Welcome to your Graduate Teaching Assistant experience at the University of Cincinnati. We're glad you're here because you add such creativity, diversity, and energy to our university. Not only do we anticipate that you will develop into a productive scholar and a skilled teacher, we also want you to enjoy and grow from your exposure to the city of Cincinnati, this rapidly changing university, your department, and your students; we believe we are all made better by your presence here.
To help both you and your students, we suggest you take some time to learn about the financial, academic, personal, and professional resources UC makes available to you. As a teacher, you can help your students become aware of these resources by discussing them in class or by developing course assignments that direct students to explore these programs.
African American Cultural and Research Center
This center's primary focus is to ensure the successful college experiences and the ultimate matriculation of UC's African American students.
Career Development Center
This center is designed to help your students make difficult career decisions, and it will help guide seniors who are beginning to look for jobs post graduation.
Center for First Year Experience and Learning Communities
Research shows that students who develop and engage in friendships and who share their college experiences with their peers are much more likely to successfully graduate from college. This center was designed to help undergraduate students deal with the academic and social transitions that can be especially stressful during students' first year. For first-year students, the Center offers Freshman Seminars and Learning Communities; for GTAs, the center offers a specialized library of books on how to teach first-year students.
Center for Community Engagement
Research indicates that students learn best when they apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world experiences. CCE provides service opportunities (which are announced weekly on the CCE website) that help students 1) learn about their Cincinnati community, 2) build their resumes and job skills through applied service, and 3) improve their learning by applying what they've learned into practice. GTAs may want to consider CCE service opportunities such as Habitat for Humanity, community tutoring, or Green-Up Day as an integral part of their course assignments and projects. Click here to access the Center for Community Engagement; also, click here to read a ProfPost article about incorporating Community Engagement in your courses.
This professional center is staffed to help UC students deal with their more difficult personal issues. Students will sometimes confide in their GTAs about feeling overwhelmed, feeling depressed, alcohol abuse, etc. If students need more than a kind ear, GTAs should be prepared to contact the Counseling Center (the center serves graduate students, too). Most fees are covered by student health insurance or are based on a student's ability to pay.
UC prides itself in accommodating diversity and our campuses and classrooms enjoy the richness of inclusion. Therefore, it should not surprise you that some of your students may require different yet reasonable accommodations in order to succeed in your course. If you recognize the need to offer "reasonable accommodations" to your students, or if your students should request this of you, feel free to contact UC's Disability Services to learn about your responsibilities and to gain a better understanding of the privilege of teaching diverse populations.
Faculty Technology Resources Center (FTRC)
For suggestions about how technology can improve your teaching, contact the FTRC (FTRC is a division of UCit...UCit is the University of Cincinnati's Information Technology service). FTRC assists faculty and GTAs with technology tools such as Blackboard, PowerPoint, Adobe, Dreamweaver, and others that will help improve your students learning. FTRC is prepared to conduct one-on-one sessions in order to help faculty and GTAs address a variety a technology questions.
The Graduate School
Without a doubt, graduate students should be aware of this site because it contains important information about being a graduate student at UC. The graduate school workshops present information that spans topics from working with advisors to financial budgeting. GTAs can also utilize the graduate school handbook and the Graduate Student Accomplishments Database in order to post publications, prepare and give professional presentations, and other such graduate-study milestones.Click here to access The Graduate School website.
Not only does this service provide information on the law as it pertains to international students, it also provides information related to employment, taxes, etc. You can even find information about cultural events and links to other international programs. Your international students may find this a helpful site, so feel free to share it. You can also use this site to learn about events you can incorporate into your coursework and events your students can attend to learn about other cultures and to have fun.
Learning Assistance Center
Some students need more help or more time than you can give them. Direct those students who need extra help to the Learning Assistance Center. The Learning Assistance Center supports students on their road to becoming independent learners by helping them get a handle on time management, develop effective study skills, and take advantage of peer mentoring and peer tutoring—and it's a service completely free of charge. Those students you refer to the Learning Assistance Center will probably appreciate your asking about their progress. This type of personal follow up helps more students successfully graduate from college.
Office of University Ombuds
The Ombuds Office exists to help GTAs resolve conflicts that might arise related to UC graduate work or graduate studies.
Preparing Future Faculty (PFF)
Eventually, you're going to want to find a job, right? Well, there's a lot to know about preparing for and finding a job in academia: You'll want to become familiar with the many different types of higher-learning institutions, how to construct effective resumes, build impressive and representative CVs (and you'll want to learn the difference between resumes and CVs!), expand your knowledge of current pedagogy, etc. CET&L works closely with PFF to help graduate students navigate the process from your role as a GTA to becoming an engaged faculty member. PFF offers courses, reading-group discussions among your teaching peers, and mentoring opportunities that help GTAs transition from graduate school and into full-fledged academic careers.
Student Activities and Leadership Development
Perhaps you'd like to become more involved in the UC community and increase your enjoyment here while you're a graduate student; or perhaps in anticipation of your career in academia and your role as an effective faculty member or administrator, you'd like to become more comfortable in leadership by developing the skills you'll rely on later. The Student Activities and Leadership Development Center offers a variety of opportunities for you to enrich your involvement at UC and hone your leadership skills.
Student Technology Resources Center (STRC)
Located in Lansgam Library, STRC is a student-centered service area designed to provide instructional technology resources and services to assist students who require specific software or equipment to complete course assignments. In the STRC, students are able to:
- Design Web pages using Dreamweaver, Frontpage, or html
- Convert one format to another (photo to digital photo, etc.)
- Create CDs or DVDs
- Scan images and work with Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop, InDesign, MS imaging
- Create presentations in PowerPoint, Flash, Lectora
- Work with technology for digital video editing
- Receive assistance in preparing Electronic Theses and Dissertations
UC's Information Technologies is the centralized service for all of your pesky technology questions. If you have Bearcat email questions, trouble with your computer or your wireless reception, or if you simply need general wisdom of the geeky kind, give UCit a call at 556-HELP (4357). Make sure your students know this number, too.
UC Women's Center
Any women (GTAs or undergraduate students) experiencing violence or abuse in personal relationships can contact the 24-hour help line at the UC Women's Center for support and guidance (24-hour HELPLINE: 513-218-9531). The Women's Center is also a strong resource for those desiring to develop leadership and activism skills learned through class offerings or via experiential learning.
The goals of the Women's Center are: to increase and improve student safety in interpersonal relationships; to identity and help eliminate institutional barriers that impede/inhibit the full participation of women and LGBTQ persons in the university; and to increase student activism at UC and lifelong activism beyond the university.
Let it be said that all students need to learn to use the library; this is true for GTAs as well as for your students. UC libraries offer a wide variety of workshops designed to help you become a more successful graduate student and a more successful teacher. What's more, UC librarians are prepared to assist your students as they dig into their research assignments.
Click here to access UC libraries home page.
Helping your students learn to write well can be very time intensive, but it's worth the effort. Therefore, we urge you to consider weaving a number of writing assignments into your courses. If some students require more writing help than you can give, however, we suggest you refer them to the Writing Center. The Writing Center will assist students in all things related to writing...from "discussing the approach to the assignment to strategies for revision." Again, those students you refer to the Writing Center will probably appreciate your asking about their progress. This type of personal follow up helps students be more successful college graduates.