MA English Program
Graduate Administrative Assistant (GAA) and Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTRA) Positions
Graduate assistantships provide stipends and partial or full tuition waivers along with professional development to qualified graduate applicants, dependent upon University funding and position availability. The program currently offers two kinds of assistantships:
- English Graduate Administrative and Editorial Assistants (GAAs) work closely with their supervisors to gain career-relevant expertise in jobs commonly pursued by program graduates
- English Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTRAs) work with a faculty supervisor who supports them in teaching a first-year writing course for Truman students (ENG 190)
Graduate Administrative Assistantships (GAAs)
Truman’s Master of Arts in English program offers incoming and current full-time English MA students the opportunity to apply for Graduate Administrative Assistantships (GAAs) that provide excellent professional development and mentoring. GAAs are typically awarded for an entire academic year, although applicants interested in a one-semester appointment will be considered after the first round of applications have been reviewed and offers have been made. These administrative positions provide an academic year stipend of $4000 ($2000/semester) and a 50% tuition waiver for up to 4.5 credit hours per semester. The stipend is paid in monthly installments on the 15th of the month, September through June.
Administrative assistantships are renewable based on satisfactory job performance. Current GAAs wishing to have their assistantships renewed must indicate their interest by completing the English MA GTRA/GAA Application Form by February 15 for priority consideration, pending finalization of University funding. First-year graduate GAAs continuing on to a second year of graduate study may also apply for one or more GAA or GTRA positions if they would like to diversify their skillset.
Important Notes for GAA applicants:
- GAA positions are considered half-time (10 hours a week). Therefore GAAs are eligible to work up to an additional 10 hours per week on campus
- GAAs 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)
- Continuation for the spring semester is contingent upon earning at least a 3.0 GPA in fall and approval of the GAA supervisor
- GAAs are required to reside in the State of Missouri for the duration of their employment
GAA Position Descriptions
For currently available GAA positions, see the application form.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTRAs)
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 teaching positions provide an academic year stipend of $8000 ($4000/semester) and a 100% tuition waiver for up to 9 credit hours per semester. The stipend is paid in monthly installments on the 15th of the month, September through June.
Since first-time GTRAs enroll in a two-semester required practicum sequence, ENG 698G WACT Practicum, all new GTRAs begin in the fall, on Monday of the week prior to the beginning of the fall semester. The exact start date and other requirements are covered in employment letters.
Teaching assistantships are renewable based on satisfactory job performance. Current teaching assistants wishing to have their assistantship renewed must indicate their interest by completing the application form by February 15 for priority consideration, pending finalization of University funding. First-year graduate teaching assistants may also apply for one or more GAA positions if they would like to diversify their skillset.
GTRA Teaching Assignments
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 are expected to be available for appointments with their students at additional mutually convenient times when possible.
Important Notes for GTRA applicants:
- GTRA positions are full-time (20 hours a week). Therefore GTRAs are not eligible to work for scholarship or institutional pay or accept other jobs or assistantships on campus
- 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)
- Continuation for the spring semester is contingent upon earning at least a 3.0 GPA in fall and approval of the GTRA supervisor
- GTRAs teach their ENG 190 Writing as Critical Thinking course and take ENG 698G WACT Practicum in person
- new GTRAs must attend a 5-day in-person orientation prior to the start of fall semester
- GTRAs are required to reside in the State of Missouri for the duration of their employment
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. As of the publication date of this document, the basic components of training and support are as follows:
- Pre-Semester 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.
Important Notes For All GTRA and GAA Applicants:
- GTRA/GAA applications are reviewed and ranked after admissions decisions have been made for incoming MA candidates
- Tuition waivers do not cover fees assessed to the student’s accounts
- GTRAs and GAAs are required to maintain full-time enrollment: 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); full-time enrollment must be completed by the end of the free add/drop registration period
- GTRAs and GAAs are required to reside in the State of Missouri for the duration of their employment contracts
GAA and GTRA Application Instructions
Students pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Truman may apply for a variety of graduate administrative and editorial (GAA) assistantships or a graduate teaching (GTRA) assistantship (see the GAA/GTRA Application Form for current positions).
- February 15 is the deadline for priority consideration.
- Both current students and new applicants who wish to be considered for GAA and/or GTRA assistantships must fill out the GAA/GTRA Application Form.
- New applicants or returning students applying for a new position will also write a brief application essay for each assistantship for which they would like to be considered.
- Application Essay instructions are included on the GAA/GTRA Application Form.
- Any positions not filled in the first round of applications will be open to students who apply after that date.
- Applicants awarded a GAA position are eligible to be considered for a second position after all eligible applicants have been made offers and allowed time to make their decisions.
- In no case will a graduate student be approved for more than twenty (20) hours per week of campus employment.
GAA and GTRA Selection Process
- Applications are screened by the Director of English Graduate Studies. Qualified candidates will have their applications forwarded to the appropriate committee for evaluation. Applicants may be contacted for an interview via Zoom or similar technology as part of the decision process.
- An evaluation committee consisting of the graduate administrative and editorial assistantship supervisors and the Director of English Graduate Studies evaluates GAA applications.
- An evaluation committee consisting of the Graduate Teaching Supervisor and the Director of English Graduate Studies evaluates applicants for GTRA positions.
- Applicants meeting the requirements for positions will be ranked in order of qualifications by the evaluation committee. The English graduate committee as a whole will then review those rankings and finalize recommendations for awarding assistantships.
- The Director of English Graduate Studies Dr. Sarah Mohler will notify applicants of assistantship offers by email. Those awarded assistantships will also receive letters of employment from the Office of Graduate Studies which must be signed and returned within two weeks of receipt.