History and Mandated Purpose of ITA Program
The purpose of the program is to help provide excellent instruction to all Texas Tech students who will be working with these teaching assistants by supporting the ITAs in their teaching roles at Texas Tech through evaluation and training in conjunction with their respective academic departments.
The Texas Education code (Chapter 51.917) was amended in 1989 to require all faculty whose primary language is not English to achieve a satisfactory score on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) or other approved test. Institutions are charged with providing programs or short courses to meet the needs of those faculty who do not achieve a satisfactory score.
Operating Policy and Procedures
OP 64.03: Graduate Students Employed as Teaching Assistants and Graduate Part-time Instructors
This OP was revised and posted on 2/26/2007 and will be reviewed by November 1 of every even-numbered year by the Dean of the Graduate School and the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs with recommendations for revisions presented to the Provost by December 1.
The following are taken directly from this OP:
All graduate students employed as teaching assistants and graduate part-time instructors in courses offered for credit that are taught in the English language must be proficient in the use of the English language. Any teaching assistant or graduate part-time instructor whose first language is not English must be certified in English proficiency and readiness for the classroom. A workshop is held annually in the summer for all prospective new teaching assistants and graduate part-time instructors whose first language is not English. The workshop will assess each participant's readiness for the classroom. Those whose English proficiency is not clear, or who may have other deficiencies that make success in the classroom doubtful, will not be approved. They may, however, pursue further training in English proficiency and be reconsidered at a later time.
International teaching assistants or graduate part-time instructors often provide students with valuable perspectives not readily available from other teachers. The international student teacher is, therefore, a decided asset to Tech's educational setting.
You may also want to refer to OP 32.19, Non-native English Speaking Faculty and Teaching Assistants.
History of the ITA program
The Texas Tech International Teaching Assistant Training Program was founded by Dr. Rosslyn Smith in 1980. Dr. Smith is a national leader in the field of ITA training through NAFSA and TESOL. She is a co-author of Crossing Pedagogical Oceans: International Teaching Assistants in U.S. Undergraduate Education (1992), and has helped produce several videotapes concerning both graduate education and ITA training in the United States.
- Sharon Meyers 1992-99
- Greta Gorsuch 1999-2004
- Dale Griffee 2004-Present