Undergraduate Teaching Experiences

Undergraduate Teaching Assistantships

The College of Social Sciences and Humanities supports use of Undergraduate Teaching Assistantships (UGTAs) to enhance students’ undergraduate experience through experiential learning and to build their leadership skills. We view undergraduate teaching assistantships as meaningful opportunities to engage students in the experiential liberal arts. In addition, we believe UGTAs can make valuable contributions to undergraduate courses.

Students may be paid directly for their services as UGTAs, but whenever possible, they should enroll for academic credit. This both makes the teaching experience legible on students’ transcripts and honors the principle that UGTAs are first and foremost learning experiences for students. This site is intended to offer guidance to faculty and students in creating meaningful, rigorous, and ethically attuned teaching experiences for undergraduate students.

Students who are interested in becoming an UGTA should contact the Undergraduate Program Director (UPD) in the appropriate department or programs. UPDs can be found in the Academic Services Directory.

Benefits for Students

Through a UGTA experience, students learn the course material at a deep level; develop interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills; and receive close mentoring from a faculty member in their field.

Benefits for Faculty

Faculty who oversee UGTAs have opportunities to mentor talented students; to reflect on and discuss their teaching; and to receive assistance with pedagogical activities. Though the expectation is that faculty generally will teach Undergraduate Teaching Experience off-load, we encourage departments and programs to recognize the considerable commitment they require and to acknowledge this in some way in their reward structure.

Roles and Responsibilities of the UGTA

UGTAs assist faculty members in designing and implementing courses for fellow undergraduates. Specific duties will vary according to the needs of the program, course, and faculty members, but in general, UGTAs will engage in some combination of the following: