Developing a Culture of Teaching Formation for the Graduate Program

Developing a Culture of Teaching Formation for the Graduate Program
1. Every graduate student is required to earn the certificate in the “Apprenticeship in
College Teaching: A Certificate Program for Graduate Students” (See
during their tenure at Boston College. They may start at anytime during their
tenure, but preferably before they begin their teaching assistantship.
Accompanying the Teaching Assistant
2. Toward a philosophy of Accompanying the Teaching Assistant: While in the past,
we understood the teaching assistant as providing “pay back” for scholarship and
stipends received, today we realize that being a teaching assistant is a graduate
student’s first foray into the vocation of teaching. We need to think of the Teaching
Assistant as the primary beneficiary of her/ his work.
3. A Teaching Assistant is usually assigned to a Theology professor to assist in
teaching her/his core course. In a few cases, a TA is assigned to a professor who has
a theology elective with an enrollment over 40 students.
3. In order to receive a teaching assistant, Theology professors agree to the
To expect not more than an average of 10 hours of work per week from the TA. The
TA’s primary responsibility is to assist in the course for which the professor was
granted a TA.
To review the course syllabus with the TA, explaining how the professor conceived
the course and the underlying rationale behind various assignments and
assessments. This should be done at the beginning of the course.
To agree to schedule the TA to teach one full class each semester in the presence of
the course’s professor who will serve as the TA’s observer. The professor will meet
with the TA at some point after the class to discuss the evaluation. A copy of the
evaluation will be sent to the Graduate Program Director.
4. Teaching Assistants will normally TA in their area in the third year; they will TA
in another area in their fourth year. This is to stretch the student’s capability for
teaching beyond their area and to develop their resume in applying for permanent
teaching positions.
Mentoring the Teaching Fellows
5. Toward a philosophy of Mentoring the Teaching Fellows: The Undergraduate
Program Director will appoint a coordinator to each of the four Core areas in which
teaching fellows teach. The coordinators will meet once with Teaching Fellows in
their core area before the beginning of the semester to share ideas of assignments,
assessments, classroom activities and texts to be incorporated into the course
syllabi. The coordinator will check to ensure that all TF syllabi are in good order
and to answer any questions that TFs may have. TFs should get a sense that this
faculty member is their primary mentor for being a teaching fellow.
6. Each semester the Teaching Fellow needs to secure a faculty member to observe
their teaching and submit a written evaluation. The faculty member should review
her/his observations with the TF and relay them in writing to the GPD.
James Keenan, S.J.
Graduate Program Director
November 27, 2012