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Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) program allows every second-year PhD student to have an opportunity to work with at least one faculty member in a Fordham undergraduate classroom prior to teaching on his or her own in the third year.

  • The GTA and faculty mentor will meet regularly to discuss the syllabus, course planning, readings, and all other matters related to the course.
  • The GTA will attend all classes of a faculty member’s course (ideally Faith and Critical Reason or a Sacred Texts and Traditions course)
  • There will be at least two opportunities for the GTA to give lectures and/or lead discussions in class. The faculty mentor will assist the student in preparing for those opportunities, and will provide constructive feedback afterwards.
  • In the context of hands-on training and mentorship, the GTA will assist the faculty member with grading papers and exams in the course. The vision here is one of shared labor in the context of a mentoring relationship. Faculty mentors will work together with the GTA to develop rubrics for appropriate grading and oversees the process as a whole.
  • While specifics will no doubt vary in particular courses and contexts, the program is designed so that the graduate student would assume around 50% of the faculty member’s grading for core courses in a given semester. For example, a GTA and faculty member may each grading half the midterms or a GTA may grade final exams while the faculty mentor grades final papers, etc.
  • The GTA will make himself or herself available to meet with undergraduates in the course to discuss papers, respond to drafts, review for exams, etc.
  • The GTA will assist the faculty member in handling logistics for the course as needed; these may include (but are not necessarily limited to) scanning, photocopying, library reserves, proctoring exams, and other miscellaneous administrative tasks.

In cases where a faculty member is teaching multiple sections of the same course, a GTA may assist with (and help to grade) more than one section. The working principle to be followed is that the GTA should be recognizable to members of all courses for which s/he has any significant teaching or grading duties.

  • A GTA might split time between two sections 50/50 or might attend one section primarily and another section only occasionally.
  • When a GTA is working with more than one section, the student’s opportunities to lecture and/or lead discussion should be extended to both sections whenever possible
  • The faculty mentor and GTA will work out arrangements conducive to each specific situation.
  • In all cases, however, the GTA should attend the equivalent of an entire course (whether in one section or split across multiple sections) so as to be fully informed of the course content.