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Graduate/Teaching Assistant Development Opportunities


TA Orientation to Teaching

Each fall the center, in conjunction with the three schools, organizes an orientation for teaching assistant (TAs). This orientation introduces new and returning TAs to the teaching culture at UC Merced. General questions such as “What is college teaching?” and "Who are UC Merced students?" will be addressed. In addition, the orientation will cover important pedagogical principles, classroom dynamics, course planning and other teaching strategies. On-going support services for TAs are available at the center throughout the year.

Certificate Program:  "Fundamentals for TAs in Higher Education" will be offered each Fall.  

This is a 3-part series that gives the TA a total of 8 hours of focused preparation in teaching and learning fundamentals.  Part 1 (4 hours) takes place during GROW and is required of all new TAs.  Parts 2 and 3 (2 hours each) are voluntary.  All three sessions must be completed in the Fall in order to obtain the certificate of participation.  Please check the calendar for scheduled sessions.


Graduate Teaching Assistant Community of Practice (Just-in-Time Teaching Support) begins in the Fall of 2019.  

These sessions are designed to provide active TAs with pedagogical support throughout the semester.  The "community" of TAs, along with a pedagogical expert from CETL, will provide "just-in-time" suggestions for improving one's teaching experience, as well as strategies to handle difficult or challenging situations in the classroom. Sessions are scheduled for 40 minutes and are offered twice a month.  There is no set agenda other than to have the community share their experiences and support for one another's effectiveness in the classroom or lab. Please check the calendar for scheduled sessions.


Certificate Program: "Pedagogical Foundations for Teaching in Higher Education" will be offered in the Spring of 2020.  

This 6-part series of workshops is designed to prepare the future faculty members (and post-docs) with a foundation in teaching and learning.  These workshops will highlight important educational theory and research during the first half and practical applications (i.e., bridging theory to practice) during the second half of the sessions. Topics include: how people learn; designing curriculum; assessment practices; motivation and student engagement; designing instruction; and developing the syllabus and course calendar.  Attendance to all six sessions, for a total of 12 hours, is required to obtain the certificate of participation.  All sessions must be completed within the same semester. Please watch for the calendar of offerings in the Spring.

Fall Calendar



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  • UC Berkeley's Teaching and Resource Center for Graduate Student Instructor is a comprehensive one-stop shop for all things related to graduate teaching assistants, including an extensive teaching guide covering various teaching-related topics.
  • Preparing Future Faculty is a national network on programs for the preparation for the full range of faculty roles subsumed by the terms teaching, research and service.
  • Association for Support of Graduate Students is a service organization of graduate students, graduate-student organizations (GSOs) and graduate-degree-granting institutions. Thesis News and Doc-Talk might be of interest to teaching assistants.
  • Gradshare is an online communicate that offers guidance on the full breadth of the graduate experience, such as dissertation topic selection, grants, financial aid and work-life balance. Students can find and share advice on research, writing, publishing, job search and other topics that help them become more effective in their work.
  • Graduate Student Resources is a resource for getting in, getting through and getting out of graduate school.
  • Jobs in Higher Education is an online resource for the academic job hunter.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education Career Network has advice columns, news and job listings in higher education.
  • Academic Careers Online is a global academic job site to advertise job openings, find jobs or post resumes in higher education and academia. It includes full and part-time teaching, post doc and administrative jobs at colleges and universities around the world.