Graduate Teaching Assistant for The Odyssey Project (50%)
The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) is seeking one (50%) Graduate Teaching Assistant to serve as the Critical Thinking and Writing TA for the Odyssey Project. Responsibilities include teaching, office hours/tutorials, and additional tasks as outlined below. This is a 9-month appointment beginning August 16, 2020 and ending May 15, 2021. The deadline to apply is March 9 by 5:00 PM.
About the Odyssey Project
The Odyssey Project offers income-eligible members of the community without college degrees the opportunity to take University of Illinois courses in the humanities. By engaging students in the humanities, Odyssey courses help students develop knowledge and critical thinking skills that will serve them in their pursuit of higher education, workforce opportunities and a lifetime of learning-based citizenship.
Students enrolled in the Odyssey Project take a two-part series of core humanities courses (HUM 110 and HUM 111) that introduce them to Literature, Philosophy, Art History and U.S. History taught by University of Illinois instructors. These face-to-face, discussion-focused courses offer Odyssey students the chance to learn in a supportive, interactive classroom environment with instructors whose expertise and pedagogical commitments provide a rich and dynamic learning environment rooted in humanities values and practices. The courses also include a critical thinking and writing section taught by the Graduate Teaching Assistant, which reinforces critical thinking and writing skills in the context of the subject-matter covered.
Offered Monday and Wednesday evenings (5:30-8:30 PM), Odyssey courses are free to enrolled students, and include books, dinner, and transportation. The program is open to students 18 or older, regardless of whether they have completed a high school education at the time of enrollment.
For more information, visit the Odyssey Project webpage.
- Participate in New Student Orientation
- Attend pre-semester faculty meetings
- Course planning, especially for the first three class meetings, which are devoted specifically to introducing students to the writing process and college-level critical thinking and are led by the TA alone.
During the Semester:
- Plan and teach the critical thinking and writing section in support of subject-area writing assignments
- Work with subject-area faculty to develop writing assignments
- Attend all subject-area class sessions and read assigned material
- Collect and grade informal writing assignments
- Assist with setup of class Compass/Moodle page
- Assist the Advisor and Student Experience Coordinator with logistical tasks related to classroom setup and meals
- Eat dinner (provided) with Odyssey Project students on class nights
- Attend occasional co-curricular events on non-class nights (1-2 per semester, tickets provided)
- Assist with planning and execution of Odyssey students’ Undergraduate Research Week projects
- Hold regular office hours/tutorial sessions in the late afternoon and/or evening (most students work during the day)
- Strategize with Odyssey Coordinator for Student Experience on best deployment of undergraduate interns
- Respond to student inquiries in a timely fashion
- Attend monthly faculty meetings and other meetings as necessary
- Other course-support-related tasks as assigned
Sample Weekly Hours
- Class Planning, 3-4 hrs (includes time for reading subject area readings)
- Attend subject-area class meetings, 3 hrs
- Teach critical thinking and writing section, 2 hrs
- Dinner with Odyssey students, 1 hr
- Office hours/tutorials, 3-4 hrs
- Grade informal writing exercises, 1 hr
- Staff meeting, 1 hr
- Attend performance at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts with Odyssey students, 2 hrs
- Other variable course-support tasks, 1-2 hrs
Total hours: 17-20 hrs
- Must be a graduate student in good academic standing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, enrolled in a graduate program leading to a Ph.D., EdD, or MFA
- Minimum 2 years’ experience teaching first-year and/or developmental writing at Illinois or elsewhere
- Knowledge of the Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Competency with commonly used computer programs (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Moodle, Compass, etc.)
- Availability to work evenings
- Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with diverse campus and community stakeholders
- Commitment to the humanities and educational justice
- Familiarity with the Champaign-Urbana community preferred
- Experience teaching non-traditional students preferred
- Experience working with individuals from underrepresented backgrounds preferred
Submit Application to Assistant Director for Education and Outreach, Dr. Alaina Pincus, at (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 5:00 PM on March 9, 2020. Applications should include the following:
- A letter of application detailing interest and qualifications as specified above
- A current CV
- A Statement of teaching Philosophy (Optional)
- A list of 2 references who can speak to your experience and abilities regarding the teaching of first-year and/or developmental writing (name, contact information, affiliation, etc).
A tuition and fee waiver is possible, depending on the percentage of appointment, and the applicant’s graduate program. Graduate students appointed to the position will be expected to work hours and meet responsibilities commensurate with those outlined by the Graduate College and the University’s agreement with the Graduate Employment Organization (GEO contract).