Guidelines for Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Teaching Experience

The activities in which undergraduate teaching assistants are involved are to enrich or enhance the courses they are supporting and improve the teaching-learning enterprise.

Suggested teaching or teaching-related activities appropriate for undergraduate teaching assistants are as follows.

  • Facilitating discussion groups or other forms of collaborative learning activities as part of regularly scheduled class sessions
  • Facilitating student study sessions or tutorials in support of a particular class at times other than regular class sessions
  • Assisting the instructor in secondary activities of teaching
  • Developing course materials
  • Developing and/or maintaining CourseWeb sites

Undergraduate teaching assistants should NOT be involved in the following.

  • Conducting regular class meetings, lectures, or seminars
  • Grading papers, quizzes, or exams
  • Assigning final grades
  • Work unrelated to class

Faculty members who are working with undergraduate teaching assistants should:

  • Meet with the student or students regularly throughout the term.
  • Review regularly with the students any work the teaching assistant will be using in a study group or other activity involving students in the supported class.
  • Clearly articulate the scale of credit or stipend related to effort (number of hours per week) at the outset of the project.

Dietrich School students interested in undergraduate teaching experiences or assistantship roles:

  • Should be University of Pittsburgh Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences undergraduate students in good academic standing with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Must have completed a course with a grade of B or higher if the supporting teaching activity involves direct facilitation of activities for students in a particular course.
  • Should expect to attend the lectures or other class meetings.

Earning Credit or Receiving Stipend

An undergraduate teaching assistant should receive either credit through departmental courses or financial compensation commensurate with effort (i.e., the number of hours per week the student works on the teaching project).

Credit can be earned through registration for departmental undergraduate teaching experience courses or directed study courses and should be on the scale of one credit for three to five hours of work per week.

Alternatively, direct compensation should be at the student hourly wage rate.

The following examples indicate the relationship between the number of hours a student spends on a teaching-related assignment and credit or stipend. The stipend should be based on the established minimum wage for student employees over a 14-week period.

Number of credits to be earned Effort in terms of student's involvement in attending lectures, meeting with faculty mentor, preparation, and direct peer teaching-related activities
1 credit 3-5 hours per week
2 credits 6-10 hours per week
3 credits 12-15 hours per week

Dietrich School programs to enhance undergraduate teaching experiences include the following.

The Small Grant for an Undergraduate Teaching Experience (UTE) provides opportunities for Dietrich School undergraduates to receive funding for teaching projects which are related to specific courses and which are completed under faculty mentorship.