Teaching Assistant Resources

Important information & resources for Teaching Assistants

The relationship between the University and its Teaching Assistants is now governed by the Graduate Employees Union contract. 

In the Department of Psychology, the contact person regarding TA employment or problems is the Chairperson, Professor Juli Wade.

The criteria used to appoint Teaching Assistants:

  • Students must be making satisfactory progress in their degree program.
  • Other things being equal, preference is given to students earlier in their graduate programs.
  • If there are special skills needed for a particular class, preference is given to students with those skills.
  • Preference is given to students who have received positive evaluations of their past TA assignments.
  • The final decision about any particular assignment rests with the Chair of the department.

The procedures for applying for a Teaching Assistant position:

  • If you are already in the employment pool (see the GEU contract, Article 11 IV) you need do nothing more to apply for a TA. Graduate students who have been employed as a TA by this unit within the last year are automatically placed in the employment pool. You are also in the employment pool if you are a currently enrolled graduate student in Psychology or have received a letter from the chairperson of the department within the last year stating that you were being placed in the employment pool.
  • If you would like to be placed in the employment pool, you should send a letter stating your qualifications and an updated vita to the person listed for Psychology on the Graduate School's list of TA Employing Units. You can also deliver your letter or make inquiries at the Graduate Office in the Department of Psychology.

Teaching Assistant Training Resources

  • The Teaching Assistant Program is the main source for information and training for Teaching Assistants. International students can also find helpful resources here.
  • There are a variety of print resources that you can reach through the web. These include the TA Handbook and a series of articles entitled Thoughts on Teaching.
  • The Graduate School offers a Certification in College Teaching program. It is designed to help graduate students organize and develop their teaching experience in a systematic and thoughtful way, with assistance from faculty and campus offices and program. As part of this program, participants will develop a teaching portfolio to highlight, organize and reflect upon their teaching experiences. Upon completion of the program, the student will receive an MSU Certificate in College Teaching from the appropriate department or college. A transcript notation will also be provided.