TA requirements?
No, this does not count towards your requirement as of Nov. 2013.
Do TAships vary in the amount of effort they require?
Yes, but TAships will be assigned by the DGS so that effort will be roughly equal for students responsible for the same number of assignments.
What are the rules for courses to get a TA?
Courses currently covered by funded TA’s (note this may change pending changes to the undergraduate curriculum): Course with discussion sections; Statistics (undergrad and grad); Research Methods; Courses designated as "Writing in the Discipline"; large courses (enrollment greater than 50).
Can I request which class I TA?
No - Assigning TA'ships is a complicated process and the DGS is unable to accept individual requests for preferred classes.