Department of English
Teaching Associate Program
Positions are available on semester-to-semester basis to teach English 5A/5B and English 10. TAs in the MFA program who are in good standing are also selected to teach undergraduate courses in English 41, 43, or 44.
Generally, the duties of the Teaching Associate in all of these courses include:
- Instructing and managing the classroom;
- Creating and/or implementing the course design and assignment sequence;
- Preparing course materials and classroom activities;
- Responding to and evaluating student writing;
- Assessing student performance, including giving course grades;
- Assisting students outside of class during office hours and by appointment.
Hiring for new TAs will be conducted each spring semester for appointment in the following fall semester.
Frequently Asked Questions
The number of TA’ships are given based on the number of qualified applications as well as the number of spaces available. The hiring committee usually selects between 8-12 new TAs per year.
Knowledge and Abilities — To be eligible to teach in the Department of English, the candidate must be enrolled in a graduate degree program within the department and have courses in, knowledge of, and experience with literacy learning and the writing process. Students must be fully admitted to the MA or MFA program in the Department of English, in good academic standing, and be enrolled in at least 6 units during the semester or in two courses toward the degree. If the candidate is not a new student, s/he must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the degree. Candidates should also have the ability to relate well with others within the academic environment and have the ability or potential to learn how to instruct and evaluate students. Candidates should have evidence of satisfactory achievement in previous academic work and have strong letters of recommendation. Exceptions to these minimum qualifications may be granted at the discretion of the University.
Preference may be given to applicants who have successfully completed courses in teacher preparation, such as English 131, English 132S, English 170W, Curriculum and Instruction 161, English 175T, English 270, English 181/281, and Linguistics 237, or similar teaching experience or training. In addition, preference may be given to those who have teaching or tutoring experience before applying for a TAship, but neither coursework nor tutoring/teaching experience is a prerequisite of employment.
Although the formula is technical in data, the beginning salary range for TAs (1) teaching 3-units is approximately $450 per/month, or $2,700 per semester; (2) teaching 6-units (maximum units a TA can teach in a semester) is approximately $900 per/month, or $5,400 per semester. The exact amounts are provided on the TA contract.
Pay is once a month based on the payroll schedule, normally the last day of the month. With that said, the first paycheck for a brand new TA will not come until the end of September (pay for August). TAs who work the entire academic year, will get paid over 12 months. Those who work only half a year will get paid over 6 months.
TAs who fill out a FAFSA and who are NOT eligible for State University Grants are eligible to receive a partial tuition waiver. The exact amount depends each year on the budget and number of TAs – and will be communicated to TAs through their contract – but is about $1,000 per semester at this time.
There is no health coverage in connection with the TA’ship. Students may receive health care from the Health Center. Students pay into this with admissions fee.
Unfortunately, the California State University is very clear that students can only be assigned a TA position in the department in which they are seeking their degree.
Please see the job announcement on eRecruit for more information about how to apply. The job announcement usually comes out in February for the next academic year and applications are usually due toward the middle to end of March. You have to be a CSU student OR an applicant to find the job announcement. You must login to myfresnostate to see it.
Teaching Associate positions are available to current or prospective graduate students within the English Department at California State University, Fresno. Calls for applications come out early in the spring semester and are usually due mid- to late March. To find the job announcement, log on to MyFresnoState, select eRecruit, click on Career opportunities, then search for English.
Complete the University eRecruit application and upload transcripts and a writing sample (5-10 pages of researched writing with a works cited page). Applicants need three letters of recommendation (two from Fresno State English Department faculty), which can be sent to the address below:
TA Hiring Committee Chair
Department of English
California State University, Fresno
5245 N. Backer Ave, M/S PB98
Fresno, CA 93740-8001
Eligibility for the Program
- A graduate student fully admitted to the graduate program. (Conditional status is OK for the first semester.)
- A continuing graduate student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- All incomplete grades (RP or I) must be completed by the end of the subsequent semester. If an incomplete is found in the audit session, Grad Studies will ask for a memo from your instructor, to the Graduate Studies office, that states you are making satisfactory progress and are expected to complete this work before the end of this semester.
- Returning TAs: You must have met Classified Standing with your degree program. Please check with your Graduate Advisor for more information.
- You must complete the English 270: Writing Pedagogy course within the first year of your appointment and pass it with at least a B grade.
- All TAs must be enrolled in at least two courses, or 6-units, of coursework that count toward your degree. Coursework counting toward your degree are (or will be) the classes listed on the Advancement to Candidacy form. This means you must enroll, stay enrolled, and complete two courses (or 6-units) that count toward your degree. The exception is if you are working on your thesis, then you only need to be enrolled in thesis units and the English 282 course.
- All TAs also must enroll in a weekly two-hour teaching practicum, English 282.
- If you are enrolling in just thesis units or thesis continuation units, please verify with your Supervisor if you need to enroll in the teaching practicum, English 282.
Returning to the Program
An application is current for 5 years or until graduation, whichever comes first, when a graduate student has been approved as a Teaching Associate within the English Department. An active graduate student is now considered in the "TA Pool." All active TA graduate students are maintained on the ENGLTA listserv. Returning and continuing information is constantly posted.
If a TA has requested a semester off from teaching, all that is required to return to the TA Program is an email reply to the Intent to Return email on the listserv.
The TA Hiring Committee enforces Unit 11 CBR by ensuring all TAs are evaluated every semester. The TA Hiring Committee approves all returning TAs and places them in appropriate teaching sections.
Description of the Training Experience
The Teaching Associate (TA) position is considered an apprenticeship position, meaning that TAs get hired without the minimum qualifications and experience needed to teach at the college level because they have agreed to continue their training, both in their specific discipline as well as in their abilities to teach. In contrast to Elementary or Secondary Credential training, where future teachers need to take at least a year and a half of coursework beyond the Bachelor’s degree before getting their own classroom, TAs are given teaching appointments because of the ongoing training and apprenticeship nature of the job. An added benefit of this TA position is that TAs get priority over lecturers in our department for teaching positions in the first year writing program and in the lower division creative writing classes.
TAs start their training in the first-year writing program. All TAs who are hired start with English 5A and 5B. In the TA’s second year, s/he has the option to choose to teach English 5A/5B again, English 10, or, if the TA is in the creative writing program, English 41, 43, or 44.
The first-year writing program has a lot of support for new and continuing TAs. These forms of support include the following.
The writing program has two co-directors and two additional faculty who teach writing and teach teachers how to teach writing. These faculty take turns teaching the English 270 and 282 courses (see below).
We are here to support all TAs in their learning how to teach. We meet with TAs regularly in office hours or via email to discuss, for example, curriculum design, issues with students, and grading issues or decisions. We also support TAs in applying for teaching positions with letters of recommendation and advice about the job market.
This is an organization that includes a ton of information and resources about teaching. The Writing Teachers’ Sourcebook (see below) is housed in this organization.
We also include template curriculum for each of the three first-year writing classes, so that new teachers, especially, can have something to work from when they are just starting out. It also includes links to teaching resources, as well as activities that were created by other, more experienced TAs and lecturers to use with first-year writing students.
This is a 4-unit seminar course required of all teaching associates. If a student wants to be better prepared for teaching before becoming a TA, this course will give those students a head start.
This course focuses on current research in the field of writing pedagogy and asks students to engage in the course and content in both practical and scholarly ways. This course provides teachers some concrete methods to use in their classes, but always situates those methods in current research and pedagogy.
This is a one unit course that all TAs take each semester that they are a TA focusing on the very practical, day-to-day aspects of teaching.
This course starts in the first semester with the template curriculum and a lot of demonstration teaching that TAs can use in their day-to-day activities in the classroom. In the second semester, TAs are encouraged to make more of their own decisions with curriculum, so the course focuses more on planning and presenting ideas, materials, and managing relationships with students.
The third semester encourages teachers to do even more of the teacher work on his or her own, expecting that TAs will be doing more to scaffold within and across the course. The fourth semester and beyond of English 282 focuses on helping teachers to prepare themselves for the job market and encouraging them to give back to the teaching community.