The Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Program engages undergraduates in classroom teaching and learning while helping them develop their leadership, and interpersonal skills. The program is designed to improve retention and student success in large enrollment (>50 students) science and math courses.

The WSSU Office of Science Initiatives UTA program is designed to benefit 3 distinct groups; faculty mentors, undergraduates employed as teaching assistants and the students in courses that are supported by UTAs. UTAs can assist in the classroom in several ways, including facilitating discussions and group activities during lectures. UTAs may also provide support to the faculty member via grading student work and to students by holding office hours.

During their first semester teaching a course with an instructor, UTAs must attend all class periods, attend weekly staff meetings led by the faculty teaching the course, hold limited office hours, and participate in professional development workshops as available. Each following semester that they participate (with the same faculty member in the same course) UTA class time can be negotiated with the faculty member, but they are still required to attend weekly staff meetings led by the faculty teaching the course, hold limited office hours, and participate in professional development programs.

Undergraduate teaching assistant pay will be variable depending on class meeting times and other factors but they can expect to be paid around $1,500 each semester they participate in the UTA Program. Students interested in serving as UTAs should have a conversation with a professor in one of their science classes. Prospective TAs should also complete an Student OSI-UTA application.

Interested faculty members can complete a Faculty Request for OSI Undergraduate Teaching Assistant support. Preference will be given to faculty members teaching large enrollment introductory courses in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science and Mathematics.

UTA Professional Development

Undergraduate teaching assistants participate in on-going professional development throughout their participation in the UTA Program.

  • UTAs attend weekly staff meetings with faculty, course instructors, and other UTAs in their assigned course
  • Every semester in the program, UTAs are observed in their lecture, recitation, or study group assignment as part of their formal job evaluation.
  • OSI has develop a formal professional development program for UTAs called the STEM Education: Theory and Practice learning community which meets weekly.