TA Position Description

The First-Year Experience Teaching Assistant (TA) position provides an invaluable opportunity to connect with and support fellow students as they begin their college experience at Suffolk University.  Additionally, personal benefits include building strong interpersonal and public speaking techniques, gaining valuable teaching experience, and developing relationships with fellow TAs and instructors.   

Position Description

First-Year Experience Teaching Assistants (TA) will be assigned to a section and paired with a faculty/staff instructor.  Their main function will be to provide a peer's perspective on being successful at Suffolk. The intention behind creating TA positions for this course is to foster a unique opportunity for first-year students to connect with an upper-class student for ongoing advice and support.  In order to ensure success, First-Year Experience TAs are trained in and expected to be knowledgeable about institutional information, group dynamics, and student development issues. With a structured emphasis on the fall semester of the first year, a teaching assistant meets individually or in small groups with their students to answer any questions they may have.  TAs will encourage participation in programs specifically designed for the First-Year Experience course, as well as those university-wide programs designed to benefit new students.  


  1. Understand and believe in the mission and goals of the First-Year Experience Program.
  2. Relate and interact well with students, faculty and staff of Suffolk University.
  3. Must be a member of the Suffolk community in good standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 and not be on disciplinary probation.
  4. Be (or demonstrate a desire to be) knowledgeable of the Suffolk campus, its history and resources, and share this information with new students.
  5. Be available to participate in training, weekly class meetings, weekly instructor meetings, and additional out-of-class course requirements.
  6. Be willing and able to work collaboratively with their faculty partner.  
  7. If you are an international student who has not previously worked in the United States, additional payroll paperwork may be required. 


Each First-Year Experience Teaching Assistant (TA) will receive a stipend of $1000 in total ($600 paid bi-weekly throughout the Fall 2014 semester, based on hours worked, and $400 credited to your student account in Spring 2015 semester upon successful completion of your TA duties). TAs who are on a full tuition scholarship will not qualify for the $400 credit to their tuition.  

Time Commitment

  1. Participate in a training program that consists of one afternoon in April and one full day in late August.  The date for August is TBA.  
  2. Actively participate in the classroom during their assigned First-Year Experience class time. This will consist of one 75-minute class per week. 
  3. Meet outside of the classroom with their faculty partner as needed. Frequency of these meetings will be determined by the instructor and TA; however, it is recommended to meet once per week. TAs will help their faculty partner prepare classroom activities and course materials. 
  4. Attend curriculum meetings throughout the fall semester.  Information on when and where these meetings will be held will be distributed at training.  
  5. Read all class materials in preparation for class planning meetings, and review students’ written work that is submitted.
  6. Interact with the students in their section outside the classroom in order to provide support as necessary.  While teaching assistants are encouraged to maintain long term healthy relationships with their students, the structured component of this program is completed during the 2014 Fall Semester.
  7. Devote a total of 5-7 hours per week to the First-Year Experience course (exceeding hours continuously will result in running out of scholarship money, and the failure to be paid for additional hours).



  1. Serve as a role model for new students entering Suffolk University.
  2. Collaborate with and support the First-Year Experience instructor by meeting on a regular basis.
  3. Actively participate in all First-Year Experience classes.
  4. Contribute to the planning and facilitation of course materials as needed.
  5. Create a plan for student contact outside of class (email, listservs, etc.).
  6. Meet with students individually or in small groups to provide support.
  7. Lead students in class activities and/or help coordinate out-of-class activities.
  8. Attend any out-of-class requirements assigned to the First-Year Experience students (e.g. Temple Street Fair).  
  9. Attend monthly curriculum meetings.
  10. Read all class assignments and students’ written work.
  11. Help promote and develop positive relationships between new students, faculty, and staff.
  12. Educate new students about social, academic, and personal skills to increase their chances for academic and personal success at Suffolk University.
  13. Attend training sessions for First-Year Experience TAs/Instructors.
  14. Complete timesheets on time.
  15. Complete biweekly reports on time.