Department of French and Italian

College of Letters & Science
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Teaching Assistantships

The department has a number of Teaching Assistantships which are granted on the basis of a candidate's previous academic record, knowledge of French, and seriousness of purpose in pursuing the Ph.D. For those students who have no teaching experience, a carefully supervised in-service training program is provided, which is particularly valuable for future career placement.

The most common form of support in our department, Teaching Assistantships offer the pedagogical experience and training necessary to be competitive on the academic job market.

The basic Teaching Assistantship in our department is at the level of 36% time. Teaching assistants are classified as "experienced" when they have completed at least one and two-thirds semesters of teaching as defined by the collective bargaining agreement. This definition includes completion of the campus level workshops addressing diversity issues. A teaching assistant who has the required teaching experience of one and two-thirds semesters but has not completed the campus training will be given one semester during which pay can be at the experienced rate while training is completed. Teaching Assistants are classified as "senior" when they hve completed one and two-thirds semesters of teaching, and have completed all coursework and department requirements for candidacy for a Ph.D.

All teaching assistants with combined graduate assistant appointments of one-third time or more will receive a remission of out-of-state tuition as well as a remission of in-state fees. They must still pay segregated fees and special fees approved by the state legislature. A remission earned for the spring semester will also qualify the graduate student for a remission in the following summer.

Another important feature of a teaching assistantship at this level is the availability of an excellent health insurance program and sick leave benefits.

Teaching Requirements

Teaching is not required for the M.A., but students in the Department must complete 4 credits of teaching methodology, including French 820, Teaching College French (3 credits), and French 821, Issues in Methods of Teaching French (1 credit; French 821 may be taken any time before dissertator status is granted). TAs may take French 820 prior to teaching in the Department or concurrently with their first semester of teaching.

To be exempted from French 820, a TA must have had one of the following preparations (to request an exemption, see the instructor of French 820, who will forward your request to the Chair of Graduate Studies)

  • A 3-credit methods course that covers the essential content of French 820, plus at least 2 semesters of college-level teaching experience in the United States.
  • At least 3 years of full-time teaching experience at the high-school level, plus courses in pedagogy.
  • Experience teaching abroad that meets one of the above criteria, plus familiarity with American students, institutions, and practices of foreign language teaching.

Students who are not TAs in the Department are encouraged to take French 820 and 821, but they may request that that requirement be waived if they have no intention of teaching.

Department Lecturer Hiring Policy

The Department of French and Italian occasionally hires dissertators for lectureships when there is a need. It is the policy of the Department to limit the hiring of short-term lecturers to a maximum period of three years. Employment as a lecturer in either semester of an academic year counts as one of these three years. -Graduate Studies Committee, 03/14/2007