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College of Arts and Sciences

Teaching Assistant Opportunities

Experience as a PSY 120 Teaching Assistant

The Psychology Department has developed a program that provides undergraduates with the opportunity to obtain teaching-related experience. The opportunity involves two aspects: (a) registering and participating in the course, PSY 392 Undergraduate Teaching Experience, and (b) being assigned to a PSY 120 professor to assist in various aspects of managing a section of PSY 120. Teaching assistants are assigned to a particular section of PSY 120 based on the availability of the student to attend the PSY 120 class on a given day and time; that is, teaching assistants are assigned to a PSY 120 class taking his or her course schedule and work schedule into account. Teaching assistants do not register as a student for PSY 120; they only register for PSY 392.

The only way of registering for PSY 392 is to be admitted by Dr. Bendele and Dr. Hill. A set of criteria are employed to select students:

  1. A minimum GPA of 3.20, preferably higher in courses in psychology
  2. Junior or senior standing
  3. Meeting with Dr. Bendele or Dr. Hill to determine the match of the responsibilities and demands of the TA course with the capabilities, goals, and interests of each TA candidate
  4. Preference will be given to TA candidates recommended by Psychology faculty

Dr. Bendele and Dr. Hill typically teach PSY 392 together in both the Fall and Spring semesters. They meet with the advanced psychology majors as a group to address issues concerning practical aspects of teaching and serving as a TA. The class also discusses academic articles published about such topics as helping students develop critical thinking skills, strategies to motivate students to learn, ethics involved in teaching, writing exams, and providing feedback to students.

While the skills a student acquires as a teaching assistant will be very useful regardless of the student’s goals past the baccalaureate degree, they will be especially useful to those wishing to attend graduate school.