Teaching Assistants-Peer Leaders (TA-PLs) serve as instructional and advising support for first-year GSTR (General Studies Required) courses. In the fall semester, each TA-PL collaborates with a faculty member/academic advisor teaching GSTR 110. TA-PLs work as writing TAs for their assigned GSTR 110 sections, helping students develop study strategies and college-level writing skills. TA-PLs also serve as peer leaders, acclimating students to the college environment and advising them as they develop general academic skills, explore majors, and utilize campus resources. In the spring, TA-PLs continue this work, supporting a section of GSTR 110 or 210 (and often working with a new faculty member).
We believe TA-PLs are critical to the success of first-year students at Berea, and this means the program necessarily spans and collaborates with multiple initiatives across campus, including Writing Resources, our campus’s Writing Program Administrator, and the Office of Student Success and Transition. TA-PL labor positions are housed in the General Studies department, and the program’s administration (including hiring, training, budgeting, and outreach) are part of Teaching and Learning Assistant Programs and led by TLAP’s director.
Although students are assigned to specific faculty members/Labor Supervisors, one of the primary purposes of the program is for TAs working with GSTR 110 to learn alongside their peers. For this reason, orientation, trainings, and regular labor meetings are held with the entire cohort—and draw upon their diverse experiences working in Berea’s unique GSTR 110 and 210 sections. We think together about creative learning opportunities for students, both those entering Berea and those firmly established. In the process, TA-PLs hone their own communication and leadership skills, which we hope will serve them in their time at Berea and beyond.
TA-PL hiring is very competitive and typically limited to a short period in the spring semester. If you are interested in applying for a TA-PL position, please be on the lookout for recruitments e-mails from the TLAP director and/or apply directly here. If you have any questions about the application process, please e-mail the TLAP director.
If you’re a staff or faculty member working with a student who demonstrates the leadership potential necessary for TA-PL work, please let us know. Because of your good work as thoughtful educators and insightful mentors, you are our greatest recruiting tool!
Are you currently assigned sections of 110 and 210 and you’re wondering how to get a TA-PL? Be on the lookout for e-mails from Lauren Hall, detailing the TA-PL hiring and assignment process. Typically, these e-mails are sent mid-semester, immediately after GSTR scheduling begins.
Are you about to be or currently supervising a TA-PL and you want to know more? Resources for GSTR 110/210 faculty working with TA-PLs are maintained in the GSTR 110 & 210 Information & Resources folder on Box. A sub-folder with up-to-date resources on the TA-PL program is available here. If you do not have access to the Information & Resources Box folder, please contact Dr. Sarah Adams, Writing Program Administrator. Lauren Hall is also always available to meet and discuss everything from approving time card entries to structuring your TA-PL’s tasks and role in your course.