English M.A. Graduate Teaching/Research Assistantships (GTRAs)

GAA Application Instructions

Truman’s Master of Arts in English program offers incoming and current full-time English MA students and MAE students specializing in Secondary English Education the opportunity to apply for Graduate Teaching/Research Assistantships (GTRAs). These year-long teaching positions provide a full-tuition waiver for 18 credits of classes (9 credits in the fall semester and 9 credits in the spring needed to be a full-time student) as well as an $8,000 stipend, paid in monthly installments, Sept. 15 – June 15.

Students receiving graduate teaching assistantships will teach and be mentored in person.

Yearly teaching assistantships are renewable based on satisfactory job performance. Current teaching assistants will need to re-apply by Feb. 15 for positions for the following year, pending finalization of university funding. First-year graduate teaching assistants are also encouraged to apply for second-year graduate administrative and editorial assistantships (GAAs) since this will diversify the professional skills they can offer future employers.

For detailed information about how to apply for or renew a GTRA assistantship, please click on the following link:GAA and GTRA Application Instructions>>

Since GTRA positions are awarded on a yearly basis, students entering the program in January will not be able to apply for a teaching assistantship their first semester but can apply for a position for the coming academic year. A student may only hold one administrative, editorial, or teaching assistantship at a time.

GTRA assistantship are full-time positions (20 hours a week). Therefore GTRAs are not eligible to work for scholarship or institutional pay or accept other jobs or assistantships.

GTRAs are required to carry a combined total of 15 credits of graduate courses per academic year (a minimum of 9 credits in the fall semester and 6 credits in the spring).

GTRA Teaching Assignment

English GTRAs teach a section of ENG 190 Writing as Critical Thinking each semester. During the first year, GTRAs work from a common syllabus and course materials, those who have their teaching assistantship renewed for a second year are encouraged to customize their approach to teaching the course in a way that draws on their particular strengths and interests.

All teaching assistants hold at least two office hours per week and should be available for appointments with their students at mutually convenient times when possible.

Required GTRA Training and Support for First-Year GTRAs

The GTRA Supervisor works closely with the team of English GTRAs to develop an open,  collaborative, resource-sharing approach to teaching ENG 190 Writing as Critical Thinking.

  • Pre-Teaching Orientation
    Prior to the start of classes in August, first-year GTRAs participate in an intensive five-day training and orientation workshop under the guidance of the GTRA supervisor; they also attend a campus-wide orientation for new faculty and instructors that provides additional information about Title IX compliance, FERPA, attendance policies, and other university expectations, rules, and procedures.
  • ENG 698G Teaching Practicum: Writing as Critical Thinking
    Both fall and spring of their first year of teaching ENG 190, GTRAs are required to enroll in ENG 698G Teaching Practicum: Writing as Critical Thinking, taught by the GTRA Supervisor. This 2-credit practicum provides an overview of the ENG 190 WACT objectives, the theory supporting those objectives, and general approaches to teaching the course. The practicum includes weekly whole group sessions as well as smaller weekly breakout group meetings with the supervisor. In the spring semester offerings of ENG 698G, practical support of ENG 190 GTRAs continues, and they are encouraged to more deeply personalize the common syllabus and assignments they worked with in their first semester of teaching.
  • Classroom Visits
    The Supervisor of English GTRAs and/or other appropriate faculty will visit each GTRA’s course at least once per semester. These visits will provide opportunities for conversation about teaching strategies, and those conversations will be followed by structured reflection and goal-setting.

Support for Second-Year GTRAs

Teaching assistants who have their assistantships renewed for a second year continue to work under the supervision of the mentor faculty member and in close collaboration with the other teaching assistants.

  • Start-of-semester Group Meeting
    Both fall and spring semesters, second-year GTRAs will join the supervisor and first-year GTRAs for a brief start-of-semester meeting to touch on important reminders, share new ideas, and so on.
  • Professional Development Plan
    The GTRA supervisor will work with each second-year GTRA to create a plan for continuing to develop as reflective teachers of ENG 190.
  • Classroom Visits
    The Supervisor of English GTRAs and/or other appropriate faculty will visit each GTRA’s course at least once per semester. These visits will provide opportunities for conversation about teaching strategies, and those conversations will be followed by structured reflection and goal-setting.