Many of our graduate students apply to be Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs). The advantage of being a GTA is that you gain valuable experience teaching at the college level (typically two classes of freshman composition each semester) while getting paid a decent stipend and enjoying the obvious benefits of full tuition remission. As a GTA you will attend a brief orientation before school begins in the fall and will meet weekly for a practicum to discuss issues, concerns, and any problems. Our GTAs receive solid guidance but are also encouraged to develop their own pedagogical approaches. A select number of experienced GTAs (depending on enrollment) are allowed to teach advanced composition courses and creative writing each semester.
If you wish to apply for a teaching assistantship, you should pay special attention to the February 15 (if application is made for the fall semester) and October 1 (if application is made for the spring semester) deadlines*. You should also note that the applicant is responsible for assuring that three letters of recommendation for the TA application are promptly submitted by the recommenders.
* Applications for graduate assistantships will be considered after the deadlines only if the department has additional assistantships to award after consideration of those applications that arrive before the deadlines. All applicants are advised to make every attempt to submit their materials before the deadline dates.
Teaching assistantship applications should include a sample of expository prose.
Either of the following is acceptable:
an academic paper of five or more double-spaced pages (preferably one that has been graded);
an essay of three to five double-spaced pages which might include the following: why you would be an effective teacher; why it is important for a person today, in the era of cell phones and e-mail, to write effectively; and how teaching expository writing might benefit you as a creative or scholarly writer.
WHERE TO SEND THE APPLICATION MATERIALS
It is important to note that different application materials are sent to different places.
Teaching Assistant Applications, Expository Writing Samples, and Letters of Recommendation are sent to:
Assistant to the Graduate Coordinator
Department of English, Box #14
Wichita State University
Wichita, KS 67260-0014