The Graduate Teaching Assistant Program (GTAP)

Learn while you teach

 

“When you take on the role of a teacher you strengthen your mastery of whatever content you’re teaching." Joel Barnes, Faculty

Overview

Graduate Teaching Assistantships provide graduate students with experiential learning opportunities working with faculty members and students in the undergraduate programs either on the Prescott campus in Arizona or through our limited-residency distance format. For students considering a career as an educator, testing the waters as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) can prove to be an invaluable learning experience in which to gain some practical, on-the-job skills, develop leadership skills, and help to pay for their graduate education while serving as a resource for undergraduate faculty and students.

While the duties assigned will vary by program area, delivery model, and need, GTAs will be responsible for the following:

  •      Serving as a teaching assistant, co-instructor, or lead instructor in        1-2 resident undergraduate courses or 1-2 limited-residency                undergraduate Moodle courses.  GTA teaching placements must        occur in two consecutive terms in the same delivery model.
  •      Facilitating classroom, laboratory, field, or discussion sessions if applicable.
  •      Reviewing and editing student papers and exams.
  •      Holding regular office hours and meeting with students in study and review          sessions, or conducting the same via online or phone discussions.
  •      Assisting faculty members with instructional preparation, delivery, and                  assessment.
  •      Other duties pertaining to the instructional mission of Prescott College.

During their first term in the graduate teaching assistant program, GTAs complete a training course on Experiential Education Pedagogy; they also attend Teaching Practicum Seminars throughout the academic year. It is optional for students to adapt the course and the practicum into their own degree plan and thus to receive academic credit towards their Master’s degree.

 

Graduate Teaching Assistantship Opportunities for 2015-2016

Assisting with undergraduate courses available through the resident format:

A limited number of Graduate Teaching Assistantships, each valued at $6,000, have been made available in the following undergraduate departments: Environmental Studies, Adventure Education, Education, Human Development & Psychology, Arts & Letters, and Cultural & Regional Studies which includes a focus in Social Justice and Human Rights.  These Graduate Teaching Assistantships last for two consecutive terms, (Fall and Spring), and GTAs are required to be enrolled fulltime in their Limited Residency Master’s program while they are part of the GTAP.

Please contact the Graduate Admissions office for a list of courses that will be offered in the Fall 2015 semester. 

Assisting with undergraduate courses available through the limited-residency format: 

A limited number of Graduate Teaching Assistantships valued at $6,000 each have been made available in the following undergraduate departments: Education and Teacher Preparation, Arts and Cultural Studies, Sustainability and Environmental Studies, and Human Development.  In addition to assisting Moodle courses, GTAs can also assist with individualized courses such as Math and Pathways to Academic Success.  These Graduate Teaching Assistantships last for two consecutive terms (Fall and Spring), and GTAs are required to be enrolled fulltime in their graduate program while they are part of the GTAP.

Please contact the admissions office for a list of courses that will be offered in the Fall 2015 semester.

 

GTAP Expectations

 The Expectations for the Graduate Teaching Assistantship Program are  consistent, no matter the residential model of the undergraduate courses. Below are the general GTAP expectations followed by specifics for the two curricula.

 

General GTAP Expectations for Prospective Applicants

  •      Demonstrated leadership and interpersonal communications potential.
  •      Commitment to experiential learning for social justice and environmental sustainability.
  •      Evidence of character, ethics and high professional standards including, among others, respect for honest and responsible        exchange of ideas, fair and equal treatment of all learners, respect for individual differences, and ability to avoid                            interactions that might jeopardize the fair assessment of student efforts.
  •      Full-time enrollment for two consecutive terms in the limited-residency master’s programs
  •      For continuing students, full-time enrollment and satisfactory progress in their current graduate program.

 

Expectations Specific to Resident Assistantships

  •   Completion of an undergraduate degree relevant to Environmental Studies, Adventure Education, Education,                                 Counseling/Psychology, Cultural & Regional Studies, or Social Justice/Human Rights, plus relevant certification(s) for                 Adventure Education such as WFR. 
  •   Demonstrated quality of academic work and practical/field experience as appropriate given the curricular requirements in           Environmental Studies, Adventure Education, Education, Human Development & Psychology, Cultural & Regional Studies, or   Social Justice and Human Rights.
  •   GTA opportunities for the 2015-2016 Resident Undergraduate curriculum require students to live and work in Prescott,                 Arizona with a start date of August 3, 2015. Students meet on a daily basis during the months of August and September and       embark on a five-day field trip as a cohort in early September (exact dates to be announced).  Students also meet on a                 weekly basis during the fall and spring terms.

 

Expectations Specific to Limited-Residency Assistantships                                                                                                                            

  •      Completion of an undergraduate degree relevant to Education, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Human                          Development, Arts and Cultural Studies, or Social Justice and Human Rights. 
  •      Demonstrated interest in experiential education pedagogy’s applicability to teaching and learning in limited-residency /                virtual-classroom delivery models.
  •      Acumen for and willingness to learn technical skills necessary for success as an instructor in a limited-residency / virtual-            classroom, experiential-learning environment.
  •      Ability to join the GTA cohort for a virtual Orientation over several days prior to Orientation and Colloquia for the Master’s              programs.  Students in this cohort have the option to join on-campus GTAs for the five-day field trip in early September                  (exact dates to be announced).

Application Process

Fall 2015 applicants to the Graduate Teaching Assistant Program must complete the standard application requirements for the Limited-Residency Master’s Program AND submit a GTA Letter of Application to the Prescott College admissions office no later than February 15, 2015.The GTA Letter of Application must be submitted via email directly to admissions@prescott.eduContinuing students only need to submit the GTA Letter of Application directly to the Admissions Office.

The Letter of Application should address the GTA position description (see above), the general and specific eligibility requirements listed above, and clearly state whether the student is applying to just one GTAP delivery type OR to both; if both, clearly state a preference; if just one, clearly state which one. The student must identify specific courses in the undergraduate fall term course offerings she/he feels qualified to help teach. Here is the link to the undergraduate courses for 2014-16 available through the residential format www.my.prescott.edu/resident-undergraduate-resources/assets/advising/pdf-two-year-curriculum-program.pdf.  The Letter of Application must demonstrate graduate-level writing and must advocate effectively for the applicant’s academic background and skill set to each course identified.  Applicants interested in assisting with courses delivered via the limited-residency undergraduate program must describe their experience with distance learning, online / virtual formats (Blackboard or Moodle, for example), and effectively describe skill sets that would enhance this method of course delivery per experiential education pedagogy.

Selection Process

Upon a student's admissions to the Limited Residency Master's program, the GTA application will be sent to the GTA Committee for review. If the GTA applicant is deemed admissible to the GTA Program and the GTA Director is able to find a course and faculty match, then he or she will be awarded acceptance into the GTA Program. Decisions will be available by April 1st.

Please note that the student can only be admitted into one course-delivery model for their two semester commitment.

What to Expect

During the Fall and Spring terms, 2015-2016, a GTA should generally expect to serve as a teaching assistant in one to two classes led by faculty or an experienced instructor.   A GTA may be approved to serve as lead instructor in a course in the second term. During each term, all GTAs are required to participate in teaching supervision seminars on a weekly basis.  GTAs can include additional practicum credits in their fall or spring term semester plan if desired but those credits must be approved by their graduate mentor and core faculty. On average, the Teaching Assistant workload is approximately twenty hours per week; these time commitments are manageable along with full-time graduate study. While there is no guarantee of future teaching assignments, GTAs will be eligible to apply for other teaching opportunities at the College once they have completed the GTAP.

 
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