CETLUniversity of Cincinnati


UC is a Large, Urban, Research Institution

The University of Cincinnati understands that students who cross borders---students who work and train cooperatively and collaboratively---learn more, become better citizens, and are better prepared for employment after they leave our university. In other words, the university that nurtures symbiotic partnerships between students and the greater community in which the university is rooted is stronger for it. We don't have far to go here: The University of Cincinnati is so close to its community that we can feel its heartbeat.

The University of Cincinnati is a large, urban, research-extensive university with increasingly fluid boundaries between the university and the city of Cincinnati. But how do all these descriptors help you better understand your role as a GTA here? 




UC consists of three campuses with many departments and well over 20,000 undergraduate students. You'll probably begin your teaching career on the uptown, Clifton campus where you'll meet an array of students from diverse backgrounds and interests. Some of these students may not be all that thrilled about having to take the (probably) required course you teach. Some of them may also be irritated that the class you teach is not being taught by a tenured, full professor. This gives you all-the-more reason to enter your new role professionally and prepared. However, don't underestimate your new students...most really love to learn, and they'll reward your every effort to teach them well.

Because UC is so large and has so many different campuses with several academic colleges, departments, and programs, it is seemingly impossible to make sweeping statements about what GTAs can expect to experience while teaching here. Our best advice is that you get to know the professors and the other graduate students in your specific department. Those are the people who can offer you the insight you need in order to teach your students well.  


UC's diverse students


UC's Clifton campus (where you'll most likely teach) is located near Cincinnati's downtown in a neighborhood considered very urban. What do we mean by "urban"? The Clifton campus shares its borders with local businesses, residential neighborhoods, neighborhoods with rough edges, artist communities, medical centers, and city parks; it is serviced by bus lines and has easy access to expressways; many of our students live near campus and walk or ride bicycles to class while others live farther away and drive—and some of our students access our university online from all over the world.

And, as in most urban environments, UC students are richly diverse in ethnicity, socio-economic levels, age, religion, sexual preference, political identity, life experience, world view, and on and on.

In other words, UC is not an ivory-towered, ivy-walled, insulated university and neither are your future students.

And because the 21st-Century world in which your students will eventually work and serve as productive citizens is equally as diverse as our campus, we find that the best instructors harness as much of this diversity as possible in order to produce the best learning. CET&L encourages our GTAs to seek innovative ways of mining UC's urban campus and our urban community for learning opportunities.



Research Intensive

UC stands among the nation’s top 25 public research universities with a proud tradition of discovery and transformation. UC has achieved this distinction through its nationally-ranked programs, including the nation’s top-10 architecture, medicine, interior design, music, and science programs, and is perhaps unique in boasting distinguished scholarship and research while maintaining a deep commitment to accessible education.

You may have chosen UC for your graduate work because of your commitment to and your passion for research and scholarship in your discipline—but your future undergraduate students probably chose UC for other reasons. Your challenge as a Graduate Teaching Assistant is not only to prepare your future students for their next courses and for success in their majors but also to plant a seed of enthusiasm and appreciation for your field of expertise. CET&L can help you do all of that.