MS in Integrative Biological Diversity

Teaching Assistant Fellows

The WCSU Biology Teaching Assistant Fellows (TAF) program provides an alternative instructional construct for undergraduate biology courses.  The program aims to provide graduate students enrolled in the MS in Integrative Biological Diversity program with opportunities to receive pedagogical and biological training and to build community within the department.  Each fellow will assist with instruction of BIO100 Concepts of Biology laboratory for non-majors, with guidance and support from the TAF program coordinator (a designated biology faculty member who is also the Instructor of Record for the course). Fellows will be expected to:

  • Attend pre-semester and weekly trainings.
  • Teach one or two sections of BIO100 Lab, closely following the curriculum set by the Instructor of Record, including, but not limited to, the syllabus, texts and materials, and other class activities.  
  • Contact the Instructor of Record well in advance concerning any absences or lateness due to emergencies, illness, and other extenuating circumstances, and explain the arrangements made to cover the class. 
  • Have at least two full classes visited by the Instructor of Record, who will evaluate the TAF’s teaching using the approved evaluation criteria and make recommendations to the Department Chair for renewal.  
  • Address comments/concerns raised by Instructor of Record after in-person class evaluations. 
  • Communicate promptly and clearly with students, the Lead Instructor, the Department Secretary, and the Department Chair. 
  • Provide feedback about TAF experience to Dept. Chairperson via the TAF Experience Evaluation Form.  

Each TAF will receive $2,400 per section of BIO100 lab taught (up to $4800 per semester), per the graduate assistant university guidelines. 

In addition to a stipend award, full-time graduate students (enrolled in nine credits or more per semester) have the following fees waived:

  • State University Fee
  • University General Fee except for that portion attributable to student accident insurance
  • Student Activity Fee

If you are interested in applying for the TAF program, complete the Graduate TAF Application and submit it to the Biology Graduate Program Chair, Dr. Pinou, at pinout@wcsu.edu, no later than March 15 (for Fall fellowships) or October 15 (for Spring fellowships).


TAF TIMELINE

 TAF applications are due Mar 15 and Sep 15.  

GA Assistantship applications are due Aug 1 and Dec 1.

SPRING APPLICATIONS FOR FALL AWARDS:

April 1TAF and GA applications for Fall due to grad program chair.  Suggest we revise to require a letter of rec for TAF applicants in addition to GA applicants for initial applications for these positions. Suggest that renewal applications do not require a letter of recommendation if applying within same 12 months.  

April 1 -30: Grad program/TAF review and discussion of applications.  Decide on awardees.

May 15 (or by last day of spring semester): Deadline by which we notify TAF/GA awardees of their fellowship opportunities (accepted or denied) with official letter or email (see TAF letter attached; suggest we consider modeling a similar GA letter after this?)

May 31Due date for awardee students to submit commitment to accept or deny fellowship offer (Can be submitted by student via MS Forms)

June 30Due date for grad program to notify Provost’s office about Fall GA and TAF awardees.

 

FALL APPLICATIONS FOR SPRING AWARDS:

August 21-25 (or week before classes begin):  All fellows/GAs are required to be on campus for orientation/paperwork/training/etc.

Oct 1:  TAF and GA applications for Spring due to grad program chair.

Oct 1-15:  Grad program/TAF review and discussion of applications.  Decide on awardees.

Nov 1Deadline by which we notify TAF/GA awardees of their fellowship opportunities (accepted or denied) with official letter or email.

Nov 20: Due date for awardee students to submit commitment to accept or deny fellowship offer (Can be submitted by student via MS Forms).

Dec 1: Due date for grad program to notify Provost’s office about Spring GA and TAF awardees.