Teaching and Professional Experience

Guidelines for Degree Requirements involving Teaching and Professional Experience

Guidelines for Degree Requirements Involving Teaching Experience

Whether they are employed in academia or other industries, working professionals who have PhDs often have the role of teaching or training others. To help attain those skills, teaching or teaching assistantship experience may be part of a degree requirement. As such, students may earn degree credit or be paid for that experience. If teaching is a degree requirement, then it should be for educational benefit of the student rather than service to the department.

To require teaching or teaching assistantship for a degree, the program must satisfy the following requirements, be approved by the faculty offering the degree program, and be approved by the Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee (IGCC).

  1. The required teaching or teaching assistantship experience must be accompanied by a course, such as a Teaching Practicum, that has relevant training, learning outcomes, and methods to evaluate performance. Sample courses include ME 7757, MSE 7757, PSYC 7701, CETL 8718
  2. There may be an additional marker course such as 8997 taken for audit that accounts for total time and effort. The time commitment for the teaching duties should be consistent with the total number of associated credit hours. For example, a 3-hour GTA marker course would correspond to a 9-12 hours per week teaching assignment.
  3. The total number of credit hours, or semesters, required to satisfy a teaching experience degree requirement should be consistent with the learning objectives needed for the degree.
  4. As required by the Board of Regents policy, students with instructional responsibilities should be properly trained and evaluated. This requirement can be integrated into the Teaching Practicum or satisfied through CTL’s TA Orientation and Development programming. See https://ctl.gatech.edu
  5. International graduate students with instructional responsibilities who are required to submit TOEFL for admission and whose TOEFL speaking score is below 26 (IETLS 8.0) must be evaluated according to the International TA policy. See the "ITA Screening Information" link at https://ita.ctl.gatech.edu/
  6. Different teaching assistantship assignments have different responsibilities, and it is up to the unit to provide clear job descriptions. The faculty supervisors can then build on those descriptions and clarify their expectations. 
  7. Programs requiring graduate students to teach independently as Graduate Student Instructor of Record (GSI) must provide prior training and/or concurrent support for the graduate student instructor. CTL’s Tech to Teaching program would satisfy the prior training requirement and concurrent support requirements.
  8. Interdisciplinary programs should have comparable experiences for all students in that degree program regardless of home school, including teaching experiences if required for the degree.

Guidelines for Professional Training Requirement:

Programs may offer a professional training degree requirement that is more flexible in nature than a teaching requirement and includes teaching as an option. Note that this may be a suitable option for some interdisciplinary degree programs where some of its home schools would like to have a teaching requirement and some would prefer an option to teaching. The goal is that all students in a degree program would have comparable requirements.

The purpose of this requirement is to provide students with practical training for future careers. Example options for satisfying this requirement include a teaching experience, an approved internship, or an approved capstone or similar project. Sample degree requirement to satisfy a professional training requirement are given below.

To require professional training for a degree, the requirement must be approved by the faculty offering the degree program and be approved by the IGCC.

  • Teaching Experience: The teaching experience would need to satisfy the guidelines above
  • Approved Internship: Students in this program may satisfy this requirement by participating in an approved internship that is either related to their research or to their future career plans.  Students need to submit documentation including Goals and Objectives at the beginning of the experience, as well as a Work Report and a Performance Evaluation (from their supervisors) at the end of the experience. The internship experience should be at least six hours per week for one semester.
  • Professional Training Courses – courses that provide professional training such as project management, leadership, or entrepreneurship may be used to satisfy this requirement. [example is ECE 6001 Technology Entrepreneurship, or Start-Up Lab]
  • Student leadership position accompanied by a training program: such as serving in a leadership role in a student organization coupled with the LEADs program or ECE’s ORS training for graduate student mentors