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Teaching Assistantships

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Teaching Assistantships are available in the Department of English on a competitive basis. Admission to the program does not guarantee a TA. Priority is granted to PhD and MFA students in English. MA and MTESOL students are not funded.

TAs teach three classes per year.

Application Deadline: January 1

Procedures for new applicants in the English Department:

Your application for a teaching assistant (TA) position will be evaluated along with your application to a degree program, using the letters of recommendation, resume, and writing sample already in your application for the degree program. A statement of teaching philosophy is also required which you will upload on a separate page in the application.

Statement of Teaching Philosophy: ASU is proud to serve a diverse student body. In the statement of teaching philosophy, prospective candidates should outline instructional experiences that have prepared them to serve our diverse student body in the context of first-year writing instruction. If candidates do not have teaching experience, they should explain how they will prepare for a prospective teaching appointment in ASU Writing Programs. Regardless of one's experiences, candidates should make a concerted effort to explain how their teaching principles connect to specific teaching practices. The statement of teaching philosophy should be between 500-750 words. 

Procedures for current students in the English Department:

Current students who are applying for teaching assistantships must submit three letters of recommendation, a minimum 10-15 page, double-spaced academic writing sample, a résumé, and a statement of teaching philosophy. Please send the documents to sheila.luna@asu.edu by January 1.

International Students:

The Test of Spoken English (TSE) or Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) is required for international students whose native language is not English. A score of 55 or above on the TSE/SPEAK is required to be eligible for consideration for a teaching assistantship. Other options include taking the IBT test and receive a score of 26 or higher on the speaking portion of the test or taking the IELTS and receiving an 8 or higher on the speaking portion of the test.  This requirement cannot be waived. For more information on this requirement, please contact the International Teaching Assistantship Program.

Stipend:

$19,172  annual stipend includes tuition waiver and health insurance
Explore other financial options at https://students.asu.edu/graduate/finances 

Tuition and Fees:

Out-of-state tuition and in-state fees are waived 100 percent for graduate assistants and associates at 50 percent time (two classes per semester or 20 hours per week). Those holding 25 percent appointments (one course per semester or 10 hours per week) will receive full remission of out-of-state tuition and a 50 percent waiver of in-state fees. See the tuition schedule for more detailed costs.

Applicants must be admitted to a graduate degree program with regular status to be eligible for teaching assistant positions. Official transcripts and proof of measles vaccination must be submitted prior to registration.

Students applying for admission to the program will upload their teaching philosophy during the online application process before January 1.

TA Training:

New TAs are required to attend an intensive Summer Orientation Session in which they will prepare to teach ENG 101: First Year Composition during the fall semester. Attendance in the Orientation is a mandatory part of the Teaching Assistantship/Associateship contract. As a contracted part of the TAship, new TAs must also register for and attend the three-credit ENG 594 TA Seminar during the fall semster.

Teaching Options for Existing TA:

  1. Graduate students who have been awarded Teaching Assistantships/Associateships in the Department of English will staff the Writing Program exclusively for the first year of their Teaching Assistantship.

  2. Once graduate students with TAships have completed their first year of teaching in the Writing Program, they may be available to teach other undergraduate courses outside Writing Programs.

  3. Each area is responsible for distributing TAs to teach undergraduate courses based on undergraduate course availability. Besides course availability, TA teaching will be assigned within each area based on seniority and expertise. Each area will establish clear criteria for assigning and placing TAs in courses within the area.

  4. Stand-alone courses assigned to TAs outside of the Writing Program must meet a target enrollment capacity of 60% 30-days prior to the start of the semester (the target enrollment number is subject to change if the course fulfills graduation requirements or is a high-need service course). If enrollment does not meet the target by this date, TAs and the Writing Program will be notified of class cancelation. Then, the TA will be assigned a course in the Writing Program.

Teaching Assignments

When New TAs are offered their positions, their teaching assignments are planned for them because the schedule of classes is planned almost a year in advance.  For a New TA’s second semester of teaching, they are involved in the planning of their teaching assignments.  After the first year of teaching, TAs are given the opportunity to share their preferences of what and when they’d like to teach depending on what they are trained and qualified for.  

 Writing Programs offers classes at all times of the day, Monday through Friday, morning, afternoon, and evening. To be fair with assignments, TAs are expected to rotate in and out of two-day-a-week classes to three-day-a-week classes whenever possible. Teaching loads for TAs are 2-1; they teach two classes in the Fall semester and one class in the Spring semester.  New TAs begin their first year of teaching with a 1-2 teaching load. Historically, our highest enrollments are in the Fall semester and lower in the Spring. Therefore, teaching loads cannot be changed upon request.  

Writing Programs will always change a TA’s teaching assignment if the assigned days/times conflict with the graduate course work a TA needs to take. Changes to a TA’s class schedule should be communicated immediately. Unfortunately, we cannot update teaching assignments to accommodate commitments outside of the university, for example other employment.

 Hybrid/Online Training

Writing Programs offers a one-semester practicum (ENG 594, Teaching Hybrid and Online) that prepares teachers to reconfigure existing courses and projects into forms that will be appropriate for online asynchronous delivery formats. After completing this certification course typically offered in the Spring semester, teachers can begin requesting hybrid courses for the next Spring semester. Upon completion of teaching a particular course in the hybrid format or a teacher has a strong history of teaching a specific course, teachers can request to teach in the online format.

Online Teaching Assignments

Online teaching assignments are available to all teachers who have completed Writing Programs’ certification process.  Completing the EdPlus Master Class is not sufficient training to qualify for teaching hybrids and iCourses in Writing Programs. Even though a teacher may have experience teaching in the hybrid or online format at a previous institution, completing Writing Programs’ certification process is still required.

Because there are more teachers who are trained to teach in the online format than there are available online sections, completely online teaching assignments are not available from semester to semester. Teachers who have online assignments should always be available to transition into an in-person class assignment if enrollment dictates that changes in teaching assignments are necessary. Relocating out of state because a teacher has an online teaching assignment is not recommended nor does relocating then requesting an online assignment guarantee we can accommodate the request. If a TA does relocate and is not available to teach in person if needed, they will need to work with the Graduate Studies Program Manager and Director of Graduate Studies to discuss their options.

Summer Teaching Assignments

TAs are invited to apply to teach summer courses early in the Spring semester. Teaching assignments are awarded based on professionalism (meeting deadlines, following program policies and procedures, etc.), excellence in teaching (teaching evaluations), qualifications for teaching courses being offered, rotation of assignments from one summer to the next, and experience teaching in the online format in Writing Programs.

Special Note

Writing Programs tries to accommodate all teachers when creating teaching assignments. However, we have a commitment to the university to offer classes based on what the university’s upper administration says we need to offer (specifically general education courses) based on enrollment projections and trends. All teaching assignments can change at any time depending on enrollment which means assignments are never set in stone.

Writing Programs is committed to helping graduate students diversify their teaching assignments so that they are prepared for future workplace environments. However, the Program's leadership team is obligated by the university to cover general education courses such as ENG 101, 102, 105, 107, and 108. When you hear the Program's leadership team say, "Enrollment dictates our scheduling practices," this is what they mean. Typically, general education enrollment is higher in the Fall semester and wanes slightly in the Spring. So, opportunities to teach outside of these courses generally occurs in the Spring semester. Regardless of the term, the program's leadership team works actively with the department's leadership team to identify opportunities for graduate students to teach in their area of specialty.

Questions

Questions about teaching assignments in Writing Programs should be directed to Demetria Baker, Senior Program Manager in Writing Programs. Specific questions about TAs teaching in their area of study can be directed to the Director of Writing Programs, Dr. Kyle Jensen who works closely with the Director of Graduate Studies.