Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships are apprenticeships that provide qualified students with relevant training experience for academic and academic-related careers in teaching and research. As a matter of University policy, teaching assistants are considered primarily as students being professionally trained. Graduate students who are recipients of teaching and research assistantships must meet all registration and enrollment criteria established by the Graduate Council and the department. They must also maintain satisfactory progress throughout their appointments.

Teaching in the Department

The Department employs between 30 and 40 teaching assistants or ASEs (Academic Student Employees) every quarter. They are assigned to the Lower Division Program, which offers 30-40 sections of first- and second-year language classes. The program offers rigorous pedagogical training for ASEs via the required Spanish 495 course, as it seeks to offer excellent language instruction to our undergraduates.

We also employ ASEs in some of our large Culture and Literature courses (Span 42, Span 44, Span 120, Span/Port M35, Port 46). Although ASEs in these courses do not teach the course, they are responsible for leading small discussion sections. This gives the ASE an opportunity to observe and assist a professor put together a non-language course and to help undergraduates better understand the material presented in class.

The Department adheres to the official UCLA policies and procedures for the appointments of graduate students to all academic personnel titles as described in the Academic Apprentice Personnel Manual for Graduate Students. This manual contains information on how to find appointments, minimum requirements for appointments, terms of employment, benefits, tax information, TA training programs, fee deferments, offsets, and remissions.

Teaching Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
  • Each Teaching Assistant will be assigned 2.5 to 4 hours of in-person classroom instruction per week, depending upon the specific course he/she is to teach, as well as the management of online resources, under the supervision of a member of the regular faculty who bears overall responsibility for the course.
  • Graduate teaching assistants must enroll in Spanish 495 (The Teaching of Spanish in the University) during their first quarter of teaching.
  • Graduate teaching assistants are required to attend regular teaching workshops and meetings with the instructor of record as well as collaborate in the creation of assessment instruments for the course.
  • Graduate teaching assistants in the language program will be observed by the TAC and the Director of the Language Program and will receive one formal evaluation of their teaching per year.
  • Two office hours per week are required.
  • Graduate teaching assistants are expected to follow all of the policies and procedures established by the instructor of record and/or the Director of the Language program.
  • Renewal of the TA’s contract is not automatic. Failure to fulfill the terms of the contract may result in probation or dismissal. See below for eligibility requirements.
Eligibility Requirements Checklist
  • 3.0 GPA at the time of hire.
  • Must be a registered graduate student enrolled in 12 or more units for the quarter period of hire.
  • Students who plan to work as a teaching assistant (TA) at UCLA and are non-US citizens must pass the TOP before working as a TA with a score of 7.1 or greater (the highest possible score is 10) If the student receives a provisional pass (6.4-7.0), the student is required to take an approved ESL oral skills course (ESL 38 or 39 series) either before or during the first quarter of TA work.
  • Teaching apprentices must not have worked more than 12 quarters in a teaching apprentice title.