Graduate Assistantships in English
Teaching Assistantships : As many as twenty-eight teaching assistantships in English are awarded annually to superior students judged capable of effective teaching. Assistants are assigned teaching duties -- two or three sections of freshman English (ENG 1100) during the two semesters of the regular academic year. Assistants are required by contract to take a minimum of six hours of graduate course work during each of the two semesters in which they teach. (Note: regular progress toward degree completion will usually require students to take at least three classes during at least three of the four semesters of their program of study.)
New graduate teaching assistants are also required to take the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) test or be screened for English proficiency prior to signing their assistantship agreement. Assistants who will teach English department courses must score 300 on this test and must have had extensive exposure to American English language and culture.
Teaching assistants receive a monthly stipend. The annual (two-semester) stipend total for 2011-2012 first-year TAs was $9,888; second-year TAs received $10,500. Teaching assistants also receive full tuition waivers for fall, and spring. Summer semester tuition waivers are also available after a teaching assistant has completed two semesters.
Assistantship contracts are normally written for two semesters but may, under unusual circumstances, be written for one semster. It is also possible for assistants who have accepted a two semester contract to resign after one semester when circumstances warrant. Assistants may not, however, drop courses without permission of the Dean of the Graduate School and may not include audits or undergraduate classes as part of their contractually required course work. Only on rare occasions are assistantships available at he middle of the year.
ENG 7200: As part of their regular course load, graduate teaching assistants are required to take ENG 7200, a seminar on teaching college composition, during the fall semester of their first year. The three credits will count toward the M.A. degree.
Term of Service : Normally assistantships are awarded for a term of one year beginning in Fall semester. This term may be renewed once, provided the student has at least one year's worth of course work remaining; thus most teaching assistants may be able to teach for four semester.
Benefits : Assistants fall under the provisions of the educational benefits policy which includes a fee waiver for total tuition. The proper form must be obtained each term from the Graduate School. Assistants must take a contractually required minimum of six hours (two courses) asemester.
In addition to holding an assistantship, students may earn no more than $750 a semester on the average as an employee of the University. Students are allowed a total of 1500 hours of university employment a year.
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