Colleagues,

For the last few years we have coordinated an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UGTA) program where more than 125 students have worked with over 50 faculty members. The primary goals of the program are to improve the educational experience of our freshmen, as well as to provide leadership experience for the UGTAs. We also encourage faculty in classes beyond the freshmen year to utilize UGTAs to support collaborative learning activities such as labs or in-class team activities. Please note that UGTAs are not to be utilized as “graders” but instead to assist you in conducting in-class collaborative activities. UGTAs are paid a small stipend and required to enroll in a 1-credit online class to hone their skills. Details of the program are provided below.

If you are teaching an FSE 100 Introduction to Engineering class we will be assigning you a UGTA this fall. For other classes, please email me and copy Carrie Robinson (cc: carrie.robinson@asu.edu) with the classes for which you would like a UGTA and your plan for utilizing a UGTA. If you know of students who would be a good UGTA, please include their name in your request and encourage them to apply at more.engineering.asu.edu/ugta/.

We would like to have all faculty UGTA requests by Friday, May 18. If you have questions about the program or how to utilize a UGTA, please contact me.

Jim

James S. Collofello
Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
School of Computing Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
Arizona State University
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Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Program

Purpose
The primary objective of the Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Program (UGTA program) is to improve the educational experience of freshmen in their engineering classes. It is anticipated that UGTAs will also be utilized to support collaborative learning activities, such as labs, in selected classes beyond the freshmen year. Faculty are encouraged to engage students in exploratory and collaborative learning activities that can greatly benefit from the participation of UGTAs. The UGTAs can assist the faculty member in these activities and through their presence in the classroom:

  • Promote more effective learning and achievement
  • Act as a cultural bridge from high school to the university environment
  • Help navigate the institution and promote self-confidence and self-reliance
  • Act as role models who demonstrate personal and academic success
  • Hold office hours and review sessions

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Commit to engaging students in exploratory and collaborative learning activities
  • Utilize UGTAs in the classroom and not for grading tasks
  • Participate in the assessment of the UGTA’s performance

UGTA Responsibilities

  • Spend about 5 hours per week assisting a faculty member in the classroom or lab
  • Meet with their faculty on a regular basis to prepare for activities
  • Enroll in and complete FSE 294: Engineering Undergraduate Learning Assistant (1 unit) the semester for which they serve as a UGTA

UGTA Benefits

  • Improve communication and leadership skills
  • Develop a working relationship with a faculty member in their program
  • Earn valuable experience for their resume
  • Recognition at an appreciation lunch with the Schools’ leadership
  • Course credit and notation on their transcript
  • $500 stipend per semester

Recruitment
Academic and Student Affairs (ASA) will recruit students who are sophomore, junior, or senior level; in academic good standing; and have completed their freshmen engineering courses. Faculty are asked to encourage potential students with whom they would like to work to apply. Students must submit an online application at more.engineering.asu.edu/ugta.

UGTA Assignments
First priority is given to Introduction to Engineering classes. Instructors of other classes may request a UGTA through the associate dean. ASA works with each instructor to assign a UGTA for their class.

Training and  Course
UGTAs must enroll in FSE 294: Engineering Undergraduate Learning Assistant, a one-credit online class. Students will attend a two-hour training session at the beginning of the semester, sign a brief agreement committing to their responsibilities, complete minimal online assignments and write a reflection paper. This final paper will also serve as an assessment of the program in combination with evaluations completed by faculty and students in classes with a UGTA.

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