TA training programs

In recognition of UBC’s Teaching Assistants and their important contributions to teaching and learning, the University is committed to providing support that addresses their needs while they develop competencies and skills relevant to their professional lives, and that enhances teaching excellence overall at UBC.

Central support for TA Training Programs at UBC commenced during the 2007/2008 academic year. The objective is to provide financial and consultative support to faculties for the development, delivery, and assessment of TA training. TA training initiatives are supported in the following ways:

  1. Financial Support from the Provost Office (adjudicated process)
  2. Consultative Support from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT):
    • consultation and development support
    • facilitation support or training of facilitators, as required
    • resource sharing
    • sharing of participant feedback with workshop facilitators to support ongoing program improvements
    • program evaluation design support

TA Training Program Funding

Faculties or their departments may apply for funding of their TA Training Programs every two years. The Call for Proposals was opened on March 30, 2020, for the years 2020/21 and 2021/22. The deadline to submit completed applications was May 28, 2020. Adjudication took place in June and applicants were notified of the decisions in July.

Expectations and criteria

It is expected that training programs will provide graduate students with the fundamental knowledge, abilities, and skills necessary to begin their work as Teaching Assistants, recognizing that many of these skills will be specific to the learning context. Proposals should identify the attributes and competencies that TAs will develop as a part of their training, and should be directly linked to their expected duties and responsibilities as Teaching Assistants.

All programs are requested to consult with CTLT to assist with program, proposal, and budget development.

  • For support around needs assessment, overall program proposal development, budget, pedagogical design, approaches to facilitation, and program evaluation; or to contract CTLT facilitators to facilitate or co-facilitate your TA training or engage in internal capacity building, CTLT staff are available to assist you. Please contact Dr. Shaya Golparian, Educational Developer and TA Development Program Coordinator (shaya.golparian@ubc.ca).
  • CTLT can also work with you to:
    • advise of existing programs and services on campus that can add on to or support your TA training program
    • assist in developing a schedule for implementation
    • provide training to prepare TAs in your department to facilitate training for their peers
    • discuss how your TA training program objectives are being met/addressed

All proposals for TA training program funding will be reviewed by an adjudication committee with a focus on the following criteria:

  1. The proposal clearly articulates the outcomes (knowledge, skills and competencies) that TAs will acquire as a result of the training.
  2. The proposal clearly explains how these outcomes will be achieved through particular activities in the program.
  3. The proposal clearly defines how the achievement of the outcomes will be assessed.
  4. The proposal appropriately engages with issues of Indigeneity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom contexts and course content.*
  5. The proposal defines how returning TAs will be involved (if relevant and applicable) in the implementation process.
  6. For programs that were previously funded, the proposal contains a progress report (if at the end of the year one of a two-year cycle), or a longer evaluation report (if at the end of year two of a cycle).
  7. The budget is appropriate and justified, with a clear and specific explanation of associated costs.

*In order to reflect UBC’s Strategic Plan, Shaping UBC’s Next Century, the UBC Inclusion Action Plan, and the emerging Indigenous Strategic Plan, proposals will be expected to identify how TA training will prepare TAs to work in culturally and socially diverse classrooms, address issues of equity and inclusion for historically marginalized and underrepresented groups that may arise in the class, and, where relevant, to teach and discuss Indigenous issues.

For support on how to integrate considerations relating to the UBC Inclusion Action Plan and the emerging Indigenous Strategic Plan into your proposal, please contact Dr. Hanae Tsukada, Educational Strategist, Equity, and Inclusion Office (hanae.tsukada@ubc.ca).

Suggested Workshop Feedback Form

Promoting TA Training Programs

Eligibility

Funding from this source cannot be used to pay TAs to attend training (other sources, including their paid TA hours, may be used for this purpose).

This funding also should not be used to pay for time spent by full-time, tenure-stream UBC faculty. We recognize and value the considerable in-kind support and effort that faculty provide to TA Training programs, which could be recognized either as part of service, or possibly as educational leadership, depending on the work done.

How to apply

The deadline to submit completed applications to Dr. Christina Hendricks, Chair TA Training Fund Adjudication Committee, via TA.training.fund@ubc.ca was May 28, 2020.  Adjudication will take place in June and applicants will be notified of the decisions in July.

For help with service-related budget planning, applicants should refer to the Cost Guidelines below, provided by the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. If you are relying on collaboration with other support units, please connect with those units directly regarding their costs prior to finalizing your proposal.

Application form and budget template

Application form for 2020/21 and 2021/22

Budget Template

In cases of existing TA Training Programs that are applying for two more years of funding, an evaluation report on the past two years must be included with the application. For support with proposal or program development and completing this application, please contact Dr. Shaya Golparian, Educational Developer and TA Development Program Coordinator (shaya.golparian@ubc.ca).

The application form requires the following to be completed:

  1. Principal Applicant information. This person is responsible for the overall coordination of the program and the distribution of any funds received;
  2. a list of learning outcomes that graduate students will be expected to achieve through the training;
  3. for departments that directly engage with Indigenous histories, cultures, knowledges and/or contemporary contexts as a part of their curriculum or regular departmental operations: evidence of a component in their program to train and support their TAs in these areas. This aligns with the University’s strategic priority to ensure that Indigenous perspectives are reflected in the university environment;
  4. a description of preparation for TAs in the department to support diverse student populations, especially historically underrepresented and/or marginalized students, within their teaching contexts. For this part of the TA training, departments are encouraged to consider the resources available to address Indigenous perspectives and knowledges, classroom climate, and equity and inclusion;
  5. proposed activities, techniques, and methods to support TAs to achieve the learning outcomes previously mentioned. It is expected that the program will have a pre-service component for new TAs. See Resources section for more information;
  6. a clearly itemized budget, which details cost per hour for graduate student/ staff time and a brief description of expected duties, and both total and cost per person pricing for any catering included. The budget should also clearly identify any department contributions to TA training, both direct financial contributions, and in-kind support, where applicable. Please refer to the Cost Guidelines for information on how to plan your budget. If you are relying on collaboration with other support units, please connect with them directly regarding their costs prior to finalizing your proposal;
  7. an estimate of the expected number of participants, and the total expected number of new and continuing TAs in the department in the coming two academic years;
  8. a proposed timeline for the training;
  9. a description of how TAs in your department or faculty were consulted in the development of this proposal and how TAs, including senior TAs, will be involved in the development and delivery of the TA Training Program;
  10. a description of other consultations you have undertaken in the development of the proposal, and/or involvement of support units and individuals in the proposed program, if applicable. The Department is free to choose the appropriate support unit(s) for its specific learning context. (Please confirm with appropriate unit[s].);
  11. short-term and longer-term methods to document the impact of the program (see the TA Training Workshop Feedback Form);
  12. what changes and improvements have been made since the last application; and
  13. an evaluation report if the program has already been receiving funding.
Exemplary proposals

The following proposals were among those most highly praised by the 2016-17/2017-18 Adjudication Committee as examples of excellent programs. New (or returning) applicants may find it helpful to consider similar approaches.

Cost guidelines

TA Training Program – Cost Guidelines for 2020/21 and 2021/22

The TA Training Program grants aim to provide support for Departments to achieve their intended aims, while at the same time balancing the desire to fund as many departments as possible within a fixed annual budget envelope. To balance these issues, the adjudication committee notes the following:

  1. Catering costs: We recognize that catering TA training events can encourage strong attendance and support informal networking opportunities. However, proposals should ensure that catering requests are proportionate with respect to the duration of the event, and are provided for those events genuinely requiring it (rather than, for example, by default for each of 9 events offered by your department).
  2. Faculty activity: The primary purpose of TA training program funding is to directly support TAs, and should not be used to pay for time spent by full-time, tenure-stream UBC faculty. We recognize and value the considerable in-kind support and effort that faculty provide to TA training programs, which could be recognized either as part of service, or possibly as educational leadership, depending on work done.
  3. Cost per TA: A “cost-per-TA” metric is not used as a rigid criterion in adjudicating proposals, but it is data the committee considers, with a view to consistency and maximizing the impact of the funding. The committee uses, as a broad guideline, an average of $150 per TA. Looking at funded proposals over the last few years, around three-quarters fall within a cost-per-TA range of $75 to $220, with larger departments benefiting from economies of scale such that their figure is often closer to the lower end of this band.
  4. Please be advised that the funding from this program cannot be applied to pay participants to take the TA training. Departments may consider a variety of options to encourage participation among TAs. See Promoting TA Training Programs.
  5. Subject to committee approval, programs may be able to carry forward unused balances from their TA training funding until next year or the next two-year cycle; proposals must clearly explain how they plan to use the carry forward amount.
  6. Please note that if the TA training program goes over budget in any year, the department must make up for the deficit. Programs cannot borrow ahead from the next year’s funding to pay for previous years’ deficits.

In developing a TA Training Program proposal, an accurate budget projection is important. The following table includes information and suggested costs for some of the most common expenses.

ItemEstimated Rate/Cost

Food / drink

$12.00 – $20.00/person, depending on duration of the activity

Student Wages (please add 10% for benefits)

It may be possible to have a portion of the wages subsidized under the Work-Learn Program. Please explore this option, at:

https://facultystaff.students.ubc.ca/student-development-services/centre-student-involvement-careers/work-learn

Although Coordinators are typically appointed as Graduate Academic Assistants, their salaries are expected to keep pace with GTA salaries. Current GTA salaries are listed below:

  • GTA I: $33.10/hr
  • GTA II: $31.85/hr
  • UTA I: $17.79/hr
  • UTA II: $15.89/hr
    Updated July 31, 2019

The above amounts may increase during the course of the next TA Training programs. Prior to submitting your application in May 2020, please check for any anticipated changes posted to the CUPE 2278 website, and reflect them in your budget.

Sample costs for a CTLT seminar in 2020/2021 and 2021/2022

$40.00/hour per facilitator per seminar. This to includes approximately 3 hours of preparation time per workshop hour, for workshops up to 2.5 hours

e.g. 2 hour workshop, 2 facilitators - total $640 (2 hr workshop @ $40/hr + 6 hr. prep @ 40/hr * 2 Facilitators)

For any preparation time beyond 8 hours, the hourly amount is half the above amount (i.e. $20.00/hour) per facilitator per seminar.

e.g. 5 hour workshop, 2 facilitators - total $1300 (5 hour workshop @ $40/hr + 8.5hr. prep @ @ $40/hr + 6.5hr. prep @ $20/hr * 2 Facilitators).

Workshops are co-facilitated. CTLT facilitators can work with a department-based facilitator to satisfy the two facilitator expectation. In workshops with few participants, 1 facilitator may be adequate

Reporting requirements

There are two instances in which a report is required:

1. At time of application:

Departments currently receiving funding and wanting to re-apply must submit an Evaluation Report with their application, due May 28, 2020, in order to be considered for further funding in the next 2-year round (2020/21 and 2021/22). This report will outline training delivered to date with a focus on evaluation of the program's success, and plans for adjustments to the program based on feedback collected. An Evaluation Report template is included in the Application Form.

Example of a commedable Evaluation Report

2. At mid-point (i.e. at the conclusion of 1st year):

Funding is released one year at a time. At the end of Year 1 (2020/21) of the 2-year cycle, the unit must submit a progress report (May 2021). The report will be reviewed by the Adjudication Committee before the second-year of funding can be released.

First-Year Report Template - for example only; template is under revision. The next first-year reports will be due in June 2021.

First-year / progress reports should include the following components:

  1. the total number of participants, in comparison with the number that had been expected;
  2. a description of the training program and the curriculum delivered;
  3. a brief evaluation of the program over the past year; and
  4. a summary of expenditures made, in comparison with what was allocated.
Resources and FAQs

Campus Resources

FAQs

Q. Can this funding be used to pay TAs to attend training?

A. Funding from this source cannot be used to pay TAs to attend training. Other sources, including allocating some of their paid TA hours for training, may be used for this purpose.

Q. Can this funding be used to pay faculty time involved with TA Training?

A. Funding from this source should not be used to pay for time spent by full-time, tenure-stream UBC faculty. We recognize and value the considerable in-kind support and effort that faculty provide to TA training programs, which could be recognized either as part of service, or possibly as educational leadership, depending on the work done.

Q. Can TA Training Program Funds be used to pay for credit courses?

A. Credit courses are otherwise resourced.

Currently funded TA training programs

A list of TA training programs that received funding for 2020/21 can be viewed here.

Contacts

For questions relating to program development and implementation:

Dr. Shaya Golparian
Educational Developer and TA Development Program Coordinator
Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology
shaya.golparian@ubc.ca

For questions about the submission process:

The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT)
TA.training.fund@ubc.ca

Visit our Research site | Visit our Students site | Visit ubc.ca

UBC ranks among the world’s top 20 public universities.