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Undergraduate Teaching Experiences – Students

Information for Students about CSSH Undergraduate Teaching Experiences

Qualifications

Each department and program has its own minimum qualifications for UGTAs. Students should contact the department’s Undergraduate Program Director, a list of which can be found in the Academic Services Directory. Typically, at a minimum, students should have completed the course in which they will TA with a very high grade (usually an A). They will also have outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.

Training and Mentoring

Undergraduate teaching assistants should receive initial training and ongoing mentoring by the sponsoring faculty member both on the specific content of the course and on pedagogical theory and practice more generally. Depending on the situation, this guidance may be more or less formal. When students receive academic credit for the experience (i.e., through Undergraduate Teaching Experience courses), faculty members should meet regularly with students and engage them in academic work (reading, writing, reflection) in addition to the teaching experience.

Confidentiality and Privacy

UGTAs should have an understanding of university regulations and federal law regarding student privacy and confidentiality, the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and the relevant policies on the Northeastern University Policies Page. General guidelines include the following:

Departments and programs will ask students to sign a confidentiality form. Northeastern’s confidentiality agreement form may be found here.

Grading

Faculty are ultimately responsible for grading in their courses. Each department and program have its own conditions under which it is proper for UGTAs to participate in grading. Any evaluation provided by UGTAs will be closely supervised by faculty members to ensure fairness and consistency and should be confined largely or entirely to objective or, alternatively, strictly formative or low-stakes assessments. In most cases, UGTAs’ evaluations should be submitted to the faculty member, who will review the assessments before handing student work back.

Relationships Between UGTAs and Students Enrolled in Courses

UGTAs should not, under any circumstances, be involved in romantic relationships with students in the course for which they are assisting. They should report to their faculty members any potential conflicts of interest resulting from personal relationships, past or present, with other students. The university’s sexual harassment and non-fraternization policies can be found on the Northeastern University Policies Page.