Teacher Training Program

Graduate Assistant Teacher-Training Program

The Department of English Graduate Assistant Teacher-Training Program begins in August with Orientation and continues through fall and spring semesters with a Teaching Practicum and Teaching College Writing course. New Graduate Assistants will teach English Composition 1001 in fall semester; subsequent teaching assignments range from Intermediate Composition to courses in Literature, Creative Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Composing.

The teacher-training program focuses on practical knowledge and its application, addresses historical and theoretical contexts for writing pedagogy, generates broad discussions of pedagogy in relation to other content areas within English Studies, and supports teacher professionalization. In addition, new teachers in the program will have ample opportunity to learn from one another as well as from experienced teachers and mentors and to contextualize practice within larger conversations about teaching and learning. The English Composition program closely supervises the Graduate Assistants and offers various types of support as a way of assuring that GAs are meeting departmental standards.

Required Courses for Master's and Doctoral Students with Assistantships


Fall Semester: ENGC7031: Teaching Practicum
Supports graduate teaching assistants as they teach first-year composition (ENGL1001) and prepares them to teach the Intermediate Composition course. 7031 reinforces the value of reflective teaching practices and teacher community, and the idea that teaching is a life-long learning process rather than a skill that is mastered once and for all.

Spring Semester: ENGC7030: Teaching College Writing
Immerses students in the study of writing pedagogy as a historical, cultural, and sociopolitical development. Students become acquainted with current debates about teaching writing, develop a professional portfolio, and create a multimodal pedagogical project grounded in scholarship and experience.

Teaching College Writing Waiver Instructions

Teacher-training is a cornerstone of graduate study in English and an essential component of job preparation. For this reason, Practicum is required of all graduate students who are new to our program. Informing this requirement is a practical reality--the course is tailored to our Composition Program and so is not "generic" teacher-training. Philosophically, we believe that teaching practices are always evolving. In other words, all teachers, regardless of prior experience, can learn more about their craft. For those who have taken a Master's level course similar to Teaching College Writing and wish to earn a waiver from the UC requirement, the process is as follows:

        (1)  Eligibility is based on whether you have taken a similar course no 
               more than five years prior to your Fall semester enrollment at UC.

        (2)  Submit the syllabus from your prior course along with 
               representative work you produced to the current Director of
               Composition. The Director will review your materials, set up a
               meeting with you to discuss your preparation, and determine
               whether or not to grant the waiver. Waiver submissions will not
               be considered after fall semester.