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Financial Aid

Teaching Assistant

Initial application by graduate students is filed with the graduate academic advisor who maintains list of eligible applicants and their resumes and can verify grades, facilitate completion of paperwork, and forward applicant information to selection committee as indicated. The DSTF Selection Committee interviews multiple candidates for DSTF positions and selects the graduate students who excel according to criteria below. Recommendations are made to Dr. Beth Olson, Director of Valenti School of Communication, for approval/hiring.

Selection Committee comprised of:

Dr. Vardeman-Winter, Director of Graduate Studies
Professor Deborah Bridges, Course Coordinator/DSTF supervisor for Comm 1332
(enrollment 800+ per academic year)
Professor Suzanne Buck, Course Coordinator for Comm 3356 (enrollment 700 per
academic year) and coordinator of graders/proctors for all DE sections of
the Valenti School of Communication

Selection criteria:

  1. Unconditional acceptance into the Master's program
  2. Faculty recommendation
  3. Interview process*
  4. Completion of training, both in-house and Center for Teaching Excellence Division of Teaching Assistant Resources**
  5. Performance evaluation at semester's end; reappointment based on review/continued eligibility

*Interviews attempt to assess applicant maturity and dependability for exceeding the expectations placed on students (attendance, punctuality, meeting deadlines) in addition to academic standing and professional experience.
**The committee provides detailed orientation about policies/procedures/ responsibilities as part of the hiring process. Equity, consistency, and propriety in dealing with students are stressed.


  1. Must be competent to manage freshman-level speech labs (75-100 students per semester per graduate assistant in Comm 1332), provide public speaking instructional support, and grade varied-purpose speeches
  2. Must be competent to grade communication theory papers for the 300-600 students per semester in Comm 1302 course (social sciences core, writing intensive)