For over twenty-five years, Michigan State University’s Teaching Assistant Program (TAP) has been working with graduate programs and faculty to provide a wide variety of professional development experiences in support of the teaching and learning of all MSU teaching assistants (TAs). This effort is particularly crucial because it is the teaching assistants at Michigan State that often provide undergraduate students with their first exposure to core courses in a wide variety of disciplines. As such, teaching assistants play a crucial role in Michigan State University’s efforts to ensure academic success among the institution’s undergraduate population. The Teaching Assistant Program (TAP) is a key component of a larger commitment that The Graduate School and Postdoc Office have to provide central support to graduate students and postdocs in their development as teachers, and in their preparation for teaching roles after graduation.
- Orientations and Trainings. The Graduate School sponsors two university-wide orientations for new teaching assistants: the International Teaching Assistant Orientation (ITA) and the New TA Institute. The Graduate School (through the TA Program), in partnership with academic and support units on campus, is responsible for designing and implementing both programs.
- International Teaching Assistant Program. The mission of the International Teaching Assistant Program is to help graduate students for whom English is a second language understand the culture and norms of college classrooms in the U.S., as well as provide opportunities for teaching practice as they work on developing their language skills in their disciplines.