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Graduate Teaching Assistantships

GTA Stoehr-McCarthy

The Graduate Teaching Assistantship provides English M.A., M.S., and M.F.A. students the chance to learn how to teach at the college-level. The year-long assistantship includes an internship with an English faculty member and the opportunity to teach a first-year English composition course, as well as a paid stipend. 

Through a combination of theory, practice, and reflection, GTA's gain hands-on professional experience for future work as M.F.A professors, doctoral students, and part-time university instructors. One recent English GTA  (Shelley Stoehr-McCarthy, MFA '19, above) even went on to win Southern's prestigious J. Philip Smith Outstanding Teaching Award for Part-Time Faculty.


Call for Applications - 2019-2020

English M.A., M.S., and MFA students are encouraged to apply for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) for the fall and spring semesters of 2019-2020.


An applicant must:

• Be a matriculated graduate student in Southern's English program during the 2019-20 academic year; students must be full-time during the Fall 2019 semester. 
• Have a record of strong academic achievement in undergraduate work and, if applicable, in graduate work.
Note: Preference will go to those with a fuller record of academic achievement. When academic achievement is similar, preference will go to applicants with prior teaching experience (e.g., tutoring, undergraduate teaching, composition internship, student teaching).

Description of Graduate Teaching Assistantship

In the fall semester, graduate teaching assistants:

 Complete English 597 Graduate Internship in Teaching Writing, and intern (observe and assist) with a full-time English faculty member in a mutually agreeable daytime or evening section of first-year composition 
• Meet weekly with their faculty mentor for 1-3 hours to plan and discuss composition class sessions
• Meet regularly with other GTAs and mentors 
• Complete English 519: Teaching College Writing with a grade of B or better

Upon successful completion of the fall requirements for the assistantship - and based on staffing needs - GTAs in the spring semester:

• Teach one section of first-year composition.
• Meet regularly with their designated faculty mentor and be observed at least twice;
• Meet regularly with other GTAs and mentors.


Graduate teaching assistants receive a stipend of approximately $4,800 for the Fall 2019 semester, to be paid in several installments. Upon successful completion of English 519 and 597, and depending upon English department staffing needs, GTAs will also be eligible for assignment as adjunct instructors in the English department in the Spring 2020 semester for a salary of approximately $3,700.

How to Apply

For questions or further information on the GTA, contact the English Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Joel Dodson at or 203-392-6903. If you meet the eligibility requirements, to apply, complete the GTA Application Form as well as the following:

1. Write a 2-3 page essay outlining why you are a good candidate for a teaching assistantship, including an explanation of what strengths you can bring to the program and of how an assistantship will benefit you professionally.
2. Include a current curriculum vitae (resume)
3. Provide copies of your unofficial transcripts, undergraduate and graduate. 
4. Include a clean copy of a recent analytical paper that is at least five pages in length. You may include more than one writing sample. Choose paper(s) that, in your estimation, represents your best writing.
5. Include confidential recommendation letters from two faculty members, preferably at least one of whom is a member of Southern's English faculty if you have attended or are currently attending SCSU. Each letter must be in a sealed envelope signed by the recommender across the flap. For M.F.A. applicants, letters of recommendation included in your M.F.A. application will suffice and will be passed along to the GTA Committee.

Submit all application materials by electronically or by hand to the English Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Joel Dodson (subject line: GTA 2019-20 Application) or in a sealed envelope (Engleman D265C). 

Application Deadline 
Application materials received before Monday, April 1, 2019 will be given priority consideration, but we will continue to accept applications until the positions are filled.

Selection and Notification 
The Graduate Committee will conduct interviews with selected applicants soon after the deadline. Based on the interview and application materials, the committee will select up to three students for assistantships, contingent on funding and schedule availability for mentors and teaching assistants. We will begin notifying GTA recipients in late April 2019.