• Have Questions?

  • TA Training FAQ

  • For questions concerning TA Orientation or GRAD 701, contact:

  • Dr. Michelle L. Hardee, Program Manager, hardeem@mailbox.sc.edu or 803-777-1975
  • For questions concerning International students and English testing requirements, contact:

  • English Programs for Internationals (EPI)
    epi-info@epi.sc.edu or
    803-777-3867 or, for more detailed information, visit ITA Workshop and Assessment

  • International Student Services (ISS) iss@sc.edu or
  • What do I have to do to complete TA Training?


    To complete TA Training, all graduate students who have received an Instructional Assistantship (IA) or Teaching Assistantship (TA) are required to go through the Graduate School's TA Training program. This program consists of two parts: TA Orientation, offered at the beginning of each semester, and GRAD 701, a semester-long TA Training course. Both parts of this program must be completed for a graduate student to be credentialed and eligible for instructional duties, and listed in the Graduate School's "Trained TA/IA Database".

  • Do I have to attend both TA Orientation and enroll in GRAD 701?


    Yes. Both the TA Orientation Workshops prior to the start of the semester and the GRAD 701 ongoing course are required for all new TA/IAs. Under Academic Affairs policy ACAF 4.0.I.A.1, GIAs and GTAs "must have attended a series of workshops for Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Instructional Assistants sponsored by the Graduate School" prior to beginning your TA/IA-ship. This requirement is fulfilled through TA Orientation. As required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), graduate TA/IAs must also participate in "regular in-service training" (SACS 3.7.1.f) during your first semester of teaching to be credentialed as a TA/IA. This is accomplished by enrolling in the GRAD 701course, "Teaching Assistant Development," or enrolling in an approved departmental TA Training course. Contact your Graduate Director or Graduate Coordinator to determine in which ongoing training course you should enroll. The TA Orientation Workshops provide information you need to know prior to your TA/IA duties, and GRAD 701 provides you with ongoing training helpful to your particular instructional duties.

  • Who is required to attend TA Orientation?


    Any graduate student who has been newly assigned an Instructional Assistantship (IA) or Teaching Assistantship (TA) must participate in TA Orientation. If you have participated in TA Orientation in a previous semester, you are not required to attend another Orientation.

  • Who should enroll in GRAD 701?


    As required by SACS, all newly appointed graduate TA/IAs must also participate in "regular in-service training" (SACS 3.7.1.f) during their first semester of teaching to be credentialed as a TA/IA. This is accomplished by enrolling in the GRAD 701 course, "Teaching Assistant Development." However, a select few departments require their graduate students to enroll in a discipline-specific TA Training course. For those departments whose course has been approved by the Dean of the Graduate School as a substitute for GRAD 701, their TA/IAs do not need to enroll for GRAD 701. Contact your Graduate Director or Graduate Coordinator about registration for approved departmental ongoing training courses.

  • What if I don't know if I'm supposed to take GRAD 701 or a departmental-specific TA Training course?


    You will need to contact your Graduate Coordinator or Graduate Director to determine if your department requires you to enroll in a Graduate School-approved discipline-specific TA Training course.

  • How do I register for TA Orientation?


    You can register at the TA Training/Orientation page on this website.

  • How do I cancel/change my registration for TA Orientation?


    Please email Dr. Michelle L. Hardee, Program Manager, hardeem@mailbox.sc.edu for any changes or cancellations. Changes and cancellations must be made 48 hours prior to all TA Orientation events. Remember, it is your responsibility to register for a different orientation date/time if you cancel your first attendance choice!

  • What is the schedule for TA Orientation?


    The schedule for TA Orientation includes two 3-hour workshops: Workshop 'A', or "Policies, Places and People," and Workshop 'B', or "Teaching Tips and Techniques." Each workshop is offered on multiple days and multiple times for your convenience. For a listing of scheduled dates, times, and a detailed topic schedule of TA Orientation, go to the TA Training/Orientationpage.

  • What's the difference between Workshop A and Workshop B - do I have to attend them both?


    The two workshops are very different and cover important information vital for a TA/IA to know prior to their first teaching responsibility. You are required to attend both Workshop A and B. Workshop A provides you with information on FERPA (privacy rights and responsibilities of instructors), guidelines on dealing with issues of discrimination and harassment in the classroom, what to do about cheating and plagiarism, how to deal with a range of behavioral issues, important University policies and University resources, etc. - all necessary information for a TA/IA to know before you step into the classroom. Workshop B was designed from comment cards by previous TA/IAs, who listed their most worrisome concern prior to teaching. We will go over how to prepare for your teaching duties, how to establish the teacher-student relationship, managing your workload, grading objectively, dealing with classroom challenges, and there will be a veteran TA panel for you to ask specific questions.

  • Does it matter in what order I attend the TA Orientation Workshops, A & B?


    Not at all. The two required workshops are offered on multiple days, at multiple times, for your convenience. You can take Workshop B one morning, then Workshop A the next afternoon, or both in one day, etc. - whatever fits your schedule best!

  • Do I need to prepare anything for TA Orientation?


    No, you will not need to prepare anything, just bring a notebook, pen, and a pleasant attitude! We recommend you consider TA Orientation as a great opportunity to network with your colleagues.

  • What if I miss TA Orientation on the offered dates?


    If you miss all four scheduled dates for TA Orientation, you MUST participate a makeup orientation. Due to Academic Affairs policy, without attending these Orientation sessions, you may be ineligible to receive your TA/IA-ship. If you miss the scheduled TA Orientation sessions, contact Dr. Michelle L. Hardee (hardeem@mailbox.sc.edu) immediately. You will be required to provide documentation and Graduate Director confirmation regarding why you missed the scheduled dates and need to attend the makeup session.

  • How do I register for GRAD 701?


    Register for GRAD 701 just as you do with any of your other classes, via the https://my.sc.edu/ website. Depending on your department or program, register for the appropriate section of GRAD 701 following the restrictions listed below:

    • Section 001 - All Deparments
    • Section 002 - All Departments
    • Section 003 - School of Business MACC GIAs only
    • Section 004 - Writing Center GIA Tutors only
    • Section 005 - Chemistry GIAs only
    • Section 006 - English Discussion Leader GIAs only

    In some departments, the Graduate Coordinator or Administrative Assistant will register graduate students for this course. If you have any problems, contact the Registrar or your Graduate Coordinator/Graduate Director.

  • How can I complete TA Orientation and GRAD 701 if I am not assigned to be a TA/IA until after the semester begins?


    While rare, we recognize this can happen on occasion. In instances where a graduate student is assigned a TA/IA-ship after the first week of classes, have your Graduate Coordinator or Graduate Director contact Dr. Michelle L. Hardee, Program Manager for TA Training, at hardeem@mailbox.sc.edu or 777-1975, to discuss your situation and make special arrangements as determined by the circumstances.

  • I don't know if I am going to be teaching this semester, but I might be...what should I do?


    If you, your Graduate Director, or your Department Chair think you may be receiving a TA/IA-ship in the coming semester, we recommend you go ahead and sign up for TA Orientation and GRAD 701 so that you will be prepared for your teaching assignment should you be assigned a TA/IA-ship. If it turns out you do not get assigned a TA/IA-ship until the following semester, the TA Orientation and GRAD 701 course you have completed will count towards that credentialing and you will not need to re-enroll in the future.

  • What if I'm not going to be a TA until the spring semester?


    TA Orientation is offered at the beginning of every fall and spring semester, and GRAD 701 is offered every semester, so if your TA/IA-ship begins in the spring, you can attend TA Orientation and enroll in GRAD 701 in January. You are welcome, however, to attend Orientation in August and enroll in GRAD 701 during the fall semester if you would like to have some early experience with TA Training. If you do take TA Orientation & GRAD 701 early, you do not need to retake these immediately prior to your TA/IA-ship.

  • If my department has an orientation workshop at the beginning of the semester, do I still have to take the university-wide TA Orientation?


    Yes. Every new TA/IA is required by Academic Affairs policy to go through a University-wide orientation. (ACAF 4.0.IA1: "[GTAs and GIAs] ... must have attended a series of workshops for Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Instructional Assistants sponsored by the Graduate School.") Beginning-of-the-semester departmental orientation workshops do not qualify as a Graduate School-sponsored GTA/IA training workshop.

  • If my department has weekly meetings or occasional workshops during the semester, do I still have to take GRAD 701?


    Yes, you are still required to take GRAD 701. Typically, weekly TA meetings or departmental workshops are tailored to individual course content, logistics, or are departmental professional development (academic) seminars, and thus do not satisfy the SACS requirement for in-service TA Training. The requirements for GRAD 701 are not excessive and will actually be both helpful and applicable to your duties as a TA/IA.

  • If I am an International Teaching Assistant (ITA) and take the ITA training workshop provided by International Student Services (ISS), do I still have to take the TA Orientation?


    Yes, ITAs must attend BOTH the ISS ITA Orientation as well as the TA Orientation. The ISS ITA Orientation covers different topics and concerns that are specific to international TAs, including American student culture, student visa issues, etc.

  • I heard that GRAD 701 provides TA/IAs with workshops tailored to their particular TA/IA duties and responsibilities. What if I don't know what my specific TA/IA duty is going to be?


    That's okay - that happens on occasion. In these instances, your Graduate Director or Coordinator will have a fairly good idea of what your TA/IA-ship will entail, and should provide you with this information. If your TA/IA-ship is not defined while you are taking GRAD 701, you can design your track activities based on content you are most interested in learning.

  • I noticed that the Registrar lists the GRAD 701 meeting time as TBA - do I have to reserve class time in my schedule for GRAD 701 during the semester?


    No, GRAD 701 is a workshop-based course, and workshop topic, date, and time are chosen by you based on your schedule and interests. You do not have to reserve class time in your schedule to meet specifically for the GRAD 701 course. Initial information about GRAD 701 will be given during TA Orientation, to inform graduate students how to register, the schedule and topics of available workshops, and answer questions associated with GRAD 701. The course itself does require a minimum of four activities for ongoing TA/IA training. These four activities (chosen by you) may involve face-to-face workshops, seminars, and other opportunities for which you will need to plan time in your schedule, but the specific meeting times vary. Consult the GRAD 701 syllabus for more details.

  • What if I don't complete the requirements for GRAD 701 this semester?


    If you do not complete the requirements, you will not be considered credentialed for performing TA/IA duties (even if you were teaching the semester you were enrolled in GRAD 701), and it is possible that you may lose your assistantship funding. Do not leave the GRAD 701 requirements till the last minute! The GRAD 701 course requirements are not excessively burdensome, with an estimated time commitment of 10 hours over the entire semester, and thus it is expected that you will have no problem completing them in one semester. If warranted by extenuating circumstances, an assignment of a grade of Incomplete (I) may be considered upon the written request of the student and the approval of the student's Graduate Director. (Refer to the Graduate Studies Bulletin, Academic Policies section, http://bulletin.sc.edu, for more information about an 'I' grade.)