Teaching Assistants for First-Year Experience

The First-Year Experience Teaching Assistant (TA) position provides an invaluable opportunity to connect with and support fellow students beginning 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.

The application for Fall 2023 is now closed. The application for Fall 2024 will open in February 2024.

TA Program Details

First-Year Experience Teaching Assistants (TAs) are assigned to a section of SBS 100 or CAS 101 and paired with a faculty/staff instructor. The TAs' main function will be to provide a peer 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, TAs meet 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.

  • Understand and believe in the mission and goals of the First-Year Experience Program
  • Relate and interact well with Suffolk students, faculty, and staff
  • Be a Suffolk undergraduate student in good standing showing an upward academic trajectory, earned at least a C+ in your FYE course, and not be on disciplinary probation; must be enrolled full time in fall 2023
  • Be (or demonstrate a desire to be) knowledgeable about the Suffolk campus, history, and resources, and to share this information with new students
  • Be available to participate in training sessions, weekly class meetings, weekly instructor meetings, and additional out-of-class course requirements
  • Be willing and able to work collaboratively with their faculty partner

  • Online Application Form
  • Updated Resume (uploaded via the online application form)
  • A copy of your transcript (uploaded via the online application form). An unofficial transcript is acceptable.
  • Personal Statement (uploaded via the online application form) answering the following questions:

If you have never been an FYE TA before, please answer these questions:

  1. Why are you interested in being a First-Year Experience TA? 
  2. What skills and attributes do you possess that will enable you to be successful in this TA position?
  3. In your opinion, what are the three most relevant issues for first-year students?
  4. How would your other time commitments (academic, social, co-curricular) affect your ability to function as a TA?
  5. If your instructor gave you the opportunity to teach one class session on any topic, what topic would you select as being important for first-year students and why?  Describe the process you would use to develop your lesson and how you would deliver the information to the class.

If you have previously been an FYE TA, please answer these questions:

  1. What was the highlight of your past TA experience?
  2. Do you feel as though you made a positive impact on your former students? Please explain how.
  3. How did you contribute to the classroom environment?
  4. What was the biggest challenge that you faced as a TA?
  5. If you could give advice to a new TA, what would you tell them?
  • Two Reference Forms from a faculty, staff member or employer. Applicants who have previously been a TA for CAS 101 or SBS 100 do NOT need to submit reference forms.

Notes: The online application requests contact information for two references, and we will contact them with the recommendation form to complete. Inform your recommenders to expect an email. In order to give your recommenders plenty of time to complete and submit your reference form, we advise you to submit your application well before the deadline. Complete reference forms must be submitted by the time of your interview. 

The application for Fall 2023 is now closed. The application for Fall 2024 will open in February 2024.

An interview is required to apply. All interviews will be held virtually in Zoom.

First-Year Experience TAs are paid bi-weekly, based on the hours worked, throughout the fall semester. The fall stipend for the SBS 100 and CAS 101 course TAs will be approximately $1,100. In addition, TAs will receive an additional $400 credit to their student account in the spring semester upon successful completion of their TA duties, unless they are on a full-tuition scholarship or will graduate in December.

All First-Year Experience TAs must attend a training program consisting of an afternoon session in April and a full-day session in late August. TAs must also be able to devote a total of six hours per week to this role.* These hours will include some combination of the following:

  • The assigned 75-minute First-Year Experience weekly class
  • Reading all class materials in preparation for class planning meetings, and reviewing written work submitted by the students
  • Meetings outside of the classroom with the faculty partner as needed (Frequency of these meetings will be determined by the instructor and TA; however, meeting once per week is recommended to help the faculty partner prepare classroom activities and course materials.)
  • Curriculum meetings throughout the fall semester (Details about these meetings will be provided at the August training.
  • Meetings outside the classroom with students to provide support as needed (Please note that while TAs are encouraged to maintain long-term, healthy relationships with the students in the class, the structured component of this program is completed during the fall semester.)

*It is important not to exceed weekly hours in order to prevent running out of scholarship money and not being able to be paid for all of the hours worked.

  • Serve as a role model for new students entering Suffolk University
  • Collaborate with and support the First-Year Experience faculty partner by meeting on a regular basis
  • Actively participate in all First-Year Experience classes
  • Contribute to the planning and facilitation of course materials as needed
  • Create a plan for student contact outside of class (email, office hours, etc.)
  • Provide support to students through individual or small group meetings
  • Lead students in class activities and/or help coordinate out-of-class activities
  • Attend any out-of-class requirements assigned to the First-Year Experience students (e.g. Student Involvement Fair, Major/Minor Fair) 
  • Attend monthly curriculum meetings
  • Read all class assignments and students’ written work
  • Help promote and develop positive relationships between new students, faculty, and staff
  • Educate new students about social, academic, and personal skills to increase their chances for academic and personal success at Suffolk
  • Attend training sessions for First-Year Experience TAs/Instructors
  • Complete biweekly timesheets and reflection questions on time

Contact Us

Have any questions about being a TA? Contact us.