Department of Social Work
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (U-TA) Program
Department of Social Work
Social workers engage in both learning and teaching across their professional career. In our roles as social work educators, we recognize the many strengths that our students bring to our courses and wish to provide additional opportunities for students to extend the breadth and depth of their social work skillset. With this in mind, we provide students additional opportunities to demonstrate leadership and substantive expertise. Being an undergraduate teaching assistant (U-TA) can be an important learning experience. It gives students the opportunity to see the process of teaching from the teacher's perspective, provides the opportunity to begin to learn how to teach, and requires that the course material be learned in-depth (as there is no better way to learn something than to teach it). Additional benefits for students include opportunities for professional development, praxis experience, leadership development, and advancing your interests in graduate school. Benefits to the instructor can include hands-on help with students and course materials.
This webpage outlines the qualifications required of students who are interested in serving in this role, the process that students will engage in to work with a Department of Social Work faculty member as an undergraduate TA, and the expectations for students and faculty participating in the teaching assistantship program.
- Must have already taken the course for which they will be serving as a U-TA with a grade of B or better in the course; and
- Must have demonstrated record of outstanding academic performance within Social Work classes, as evidenced by a recommendation from a Social Work faculty member; and
- Must sign up for the 3 credit U-TA course (SPS 4500) that will provide student’s support for their work. Students will send their name and 900 number to the faculty member with whom they will be working to facilitate course enrollment. This course will substitute for an upper-division social work elective. This course will introduce additional information about teaching, provide additional support for U-TAs, and enable greater engagement in teaching and learning in social work. See course syllabus for more information about course requirements; and
- Must have availability congruent with the course for which they will be serving as a U-TA.
Undergraduate Teaching Assistants may be identified in a number of ways. A primary way is that faculty teaching a Social Work course may identify an exemplary student and invite them to consider applying to serve as a U-TA with them in the future. Students may also indicate their interest in serving as a U-TA by speaking directly with a faculty member that they are interested in working with OR by filling out the Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Interest Form. This form will include information about the student's qualifications and interests and will be used to help match students with faculty who may have interests in working with a U-TA.
Once a connection has been made between a student with interest in serving as a U-TA and a faculty member interested in working with a U-TA in an upcoming class, the faculty member will conduct an interview with the student to assess their readiness to step into this important role and to make sure the student meets the U-TA qualifications. Once the faculty has interviewed all qualified students, the faculty member will offer the U-TA position to selected student(s). If the student accepts this position:
- The student will send the faculty member with whom they will be working their 900# so that they can be registered for the U-TA course.
- The student and faculty will meet to complete the U-TA contract and plan their work together. The U-TA Contract can be found here: SWK U-TA Contract
Other requirements for Social Work U-TAs:
- Meet with the BSSW Program Director once over the semester to discuss their experiences as a U-TA.