Undergraduates who have completed the Rhetoric and Civic Life sequence can, if they like, apply to become a teaching assistant for the class. To get started, contact the faculty member who taught your course. They will know whether they are looking for an undergraduate teaching assistant or if they know of other instructors who are.
Specific duties of undergraduate teaching assistants might include leading discussions, holding office hours, doing research or creating materials for the instructor, and performing tasks related to the course (e.g., taking attendance or keeping records). Grading of exams and assignments is not an appropriate task for undergraduate TAs.
Guidelines for Teaching Assistants
Successful applicants must meet the following qualifications:
- Completed 137/138 in a previous semester and earned a grade of an A- or above.
- Completed 32 college credit hours (3rd semester standing).
- Have an overall GPA of 3.5 or above.
- Received an invitation from the instructor to serve as the undergraduate Teaching Assistant.
Expectations for Undergraduate TAs include:
- Prospective TAs must complete the Teaching Assistant Agreement Form and, upon approval, enroll in ENGL 296 for 1-3 credits; the number of credit hours is dependent upon the work and time commitment agreed upon with the faculty member (one credit hour is equivalent to 45 hours of work over the course of a semester).
- No more than three credits of 296 can be counted toward the ENGL major.
- Treat all students in the course with dignity and respect, as outlined in The Penn State Principles and in Penn State’s written policies on sexual harassment.
- Treat all grades, content of tests, and content of student assignments as confidential.
- Complete all assigned course readings and attend class regularly.
- Complete assigned duties in a responsible and timely fashion.
- Maintain and submit TA Activity Log detailing work and hours completed each week.