University of Vermont

Office of Community-University Partnerships & Service Learning

Bekah Gordon at Shelburne Farms, working as a Service-Learning TA in an Environmental Studies course.

Service-Learning TA Program

Since 2003, CUPS has placed over 170 SL-TAs in service-learning courses at UVM. Students receive training in SL pedagogy, and gain valuable leadership and teaching experience.

What do SL-TA’s do?

SL-TA's assist faculty with the service-learning component of a course, up to 5 hours/week. In this capacity, TAs might help recruit community partners, facilitate & grade reflection, or assist with project management.  For international SL courses, TAs will also travel with the students.  Most typically, SL-TA’s facilitate discussion and critical reflection, helping students to connect their service or community-engaged work to the learning goals of the course. Students earn academic credit for this service-learning work through CDAE 195 (see below).

What are the program requirements?

SL-TA’s are required to:

  • enroll in CDAE 195: Critical Perspectives on Service-Learning
  • meet with their supervising  faculty & a CUPS staff member, in order to prepare an official job description of their specific TA responsibilities
  • attend 2 additional professional development opportunities during the semester of service
  • provide a photo, bio and student work or other materials from the semester of service
  • serve as the liaison between CUPS and the SL course
Are SL-TAs paid?

CUPS used to award a small number of stipends for SL-TAs, but the program model has recently changed. SL-TAs now enroll in a 3-credit course, CDAE 195: Critical Perspectives on Service-Learning. The course will meet once a week for 75 minutes, with the remaining "class time" devoted to SL-TA work (approximately 5 hours per week). Some students will also take the course, but undertake other service-learning projects.

SL-TAs who have already taken the course (or been through the SL-TA training) are eligible for stipends if they choose to work as SL-TAs in subsequent semesters.

What is the application process?

SL-TAs fill out an application, which includes information about service-learning background, reason for seeking the positions, and a resume. Please click here to access the SL-TA application.

Faculty often encourage students to apply who have previously taken their SL course; if the faculty specifically requests that student by name, we will usually accept the student immediately. Please speak with a service-learning faculty member if you are interested in serving as an SL-TA for his/her course!

What is the timeline?

SL-TAs must apply by November 18th, but applications are accepted any time before that. Registration for Spring '16 begins on Nov. 23rd.

Can I choose which course I TA for?

Our matching process takes into account student preferences, but there are often more applicants than positions.  Please be honest about whether you would accept a particular course or not, but recognize that the more courses you would accept, the greater your chances of being hired.

How can I increase my chances of becoming an SL-TA?

If you are eager to become a TA, there are some ways you can increase your chances of being matched with a course.

  1. Talk with professors of existing SL courses about your interest in advance. Professors may request specific students to serve as TA’s.
  2. When filling out the interest poll (sent to students after they have applied), choose as many possible courses as you would be willing to TA for.
  3. Fill out the application with as much detail as possible, and respond promptly to any communications from the CUPS Office regarding possible placements.

Still have questions?

Please contact Tom Wilson, CUPS Program Coordinator, at (802) 656-3883, or We can also answer questions at the Career & Experience Hub in the Davis Center during CUPS drop-in hours — come see us!

Last modified November 11 2015 02:09 PM