UGA Policy states that TAs must be adequately prepared to teach in the college classroom.
University and Regents' policies require that all new graduate teaching and laboratory assistants receive support for their instructional roles. The following GTA/GLA policy applies to all graduate students with instructional duties regardless of a student’s specific instructional responsibilities in an academic course. Departments should develop discipline-specific support for the pedagogical development of graduate assistants in preparation for their instructional responsibilities at UGA and for their future careers.
The policy states that all TAs must:
- Attend TA orientation,
- Complete GRSC 7770 or departmental equivalent, and
- For international students, demonstrate proficiency with the English language.
Information about upcoming TA Orientations is available at: http://ctl.uga.edu/ta/ta-policy/ta-orientation.
Before the beginning of each fall semester, CTL organizes a morning orientation for all new graduate students with instructional responsibilities during following academic year. Participants in the TA/LA Orientation Program will:
- Become familiar with key policies and resources related to successful teaching and learning practice at UGA,
- Learn how and what to prepare for their first few weeks in the classroom and/or laboratory environment, and
- Be introduced to the resources available within their departments and across campus that offer support for individuals engaged in teaching and learning endeavors at UGA.
GRSC 7770 is a 1 to 3 credit course which provides graduate teaching and laboratory assistants with knowledge of pedagogical approaches and available support systems. All graduate students with instructional duties must complete GRSC 7770 or a departmental equivalent regardless of a student’s specific instructional responsibilities in an academic course (e.g., instructor-of-record, discussion leader, laboratory TA, grader, proctor). For team-teaching or other supporting instructional roles, graduate students may take GRSC 7770 concurrently with their teaching assignments. However, in order for GTA/GLAs to serve as instructors-of-record, they must complete GRSC 7770 prior their teaching responsibilities as instructor of record.
Graduate students may forgo taking GRSC 7770 if they can provide documentation of one of the following:
- Prior GTA/GLA or instructor-of-record teaching experience at the college-level in the United States, at institutions other than UGA,
- Completion of a departmental equivalent at UGA approved by the Center for Teaching and Learning in the Office of the Vice President for Instruction, or
- Completion of a course comparable to GRSC 7770 at an institution in the United States
Departments seeking to exempt graduate students from taking GRSC 7770 must submit a GRSC 7770 waiver form to the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning in the Office of the Vice President for Instruction for approval at least one week prior to the beginning of the semester to which the student is assigned the teaching responsibility. To access the GRSC 7770 waiver form, please go to the pdf using the following link: http://www.ctl.uga.edu/uploads/main/mainmainGRSC7770-waiver-08_02_17.pdf
For more information about departmental GRSC 7770 sections, please click here - http://www.ctl.uga.edu/ta-policy-departmental-sections.
Departments who must support graduate students with teaching assignments the first year of a graduate program should only accept those students whose language skills qualify them for their respective teaching appointments.
The following guidelines apply to all international graduate students required to submit TOEFL or IELTS results to enter UGA:
- Students with a speaking score of 26 or higher on the TOEFL iBT or 8.0 or higher on the IELTS can be considered for any teaching assignment, including instructor of record, if they have attended TA Orientation and successfully completed a GRSC 7770 teaching seminar or departmental equivalent. Graduate teaching and laboratory assistants who are instructor of record must complete a GRSC 7770 teaching- support seminar or departmental equivalent and attend TA Orientation before teaching as instructor of record.
- Students with a 23-25 TOEFL iBT speaking score or 7.0-7.5 on the IELTS must complete a 3-credit-hour language and cultural orientation course (LLED 7769). Upon completion of LLED 7769 and with a recommendation from the LLED 7769 instructor:
• Students with a 23 TOEFL iBT or a 7.0 IELTS score may teach in limited and closely monitored assignments (e.g. laboratory teaching, graders, language teaching in native language).
• Students with a 24 TOEFL iBT or a 7.5 IELTS score and an LLED recommendation may be considered for any teaching assignment.
• GTAs and GLAs who are only assisting in a classroom or lab may take LLED and GRSC classes concurrently with their assignment.
Before being instructors of record, students must attend TA Orientation and complete GRSC 7770 or a departmental equivalent. NOTE:25 is not a possible score on the TOEFL iBT.
- Students with a speaking score of 20-22 TOEFL iBT or below 6.5 IETLS score test must successfully complete a 3-credit-hour language skills course (LLED 7768) before enrolling in LLED 7769 and GRSC 7770 or a departmental equivalent. Such students will need to retake tests and achieve requisite scores to be in compliance with policy.
- Students who have no formal language score are required to enroll in LLED 7768 for language evaluation and must take the TOEFL iBT or IELTS before being considered for a teaching assignment. Students with low or no formal language score may team-teach in a course-related lab or breakout sessions if a native English speaker is on-site at all times as a co-instructor
- Appeals to waive the speaking score of 26 for full teaching assignments will be conducted if the student has (1) successfully completed LLED 7769, (2) has a recommendation from the LLED 7769 instructor, (3) has twice scored either the a 23 TOEFL iBT speaking portion or a 6.5 on the IELTS, and (4) has a departmental recommendation and a request for an appeal.
Registration for The TOEFL iBT language evaluation is available from Educational Testing Service http://testing.uga.edu/students-customers/prometric-testing
Language instruction in the special sections of LLED 7768 and 7769 will be provided by Dr. Linda Harklau in the Department of Language & Literacy Education.
These guidelines are administered for the Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs by the Center for Teaching & Learning in the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. Questions regarding the implementation of the GTA/GLA Policy should be referred to Dr. Zoe Morris in the Center for Teaching and Learning.