Community-University Partnerships & Service Learning
CUPS Service-Learning Teaching Assistant ProgramAbout the Program:
The Service-Learning Teaching Assistant (SL-TA) Program provides support for faculty, students, and community partners engaged in designated service-learning courses at UVM. Since 2005, the CUPS Office has offered this unique program to designed to give UVM students training in service-learning pedagogy and leadership development opportunities while providing faculty members additional support for their service-learning courses. To date, over 150 SL-TAs have been trained and supported by the CUPS Office.
Given the variety of service-learning classes offered at UVM, each S-LTA has a unique experience. However, there are several key areas that SL-TAs are especially prepared for through the SL-TA Training, including but not limited to:
- Assist in service-learning course development
- Introduce the pedagogy of service-learning to students
- Assist in parntership initiation and/or facilitation
- Help prepare students to undertake S-L projects
- Serve as a liaison between the course and its community partners
- Create and evaluate reflection assignments
- Manage service-learning projects
- Oversee project management and group dynamics
- The semester before a course is to be taught, faculty who are interested in having teaching assistants for service-learning courses submit their request via the course designation form.
- Students who are interested in positions as Service-Learning Teaching Assistants complete the S-L TA application.
- The CUPS office works with interested faculty to match student applicants to their courses.
- Student and Faculty applicants are notified of their status.
- All accepted Teaching Assistants must work with the CUPS Office & Faculty to decide on a compensation package (may include work-study, a small stipend, academic credit in their department, or some combination of above). See FAQ for more information.
- Service-Learning Teaching Assistants begin training and preparation activities, including mandatory training workshops and meetings with the CUPS office.
- All Faculty who will be teaching day or evening credit-bearing service-learning courses (the CUPS office will determine eligibility based on course descriptions).
- Students must have at least sophomore standing. Those who have taken service-learning courses or participated in service-related activities are encouraged to apply.
- Graduate students assigned to a service-learning course are strongly encouraged to apply for their own professional development and/or to prepare for their assigned course.
POSITIONS HAVE BEEN FILLED. APPLICATIONS
FOR S-L TA POSITIONS FOR SPRING 2014 WILL BE POSTED HERE IN THE FALL
1. What do S-L TA’s do?
S-L TA’s are hired by the CUPS Office to assist in
Service-Learning courses across campus. Typically, TAs
work an average of 5 hours/week during the semester. S-L
TAs are hired to work on the Service-Learning component of the
course ONLY, not to serve as a general TA for the course.
In this capacity, TAs might help recruit community partners,
facilitate & grade reflection, or assist with project
management. For international S-L courses, TAs will also
travel with the students. Most typically, S-L TA’s
facilitate discussion and critical reflection, helping students
to connect their service or community-engaged work to the
learning goals of the course.
2. What are the program
S-L-TA’s are required to
- attend an orientation (2 hours) the previous semester
- meet with their supervising faculty & a CUPS staff member, in order to prepare an official job description of their specific TA responsibilities
- attend training sessions during the semester of service related to their specific TA responsibilities
- attend 3 additional professional development opportunities during the semester of service
- provide a photo, bio and materials from the semester of service
- serve as the liaison between CUPS and the S-L course
- fill out appropriate paperwork and report hours in a timely manner (if receiving a stipend)
- write a short reflection upon completion of the TA-ship
3. How would I be paid or compensated?
Academic Credit, Work-Study or Paid Stipends of $500
are available. The CUPS Office can offer up to 20 stipends of
$500 per year, which are awarded first-come, first-serve to the
faculty requesting S-L TAs. The majority of TA’s are able
to receive a stipend if it is their preferred compensation
option. Additionally, students may use their work-study
award for their S-L TA position (up to the hours allotted), or
students may receive academic credit. Typically, the
5-hours a week of S-L TA work translates to 1-2 credits.
Students are responsible for identifying appropriate credit
options in their home department, as the CUPS Office does not
offer a credit-bearing course at this time. Graduate students
already on stipends will need to be paid via additional pay
forms, and should confirm their eligibility to take on
additional work at the University BEFORE applying to the
4. What is the hiring process?
S-L TAs fill out an application via the CUPS
website, providing information about availability, reason for
seeking an S-L TA position, and service background. A
resume can be helpful.
Faculty often encourages students to apply who have previously taken their S-L course; if the faculty specifically requests that student by name, we will usually hire the student immediately.
For courses, where there are no requests, we create a candidate pool from the applicants, after careful review of applicants’ courses, major, service background and academic strength. The candidate pools are also based upon student interest, so we simultaneously poll students to determine interest levels in particular courses. We offer candidate pools to faculty; they are given a few days to rank their choices, and these rankings, in combination with student preferences, determine the ultimate placements. Students may be placed in several candidate pools, based upon their stated interests.
5. What is the timeline?
S-L TAs must apply by the deadline in the 6th week of the semester (see website for exact deadlines). The hiring process takes place after that. You can expect to hear from us by the 9th week of the semester, and we will schedule the initial orientation towards the end of the semester. Responding promptly to emails from our office greatly assists the process of matching applicants to courses.
6. Can I choose which course I
Our matching process takes into account student preferences, but there are often many 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.
7. How can I increase my chances of getting to be 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.
a. Talk with professors of existing S-L courses about your interest in advance. Professors may request specific students to serve as TA’s.
b. Be willing to take academic credit or work-study instead of the $500 stipend. Requests for TAs often exceed our budget for stipends.
c. Choose as many possible courses as you would be willing to TA for in our interest poll.
d. Fill out the application with as much detail as possible, and respond promptly to any communications from the CUPS Office regarding possible placements.
Community-University Partnerships and Service-Learning
Last modified April 02 2013 11:51 AM