Sidebar: A Trio of Innovative T.A. Training Programs

Teaching assistants (T.A.'s) were once regarded as second-class citizens by science graduate students with research assistantships. But things have changed over the past decade. Several factors-including recognition of the value of teaching skills, a tight job market, and public demand for quality in undergraduate instruction-have converged to stimulate academic departments to invest more in T.A.'s. As a result, many colleges and universities now offer T.A. training programs at the institutional and departmental levels. And in some schools, competition for positions is intense.

WIN-WIN: Well-trained grad students make undergraduate classes better and bolster enrollment, says Michigan’ s Constance Cook.
"Increasingly, graduate students in the sciences are realizing that teaching enhances their future job prospects, especially for faculty positions. And faculty realize that putting the best graduate students in the undergraduate classrooms makes their undergraduate programs better and bolsters enrollment," says Constance E....

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