TA training programs

In recognition of UBC’s Graduate 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:

  • Financial Support from the Provost Office (adjudicated process)
  • Consultative Support from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology:
    • consultation on developing and delivering programs
    • assistance with facilitation of training sessions, including the use of trained facilitators as required        

TA Training Program Funding

Faculties or their Departments may apply for funding of their TA Training Programs every two years. The next call for proposals will be sent to Faculties and posted here in March 2018, with a due date in May 2018. 

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 these skills will be learning context-specific. Proposals should identify the attributes and competencies that TAs will develop as a part of their training.

The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology is available to assist you with program, proposal, and budget development.  Please contact Dr. Joseph Topornycky (joseph.topornycky@ubc.ca), Manager of Graduate Student Programs or Dr. Shaya Golparian (shaya.golparian@ubc.ca), Educational Developer and TA Development Program Coordinator. 

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 knowledge, skills and competencies that TAs will acquire as a result of the training.
  2. The proposal clearly explains how their knowledge, skills and competencies will be gained.
  3. The proposal outlines how the program will be assessed.
  4. The proposal appropriately reflects consideration of issues of cultural diversity.*
  5. Expected outcomes and the program evaluation process are clearly defined.
  6. The proposal defines how more senior TAs will be involved (if relevant and applicable) in the implementation process.
  7. For continued programs, the proposal contains a one-page interim progress report.
  8. The budget is appropriate and justified, with an explanation of associated costs.

*In order to reflect university strategic priorities addressing intercultural understanding, diversity and equity, and Aboriginal engagement (http://strategicplan.ubc.ca/), proposals will be expected to identify how TA training will prepare TAs to work in culturally and socially diverse classrooms, and where relevant, to teach and discuss Aboriginal issues. CTLT in collaboration with the First Nations House of Learning (FNHL) is now able to provide advice and support for the development of more aspects of the training program. Proposals may include more experienced TAs as participants, recognizing that training can also be of benefit to those already working as TAs and that experienced TAs may contribute to the training team.  For more information, please send an email to Ms. Amy Perreault, Coordinator of Aboriginal Initiatives, CTLT, at amy.perreault@ubc.ca.

Suggested Workshop Feedback Form

Promoting TA Training Programs

How to apply
Cost guidelines

The following cost information is being confirmed/updated for the 2018-19 proposals, and will be confirmed in early 2018. 

In developing a proposal for the TA Training Program, an accurate budget projection is important. To this end, please see below a list of suggested cost estimates for the most common services.

Sample costs for a seminar facilitated by the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) in 2015/2016: 

  • $40/hour per seminar per facilitator (workshops are co-facilitated)
  • 3 hours of preparation and planning, per facilitator, are required for every hour of workshop time
  • $30 minimum for materials/supplies/copies

Food / drink

Estimated Rate/Cost: $12.00 – $20.00/person, dependent on duration of the training

*Student Wages (add 10% for benefits)

$6.00/hr may be subsidized under the Work-Learn Program.  Please explore this option.

Rates effective Sep. 2015:

GTA1: – $31.04/hr
GTA2: – $29.87/hr
UTA: – $14.90/hr

**Average suggested cost per TA

Estimated Rate/Cost: $100.00 – $150.00

* Compensation fees only apply to those conducting activities, but not to participants taking the training.

** At the discretion of the Adjudication Committee, slightly higher costs per TA will be considered for programs with smaller numbers of TAs.

Please note that the Adjudication Committee will normally not fund these services at higher rates. The list will be updated periodically to reflect any changes.

Funding from this program cannot be applied to pay participants to take the TA training. Departments can consider the following options to encourage participation among TAs:

  1. Offer the program on a voluntary basis. With appropriate promotion/encouragement and the high quality of the program, which TAs will perceive as being of a significant benefit to them, this approach should result in a broad voluntary participation.  Suggestions for encouraging attendance: Promoting TA Training Programs
  2. Make the program compulsory and factor the training time into the TA appointment. This approach will require re-thinking of the TAs instructional loads to accommodate the necessary training components.
  3. Create a credit-bearing graduate course that would be a pre-requisite for TAs in their program. Some departments have already developed and approved through Senate academically sound TA Training program.  Should this option be selected, the Department can apply for one-time financial support to develop the required course through this fund.


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.

Application form 

Applications cover two years at a time.  The application form for 2018-19 and 2019-20 will be posted here in February 2018. 

In cases of existing TA Training Programs, a 2-3 page evaluation report on the past 2 years must be included with the application.  The entire proposal should not exceed 8 pages.

Applications are submitted via email to the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President Academic Affairs.  They will be due on a specified date in May 2018, and adjudication will take place the following month. Applicants will be notified of the results by the end of June. 

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

    Reporting requirements

    There are two instances in which a report is required: 

    1.  At time of application:

    Faculties or Departments currently receiving funding and wanting to re-apply must submit an evaluation report with their application which will be due in May 2018, in order to be considered for further funding in the next 2-year round (2018-19 and 2019-20).  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.  A reporting template will be included in the Application Form. 

    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 (2018-19) of the 2-year cycle, the unit must submit a progress report to the Provost Office (by June 15th, 2019).  The report will be reviewed by the Adjudication Committee before the second-year of funding can be released. 

    First-Year Report Template

    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. 
    Currently-funded TA training programs

    A list of TA training programs that received funding for 2016-17 and 2017-18 can be viewed here.


    For questions relating to program development and implementation:

    Dr. Shaya Golparian
    Educational Developer and TA Development Program Coordinator
    Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology

    Dr. Joseph Topornycky
    Manager, Graduate Student Programs
    Centre for Teaching Learning and Technology

    For questions about the submission process:

    Selina Fast
    Executive Assistant to the Vice-Provost and AVP Academic Affairs
    Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic


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