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Teaching Assistants FAQs

TA Training Program

SPHTM will be increasing the number of Student Teaching Assistants (TAs) this fall.

The mandatory TA training program is one of five requirements to be considered for a teaching assistantship in both undergraduate and graduate level courses. The Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Student Affairs have partnered in this training effort to enhance the teaching and learning experience at the SPHTM.  

The two-part TA training provides a toolkit for our TAs where ethics, academic standards, best practices, honor code, payroll, etc., are discussed.

Part 1 will be available on Canvas beginning Friday, July 24 and must be completed by Friday, July 31. Learn more below and enroll now.

Part 2 will take place via Zoom. Register for one of these dates: Monday, July 27 at 5pm, Friday, July 31 at 5pm, Monday, August 3 at 5pm.

It should be noted that Instructors select TAs and will often reach out to hire students with whom they have a good rapport and who have done well in their courses.  If you're interested in a teaching assistantship in a course for which you were not a student or did not know the instructor well, reach out to that instructor, express your interest and discuss the appointment.

Part 1 – 2-hour Independent Study

Part 1 is an asynchronous, 2-hour intensive with 3 modules that incorporate instructional technology lessons in Canvas, Zoom, and Yuja. It requires submission of the Confidentiality Agreement, Bio Sheet, and several knowledge checks.

This Canvas course will be available for potential candidates to enroll and begin as of 12:01am Friday, July 24, 2020. Click here to enroll.

Enrolled students have until 11:59pm on Friday, July 31, 2020 to complete the modules. The course will be unavailable after that time for those assisting in the Fall 2020 and will be offered again for spring appointments.

Part 2 – 1-hour live Zoom session

Part 2 is synchronous. It involves a 1-hour Zoom session following completion of the Canvas modules. Students will have an exercise in giving feedback and examine the findings from course evaluation comments related to effective TA contributions to learning.

There are three offerings for this part of the training. Students should choose one of the three to attend and can register below.
TA Training Session – Part 2 (Section 1), Monday July 27, 2020, 5pm (Register here)
TA Training Session – Part 2 (Section 2), Friday July 31, 2020, 5pm (Register here)
TA Training Session – Part 2 (Section 3), Monday August 3, 2020, 5pm (Register here)



If you have questions about the TA Training contact Dr. Angela Breckenridge at 504-988-9916.

This training is targeted to students who have been selected by faculty to serve as TAs for the fall semester and those who may wish to TA this fall. Ideally, doctoral students have priority for TA positions in master’s courses; however, there may also be qualified master’s students. Second-year master’s students can serve as TAs for first-year students, and first-year master’s students may serve as undergraduate TAs if they have knowledge of the course subject matter. In such cases, it is advisable that the students not be in the same entering class/cohort as their peers and should not serve as TAs in any classes in which they have friends.  

Please note that the Office of Student Affairs now maintains a list of trained and approved Teaching Assistants.  This list also includes information on the courses and topics that the trained TAs are interested in supporting.  This list can be referenced by the individual departments and faculty members looking for TAs.  Please contact Rozanne Bailey to access the list.

For questions about the hiring process and appointments to the Online MPH program, contact Kathleen Carniero.


Will Teaching Assistants be compensated for additional work incurred due to the demands of teaching in the HyFlex model?

The school is working on a TA compensation policy that will account for the additional time required.

Who qualifies for a Teaching Assistant (TA) position?
  1. TAs must be full time SPHTM graduate students and have advanced knowledge in the course discipline.
  2. They must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  3. They should be in a higher degree program than the level of the course (e.g., student in a master’s program may be a TA in bachelors courses; in a doctoral program to for advanced master’s courses).
  4. Advanced master’s students may TA introductory MPH/MSPH courses if peers are not in that course.
  5. They must complete TA training and follow all procedures for confidentiality and conflict of interest.
Does taking TA training guarantee a TA job?

No, taking TA training does not guarantee a TA job. Students should contact course instructors as they are the ones who select TAs for their courses. Instructors will often look for students who have taken their course so they have the knowledge and skills taught in the course.

What are the Learning Objectives for TA Training?

TAs will learn how to:

  • Contact the right support person for questions or concerns related to payroll, the course and instructors, teaching, students, or FERPA. (Module 1)
  • Determine eligibility to serve as a teaching assistant. (Module 1)
  • Explain what the confidentiality agreement is for. (Module 2)
  • Recognize breeches of academic integrity and address them. (Module 2)
  • List TA responsibilities and non-responsibilities. (Module 2)
  • Recognize professional behaviors in yourself and others. (Module 2)
  • Identify strategies to foster a positive, inclusive learning environment. (Module 2)
  • Set up and run a Zoom session with breakout rooms and recordings. (Module 3)
  • Record and upload a video using Yuga or other software. (Module 3)
  • Grade assignments, quizzes and post grades in Canvas. (Module 3)
  • Set up assignments, quizzes, and discussions in Canvas. (Module 3)
  • Identify where to find Respondus Lockdown and Proctoring instructions. (Module 3)
  • Use Turnitin with an assignment. (Module 3)
  • Establish reasonable expectations for response times and feedback turnaround. (Live session)
  • Explain the importance of announcements and other online student communications. (Live session)