Guide to TA Administration




This page is intended as a "quick start" guide to TA administration for Directors of Graduate Studies and TA Coordinators. Below are the basic steps involved in overseeing teaching assistants at the University of Kentucky, with links provided for additional information or questions about each component.

Please follow the applicable steps for every semester in which your department has hired teaching assistants.



The first step of appointing a new TA after admittance is to submit a Graduate School Academic Staff Notice of Appointment (or GSAS for short). The GSAS notifies The Graduate School that a scholarship has been offered, approved, and accepted, and it ensures that the new TA will receive the appropriate funding and tuition reimbursement.

  • Contact Kevin Johnson in The Graduate School Office of Finance, Funding, and Analytics to request GSAS-Entry or GSAS-View access, as appropriate, and alert him if you are replacing a user.
  • Once access is granted, the GSAS is accessible through the Enterprise Services tab in MyUK. Click here and scroll down to "Getting Started" for detailed instructions on accessing and submitting GSAS. Deadlines for submission vary by semester and should be consulted here.
  • Click here and scroll down to "Getting Started" for tuition invoice instructions.

If you have further questions, contact Kevin Johnson with the Office of Finance, Funding, and Analytics at or 859-257-6608.


TA Orientation Events

The Graduate School holds mandatory TA Orientation events prior to the start of each fall and spring semester for all TAs who are new to the university, despite previous teaching experience. The purpose of the orientation is to prepare TAs for basic classroom interaction, explain university policies, and provide an overview of campus and instructional support services.

The mandatory orientation events include the following:

  • New International TA Orientation: In-person sessions and online modules required for all teaching assistants who are new to higher education in the United States
  • University-wide New TA Orientation: Asynchronous online modules required for all new teaching assistants at the university
  • Microteaching: Two half-day in-person sessions, BOTH of which are required for all new teaching assistants at the university
  • Language Screenings: Required for all new teaching assistants whose primary language is not English (see below for more details)

Teaching assistants only have to attend our applicable orientation events once during their tenure at the university, and attendance is tracked in the TA Credentials Database (see below).

It is the department's responsibility to register their new TAs for the applicable orientation events.

Click here to learn more or to register your new TAs, and contact Chad Gilpin with additional questions.


TA Language Screenings

In response to Kentucky State Law and UK's Administrative Regulations, The Graduate School requires each new TA whose primary language is not English (regardless of citizenship) to participate in a Language Screening.

The components of a Language Screening include:

  • A 2-4 minute interview conducted by an ESL specialist
  • A 5-7 minute teaching simulation demonstrating a discipline-specific lesson at the introductory level
  • A question-and-answer session during the above simulation and pertaining to its content
  • A role play session enacting a typical instruction-related interaction similar to office hours

Participants' comprehensibility in English is scored for each of the above weighted components. A final score is calculated, and the score earned places the TA in a category that determines possible TA responsibilities. Click here to learn more about the process.

It is the department's responsibility to register new TAs for Language Screenings, which can be done during the TA Orientation event registration process (see above).

Any TA who does not screen for any reason automatically defaults to a Type 4 TA with no student interaction and must screen at the next available opportunity.

Please read the Language Screening webpage and FAQ page, and contact Angela Garner with additional questions.


TA Credentials Database

The TA Credentials Database monitors adherence to the Provost's Policy on TA Teaching Credentials and provides data for institutional reporting to SACS, the university's accrediting body. The database is primarily used by The Graduate School and administrative staff of DGS. It issues warnings and error messages which help colleges and departments identify assignments that require further documentation of credentials, or that may be inappropriate or require additional approval from the Dean of The Graduate School.

The steps below outline the basic working process:

  • Appoint User(s): The DGS should appoint the appropriate users for the department (usually his or her administrative staff) and email appointed users’ names and LinkBlue IDs to Chad Gilpin.
  • Install the gateway: Once access has been granted, users will receive instructions for installing the database gateway and accessing the database. Follow these instructions and contact IT Services if you need assistance.
  • Verify TAs: Data is pulled into the database from several sources, including the GSAS and SLCM. If the requisite data has been submitted, your department’s TAs will automatically be pulled into the database.
  • Clear warnings and errors: The database issues errors when requisite data is missing and warnings when a TA is potentially out of compliance. It is the department’s responsibility to clear these warnings and errors by the deadline announced each term via email to DGS and TA Database users.
  • Problem solving: If you are having problems with missing TAs or clearing warnings and errors, please make sure that you have reviewed all training materials prior to contacting Chad Gilpin for help.


TA Supervision & Feedback


Continued supervision and mentoring is integral to TA development and success, and it is the faculty’s responsibility to ensure that undergraduate instruction is of the highest possible quality. In order to meet SACS requirements and to foster a mechanism of structured departmental feedback to TAs, The Graduate School requires departments to submit Observation and Evaluation forms, which will be kept on file and their completion recorded in the TA Credentials Database.


Professional Enhancement

In addition to overseeing TA orientation and credentialing, The Graduate School’s Office of Graduate Student Professional Enhancement (GSPE) strives to help all graduate students identify, cultivate, and develop skills that will foster growth and success in any avenue they choose, both in work and life. Below are some of our resources for TAs: 

  • 20-Minute Mentor Commons: An online collection of faculty and TA development programs, including solutions to common classroom challenges.
  • Preparing Future Faculty: Based on the national PFF initiative, our PFF program provides professional development guidance to graduate students who wish to explore or pursue a faculty career.
  • Graduate Certificate in College Teaching & Learning: This certificate provides a coherent, integrated approach to helping students develop and document the skills needed for the full range of faculty responsibilities at the various types of institutions of higher education.
  • GradTeach Live!: A 3MT-style competition, with monetary prizes, that allows current or former TAs the opportunity to showcase their teaching philosophy and instructional skills to the university community and beyond.
  • Microteaching: During this component of our TA Orientation, experienced TAs from across the university help new TAs develop 8-10 minute mini- lessons, which they deliver to their breakout groups for feedback. We encourage seasoned TAs to further hone their skills by applying with us to lead microteaching groups.
  • Career Resources: Through a partnership between The Graduate School and Stuckert Career Center, graduate students and postdocs have access to a full-time graduate career advisor. We also offer a variety of career exploration and planning tools, whether your department’s TAs are looking for a career inside or outside of academia. Tools include Aurora, Imagine PhD, and much more.