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Teaching Assistant Institute FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1.     What is the Teaching Assistant Institute? (TAI)
The TAI provides training as specified in the TAMU mandate for all first-time Teaching Assistants (TAs). The Institute includes an online portion and a face-to-face portion.  To receive a certificate of completion, potential TAs must complete both successfully by the 12th day of class of the first semester in which they are employed.
2.     Who is required to attend the TA institute?
New TAs who grade, lead recitation, conduct or assist in labs, and/or assume full responsibility of teaching are required to attend the Teaching Assistant Institute.  Also, any TA with one or more of these responsibilities and who has not received a Certificate of Completion for the Teaching Assistant Institute is required to attend.  This requirement is not dependent on job title but on assignment of responsibilities. 
TAs who have completed both components of the TAI previously do not need to complete them again.
TAs employed by departments who have received a TAI waiver must meet the department’s TA training requirement.  See answer to question 6 regarding department waivers.
3.     When will the Teaching Assistant Institute be held?
Please visit the Center for Teaching Excellence website to determine the training date for both fall and spring semesters.   The TAI is not offered in the summer; however, the Center can provide alternative training resources upon request by the department.  While we encourage TAs to attend the fall semester training on the day to which their academic unit has been assigned, they may attend any of the face-to-face sessions.    For spring semester training, all TAs, regardless of academic unit, may attend either day of TAI.  Off-campus TAs may attend any session on main campus, if desired.
4.     Where will the Institute be held?
Please visit the Center for Teaching Excellence website to determine the location of the TAI each semester.
5.     How long is the required face-to-face training?
Registration begins at 7:30 A.M. and the Institute ends at 5 P.M. Therefore, the face-to-face training is approximately 9 hours, including morning and afternoon breaks and lunch.
6.     Does a departmental waiver exempt TAs from attending the TA Institute?
It depends.  If the current department waiver is for both portions of the TAI (i.e., the face-to-face session and the online preparation module), TAs for the waived department do not need to complete the TAI components offered by the Center for Teaching Excellence.   However, if the department is waived only for the face-to-face portion of TAI, TAs for the waived department will need to complete the online preparation module.  Please visit the TAI Department Waiver Page to determine which departments have received a waiver and for which components.  Graduate advisors in departments granted a waiver should provide details about their training requirements for new TAs.
7.     How do new TAs receive a certificate of completion from the TA institute?
        To receive the certificate, the TA must:
              a) Complete the online training and
              b) Attend a one-day face-to-face training meeting. 
Each new TA should receive information regarding these two components from their departments prior to the start of each semester.
8.     What if a TA misses the face-to-face training scheduled before the beginning of each semester?
A makeup session is offered each semester, usually on the Saturday before the 12th day of class.   TAs who cannot attend either session offered before the beginning of each semester must coordinate makeup options through the department or college. Visit the Center for Teaching Excellence website to determine the date of the makeup session.
9.     Will lunch be served?
Lunch (pizza – meat, vegetarian, and cheese options), bottled water, and snacks during the morning and afternoon are provided.  TAs with dietary restrictions are encouraged to bring their own lunch and snacks as there will not be sufficient time to leave campus for lunch. You will not have access to a refrigerator.
10.   What do TAs need to bring on the day of their face-to-face session?
TAs should bring their Texas A&M student identification card or UIN. A way to take notes would be helpful.
11.   Where can TAs park on the main Texas A&M campus?
Visit parking.tamu.edu for information about parking near the site of the training.  Visit the Center for Teaching Excellence website to determine the location of the training.
We look forward to seeing you at TAI!
For more information, contact
cte@tamu.edu or call 979-845-8392.