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Graduate Teaching Requirements

UCF graduate teaching assistantships are defined as position codes 9183, 9184, and 9187. Students in GTA position codes should be assigned to instructional duties according to the university definitions for these positions and should complete all training requirements for their position before they begin their assignments. Students in GRA (9181, 9182) or GA (9186) positions are not allowed to engage in instructional assignments.

Graduate Teaching Associates (9183)—This position code is reserved for students who have completed the required GTA training and have either a master’s degree in their teaching discipline or have completed 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline, direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluation. For students who may have grades of C+ or less in the 18 hours of course work, an informal explanation of the qualifications of the student should accompany the hiring package.

GTA Training Requirements

In order to be appointed as a GTA (graduate teaching associate, assistant, or grader), students MUST have completed the UCF GTA Training requirement by the appropriate deadline prior to the start of the semester in which they will teach. There are NO exceptions to the GTA Training requirement.

The deadline for completing the GTA training requirements is the Friday before the first day of classes.

GTA Assignment GTA Grader Training GTA Assistant Training GTA Associate Training SPEAK Test
GTA Associate (9183)—Instructor of record for undergraduate courses in the specific discipline (cannot be the instructor of record for graduate courses). They should be attached as instructor for courses in the Student Records instructor schedule. Required Required Required Score of 55 or 60 required
GTA Assistant (9184)—Teaching-related duties under the supervision of a faculty member. The student cannot be an instructor of record or a discussion leader. Required Required Not Required Score of at least 50 required
GTA Grader (9187)—Grading papers or assisting a faculty member. These students may have no direct contact with students. Required Not Required Not Required Not Required

For Graders (9187) and Assistants (9184), the training is completely online. For Associates (9183), the training consists of two components: an online component as well as a face-to-face one-day training workshop. Registration is required for the online and face-to-face training. Training that must be completed by the dates given above, so please instruct your students to check out the Graduate Teaching website to find all the details about GTA appointments, requirements, and registration for training.

NOTE: Completion of the 12-week Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program (previously named GTA Certificate Program) presented by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning satisfies the requirement for all categories of GTA Training. The course must be completed by the semester prior to the teaching semester. It is not sufficient to attend the Certificate course concurrently with the student’s first teaching experience to fulfill the GTA training requirement.

English-speaking Ability for Graduate Teaching Associates and Assistants

UCF requires an oral proficiency exam of English-speaking skills for all new international students who will be appointed as Graduate Teaching Associates (9183) and Graduate Teaching Assistants (9184). The SPEAK test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187) or for those who score 26 or higher on the speak portion of the ibT TOEFL.

The oral proficiency requirement applies to all Graduate Teaching Associates (9183) and Graduate Teaching Assistants (9184) from countries where English is not the native language; however, such students will be exempt if they have completed a previous degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, from a country where English is the only official language, or from a university at which English is the only official language of instruction. The purpose of the oral proficiency exam is to evaluate the GTA's spoken proficiency of the English language.

The university provides students with free English-speaking training if their score is between 45 and 55 on the initial SPEAK Test taken at the beginning of Fall or Spring semester.

See English-speaking Ability for Graduate Teaching Assistants at Graduate Assistantships in the current Graduate Catalog regarding the details of the university's payment for this training and the student's responsibilities in order to receive this funding.

Please give the SPEAK Test and OCI Training Updates flyer to your international students who you plan to appoint as Associates (9183) or Assistants (9184) and who will need to take the SPEAK Test.

SPEAK Test

The SPEAK exam is an institutional version of the Test of Spoken English published by the Educational Testing Service. This exam is used by UCF to assess the English language speaking proficiency of Graduate Teaching Associates and Assistants. This test is not required for those who score 26 or higher on the speak portion of the ibT TOEFL. The oral proficiency exam (or "SPEAK" exam) is administered by the Center for Multilingual Multicultural Studies. This exam is used by UCF to assess the English language speaking proficiency of Graduate Teaching Associates and Assistants.

It consists of 12 items, each of which requires examinees to perform a particular speech act. Examples of these activities include narrating, recommending, persuading, and giving and supporting an opinion. The test is delivered via audio recording and a test book. A recorded interviewer will lead the examinee through the test and the examinee’s responses will be recorded. The test lasts about 20 minutes.

SPEAK Score

The SPEAK exam is scored on a scale of 20-60, which reflects the examinee’s English-speaking communicative language ability. Raters evaluate each question and assign scores using descriptors of communicative effectiveness related to language task/function, coherence and use of cohesive devices, appropriateness of response to audience or situation, and linguistic accuracy. The assigned scores for each question are averaged. Because of this averaging, the scores are reported in increments of five (i.e., 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60).

Passing scores for the SPEAK test depend on the level of GTA appointment:

GTA Appointment Type Job Code Minimal SPEAK Test
Grader 9187 Not required
Assistant 9184 50
Associate 9183 55

Students must register in advance for the SPEAK test at SPEAK Test Registration.

For inquiries regarding the SPEAK Test, please contact the English Language Institute (Global UCF, Suite 200) at 407-823-5515.

Oral Communication for Internationals (OCI)

English-speaking language instruction is offered to students who do not pass the SPEAK exam for one semester and is paid for by the university. Only international students who are appointed as GTA assistants or graders and who do not meet the minimal SPEAK test results are eligible to enroll in OCI.

The OCI training lasts for about ten weeks and a SPEAK test is given at the completion of the instruction in that semester. Only those who attend regularly and take the final SPEAK exam will have their instruction paid for by the university. Should students fail to attend the course or to take the final SPEAK test, a bill will be sent to them for the cost of the instruction.

See also Graduate Teaching for details.

GTA Performance Assessment

The teaching-related performances of all Graduate Teaching Associates (9183), Graduate Teaching Assistants (9184), and Graduate Teaching Assistant-Graders (9187) must be assessed at the end of each term that the student serves as a GTA. If we don’t have the forms returned by the first day of the next semester, then the student will have to be reassigned and will not be allowed to teach, since the evaluation is a requirement of SACS.

Graduate Studies requires that the GTA performance assessment be documented through the submission of the university GTA Performance Assessment Form. See Submitting GTA Performance Assessments for instructions on completing the form and submitting the GTA Performance eForm in PeopleSoft. The GTA Performance Assessment Form constitutes a summary rating based on the areas of performance that were required in the GTA's teaching-related assignment(s). The GTA's assigned Faculty Supervisor (the person so listed on the student's GTA agreement) must complete the assessment after appropriate consultation with the department Chair, Graduate Program Director, or other relevant individuals. This summative assessment will be discussed with the student, the student will be given an opportunity to respond to the assessment in writing, and both the faculty supervisor and student will approve the completed assessment form electronically via the GTA Assessment eForm in PeopleSoft.

The GTA performance assessment is based on the faculty supervisor’s interaction with the GTA over the course of the term. While the GTA performance assessment is a SACS requirement for documenting the mentoring we provide our GTAs, the true benefit promoted by the completion of the assessment form is the opportunity it offers for our GTAs and their faculty supervisors to engage in a valuable end-of-term discussion. These discussions can be used to review the highlights and difficult aspects encountered during the class, for the faculty to offer insights from their expertise to the GTAs they are supervising, and to discuss the strengths of their students’ teaching performance as well as strategies they might use to improve their teaching. This part of the GTA experience is crucial to helping prepare our students to be better teachers and for future independent teaching jobs. In order to be most effective in the mentoring process, it is critical to have the discussion and complete the form before the end of the term. Completion of these assessments should not be delayed in order to include student evaluations that become available only well after completion of the term. The student is given an opportunity to respond to the assessment in writing.

Faculty should submit the GTA Performance Evaluation via the GTA Performance Eval area in myUCF (my.ucf.edu) > Faculty/Advisor Self Service > Instructors > GTA Performance Eval. Once logged in, faculty will see a list of any pending assessments, including those from past semesters. To submit the evaluation (1) select the rating for the student, (2) enter a comment (optional - this will be visible to the student, and (3) hit submit. These steps should be repeated for all pending assessments. An eForm will be generated based on your submission and will be routed to the student for her or his review in myUCF. This assessment is required even for graduating GTAs. The College of Graduate Studies will store the completed GTA Performance Assessment eForm electronically in ViewStar in the student's academic file and record the completion in PeopleSoft. Questions regarding GTA Performance Assessment Form processing may be sent to gradassistantship@ucf.edu.

In addition to the GTA Performance Assessment departments and colleges may use additional assessment tools that are available and gather information from any source that they determine to be relevant in order to conduct assessments of GTAs. For example, departments may rely upon classroom visits, other informational observations, other input from students, interviews and discussions with the GTA and other evidences of performance that are available to the department.


 

The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Central Florida.

Please note the commission's expectation that contact occur only if there is evidence to support significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard. For other information about UCF’s SACSCOC accreditation, please contact the university's SACSCOC liaison in UCF's Office of Academic Affairs.

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