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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Teaching Assistants

Page address: http://english.mnsu.edu/composition/tas.html

Each year, the English department awards teaching assistantships to motivated graduate students who show promise as writing teachers. Assistantships are secured by students who are skilled academic writers, effective communicators, and comfortable technology users. Teaching assistantships are one-year appointments that provide a small stipend and full tuition-remission. Based on satisfactory performance in teaching duties and graduate coursework (and conditioned on continued fuding of TA lines by the university), TAs may renew their assistantships for a second and (in the case of MFA students) third year. Information about teaching assistantships is available from the English Department's employment page. The [PDF] TA Application Cover Sheet (93 KiB) outlines the application process.

The Minnesota State Mankato Composition Program is proud of its strong teacher preparation program, which supports TAs through their first semester and paves the way for ongoing pedagogical development. TAs participate in English 621: Introductory Workshop for New TAs in the summer and ENG 622: Workshop for New TAs in the fall. Additionally, during their first semester teaching, TAs meet regularly with a mentor group led by an experienced TA. 

Mentor groups provide an immediate network of peers with whom new TAs can empathize, problem solve, and develop and share strategies for teaching. Mentor groups are led by an experienced TA who has distinguished him/herself as an outstanding teacher. Mentor groups meet weekly for the first half of fall semester and every other week during the second half of the semester.

After the first semester, TAs routinely fulfill additional teacher development requirements, including participating in teaching observations, conferencing with the Composition Director, setting teaching goals, and reflecting on student evaluations.  They also enroll in English 625: Composition Theory, sometime during their programs of study.  In general, the teacher development program is informed by the idea that “learning to teach” is an ongoing process facilitated by conversation, deliberation, and directed action.

Explore prospective TAs' Frequently Asked Questions for more information about teaching in the Composition Program.

Teaching Assistantship Renewals

To maintain a teaching assistantship in the Minnesota State University, Mankato Composition Program you must remain in good academic standing and fulfill the Composition Program’s teacher development requirements 

To remain in good academic standing, you must:

  • enroll in a minimum of 6 graduate credits per semester
  • maintain a 3.0 GPA
  • make adequate progress toward you degree. 

To fulfill the teacher development requirements, each semester you must:

  • Compose an Action Plan
  • Participate in a Peer Observation Exchange
  • Gather and report on midterm evaluations
  • Conference with the Composition Director

Additionally, twice during your program you must have your teaching observed by the Composition Director

Before your degree is complete, you must enroll in ENG 625, Composition Theory.