Qualifications: Applicants must 1) possess an MA or have completed 30 semester hours of approved graduate coursework, 2) have worked at least one semester as a TA, 3) enroll during their first semester in E398T, Supervised Teaching in English, and 4) attend a two-day orientation in August. In rare cases, the department may request from the Graduate School an exemption from E 398T for instructors who have at least one year of teaching experience in an accredited college. Exemptions to the TA rule may also be granted if the applicant provides evidence of comparable experience elsewhere. Experienced teachers, for example, may be exempted from the TA rule.
Prospective English PhD. applicants wishing to be considered for assistant instructorships must meet all departmental and Graduate School requirements for admission and submit all required application materials by the admissions deadline. There is not a separate application for Assistant Instructorships. Promotion to AI and continued teaching support in the graduate program are contingent upon completion of the MA degree requirements in the fourth semester of study or successful completion of 30 hours of approved coursework.
Appointments: The TA/AI program makes recommendations to the Chair of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing (DRW), who must approve all appointments before forwarding them to the Dean for final approval. Appointments are normally made for nine months. All AIs must be unconditionally admitted to the Graduate School and remain enrolled in nine credit hours of coursework, three of which must be E398T, Supervised Teaching in English, in their first semester (See "Qualifications" section above). All AIs must remain in good standing academically and make satisfactory progress in their degree programs.
Compensation: The stipend for AIs in 2012-2013 is $16,382. In addition to this stipend, AIs receive employee health insurance and a taxable tuition benefit of $4,000 each long semester, before taxes. AIs who are not legal residents of Texas also receive an in-state tuition entitlement. Tuition and fees for a full-time English graduate student in Fall 2012 approach $4,044. The total value of the compensation comes to approximately $28,116.
Duties: In their first year, AIs teach one section each semester of RHE 306, Rhetoric and Composition. They also serve as consultants 7 hours per week each semester in the Undergraduate Writing Center (UWC). Students in the Computers and English Studies concentration will serve instead during their first year on the staff of the Computer Writing and Research Lab (CWRL), also for 7 hours per week each semester. In their second year, AIs typically teach a writing course in the DRW centered around an approved topic of their choice while continuing to work in either the UWC or CWRL. In their third year, most AIs teach a literature course through the English Department and work in the UWC or CWRL. AIs who teach a fourth year usually return to RHE 306. AIs also have an opportunity to teach computer-assisted courses in at least two of their teaching semesters.
Reappointments: Normally, all AIs making satisfactory academic progress and performing teaching duties adequately are reappointed. DRW and English Department faculty members provide instructional guidance, and peer mentors--experienced graduate instructors--are appointed to consult with new AIs, answer questions, and visit classes. AIs (as well as faculty) are required to participate in course instructor evaluations by students. Reappointments for the following Fall are announced in the spring semester, as early as budgetary approval permits, and are subject to administrative approval.
Summer Teaching: Limited employment is available for AIs only in summer classes. For those appointed, the maximum tuition assistance for summer 2012 is $1,415. Students can generally expect employment for one or two summer sessions during their graduate careers.