All about teaching assistantships in USA

All about teaching assistantships in USA

Posted on 14 May 2014 Views ( 998 )

Teaching Assistants, as the name suggests assists a teacher or a professor with instructional responsibilities. These teaching assistants are four types: Undergraduate teaching assistants (UTAs), graduate teaching assistants (GTAs), Secondary school Teaching Assistants and elementary school Teaching Assistants. Generally, TAs assists with classes, but many a times students hold the responsibility as the sole instructor for one or more classes each semester. Secondary school TAs and Graduate TAs have a fixed salary determined by each contract period. On the other hand, in many countries along with U.S., high school students and undergraduates are sometimes unpaid. They receive course credits in return for their assistance. Teaching assistants often assist the main teacher in managing students with learning disabilities and physical disabilities, such as blindness or deafness.

In Graduate Schools, Teaching Assistantship is the best source of funding while pursuing Masters Program like MS or MBA. But many students are not aware of how these are awarded. They also have no idea about how to plan and prepare.

Student should have minimum one of the following to be eligible for Teaching Assistantship: 

  • They should have taken that particular class and got a good grade (Ideally “A” or “A—“ )
  • They should have taken a more advanced class than that particular class.
  • If the student had undergone a similar class in his/her home nation covering the maximum number of topics.
  • If you have any research publications related to the topics of the class.
  • If you have some significant work experience in the area of the class you plan to be TA.
  • If you are in the first semester and applying for TA, then your Academics percentage, GRE and TOEFL scores may be considered. 

Planning and preparation

These days getting a teaching assistantship in the I20 along with the admission has become quite natural:

Many students fail to notice the fact that taking right classes help for funding. Plan to take classes in such a way that you can see an option for TA openings in next semester. Suppose if your senior is getting TA at school, who will be there for the next couple of semesters, your chances of getting that TA is zero. So, if you take that class that is waste of your time for funding. If you take classes where your seniors will be graduating, probability of getting vacancy will be high. To know about the courses TA will graduate next semester, have a talk with your seniors.

Also having good academic percentage and test scores will help you.

If you get an opportunity to do research with your professor, you can show them to US professors and ask for funding.

Your work experience also helps. If you teach to someone in summer break, it may help.

Bottom line, proper planning of classes by talking to seniors will help you get TA.  Make sure you get an”A” Grade in the class.