New Teaching Assistant Training and Evaluation Program (TATEP)
The Teaching Assistant Training and Evaluation Program (TATEP) is intended to improve undergraduate teaching, enhance the classroom experiences of Graduate Teaching Assistants (TA), and respond to the need for more systematic preparation and evaluation of TAs. For international TAs, it will supplement programs already in place to evaluate and promote English language competency.
TATEP at Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University’s talented Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) are a major strength of our university and contribute to achieving the strategic goal of excellence in graduate education. As such, equipping TAs with the skills and resources they need to excel in their teaching positions is a top priority.
Purpose of TATEP
TATEP exists to support student teachers and ensure they meet Texas A&M’s high standards of excellence in teaching. Key objectives include improving undergraduate teaching, enhancing the classroom experiences of Graduate Teaching Assistants (TA), and responding to the need for more systematic preparation and evaluation of TAs.
University-Level TA Training
New TAs’ attendance at the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Teaching Assistant Institute (TAI) is mandatory. TAs whose first teaching assignment is for the new academic year and TAs who have not previously completed TA training are required to attend the TAI. TAI is offered every year at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters and is required for new TAs who serve as recitation leaders, laboratory instructors, and/or full responsibility lecturers. This one-day training program also includes ethical and legal responsibilities training (administered through the Gateway System) and provides new TAs with the opportunity to clarify, question, apply and organize knowledge comprising foundational principles in teaching and learning.
Teaching Assistant Institute
The Teaching Assistant Institute (TAI), hosted by the Graduate and Professional School and the Center for Teaching Excellence, is a university-mandated Institute designed to prepare graduate students for college classroom teaching. TAI is a component of the Teaching Assistant Training and Evaluation Program (TATEP).Teaching Assistant Institute
Discipline-Specific TA Training
Discipline-specific training for new TAs will be provided at the college/ department level. The nature of this training, while varying widely across different disciplines, will complement university-level training and will address the unique and specific needs of graduate students serving as TAs within their disciplines. Discipline-specific training will expose new TAs to the specific patterns of behavior, systematic methods, classroom management, and/or instructional practices associated with successful teaching within their disciplines.
Reporting TA Training Compliance
Departments or programs will provide a yearly report to their Graduate Operations Council (GOC) Dean stating evidence of their compliance with the University-Level TA Training and Discipline-Specific TA Training tenets for new TAs.
At minimum, these reports include:
- A list of all TAs from the summer semester and through the current spring semester, indicating whether or not each individual has completed a) the University-level TA training (Teaching Assistant Institute) and b) the Discipline-Specific TA training.
- A one-page description of the nature of the departmental TA training program. Specifically, this document a) addresses the learning outcomes of the program and how those learning outcomes are assessed and b) includes a description of the method of training for international TAs.
Using the departments/programs reports, the GOC Deans will provide a college-level report of compliance to the Graduate and Professional School by the last week in June each year. (Note: CTE will make a compliance report to the Associate Provost and Dean of Faculties by the twelfth class day each Fall and Spring semester with regards to university-level TA Training.)
Each academic department employing TAs shall develop an appropriate set of procedures and evaluation instruments to employ in monitoring the performance of TAs each semester. Departments will share their evaluation and feedback process in their departmental reports each year.
Maintaining Excellence in Graduate Teaching
Texas A&M believes in transparency and efficiency. TATEP includes procedures for holding all parties accountable to the high bar set for graduate student teaching. In addition, TATEP programming is periodically reevaluated.
Center for Teaching Excellence Best Practices Resources
The CTE will periodically publish a list of best practices for preparing graduate students for their assignments as new TAs for distribution to or access by each of the departments or programs. In addition, CTE will maintain a list of resources available for departmental TA training to encourage excellence in the TA training programs. The Best Practice Resources also include ideal practices gleaned from the annual college-level reports submitted to the Grad School.