Teaching Associate Resources

Teaching Associates

Teaching Associates are graduate students who teach one or several mathematics courses. They have complete responsibility for the syllabus, exams, grading, etc. Before taking on this responsibility, TAs are expected to take Math 4950 (College Instruction I) for a semester. In the first semester of teaching, TAs usually get only one class. TAs typically teach GE math courses (Math 1000, 1090) or the associated workshops. With more experience, some teach precalculus and other courses.

TAs are currently paid just over $1000 per unit of teaching. The Math Department Chair and Associate Chair are responsible for hiring and scheduling TAs.

Even graduate students who don't need the money should consider that teaching experience obtained as a TA is important for their futures. This is obvious for students who want to teach in community colleges after graduating, but is also true for students who want to go into a PhD program.

How to Apply

Are you ready to be a Teaching Associate?: Before applying, make sure you qualify, or will qualify, to be a TA.  Click on Policies above.

When to apply: The earlier the better. Teaching assignments are made on a continuing basis starting six months before the start of the semester.

What to submit: For initial employment as a TA you need to provide the following to the Math Department (Attn. Department Coordinator).

  • Cal State LA Employment Application
  • Three letters of recommendation. Should be on official letterhead. Original signature needed. Not more than two years old.
  • Official transcript from your highest degree (if not obtained from Cal State LA).
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV) (or resume). Use Google to find examples and suggestions.

For continuing employment, it suffices to email your availability and course preferences as below.

Teaching preferences/availability: Email the days and times you are available to teach, and course preferences to the Associate Chair, Borislava Gutarts.

  • New TAs usually teach GE courses and/or workshops for, at most, four units.
  • Experienced TAs are generally limited to eight units of teaching.
  • Wider availability increases the probability of getting an assignment and/or getting more units.
  • You should update this information each semester.


Teaching Associate Policies

  1. TAs should be making satisfactory progress towards the MS degree.
  1. TAs must be classified math graduate students: MATH MS G2 on GET. In other words, conditionally admitted students may not be TAs.
  1. TAs must maintain a 3.0 GPA on their MS degree programs.
  1. No TA may teach more than a total of 30 units while in the MS degree program.
  1. TAs must be registered in some Cal State LA class in any semester they teach.
  1. Students who do not get B or better on at least one comprehensive exam on the first attempt, and students who have made a second attempt at the comprehensive exams, will not be TAs in subsequent terms. After completing the course work of the degree, TAs should attempt the comprehensive exams in any semester they are offered.
  1. Teaching Record: Continued TA appointments are contingent on a satisfactory teaching record (as evidenced by visitation reports, student evaluations and other feedback).
  1. Number of units: Any TA will have a maximum of 7.5 units of teaching in any semester. TAs will receive very limited teaching assignments the first time they teach here, so that we can first evaluate teaching performance before assigning additional classes.
  1. MATH 4950 for prospective TAs: Students are required to pass MATH 4950 (2 units) before becoming a TA. The Chair or Associate Chair may allow an exception to this rule for students who already have experience as a lead classroom teacher (not just a tutor or lab instructor). MATH 4950 can be taken as an undergraduate. It does not count towards the MS (or any other) degree. The Chair or Associate Chair may allow an exception to this rule for TAs if registration in MATH 4950 would result in additional tuition fees. TAs who do not register in MATH 4950 because of such an exception are still expected to participate in and successfully complete all requirements of MATH 4950. We currently plan to offer MATH 4950 every Fall.
  1. Office hours: TAs who teach six units or fewer will schedule a minimum of one office hour per week. TAs who teach more than six units will schedule a minimum of two office hours per week.
  1. Class visits: Faculty will visit each TA’s classes to evaluate the performance and provide feedback. Such visits occur in each of the first two semesters of teaching; in subsequent terms, if the teaching performance was low; and otherwise, once per academic year.
  1. Exceptions: The Chair or Associate Chair may waive any of the above rules (except 1a and 1d) in special circumstances.
  1. NSS/Cal State LA/CSU rules: All college, university, and CSU rules also apply.

August 2018