Graduate Teaching Associate Program

Each year, the Department of Communication Studies seeks applicants for appointment as Graduate Teaching Associates (GTAs). The COMM GTA Program is designed to provide training and direct, supervised experience in college teaching for M.A. students in the Communication Studies department. Additional Teaching Associate appointments in Forensics are also available. 


  • Admission as a classified student to the M.A. program in Communication Studies at SJSU is required.
  • Candidates must hold a baccalaureate degree with a major in communication studies or a closely related field.
  • Coursework in rhetoric, argumentation, and/or public speaking is especially desirable. For the TA positions in Forensics, previous experience with debate and/or forensics is required.
  • Applications must demonstrate an awareness of and sensitivity to the educational goals of a multicultural population, as well as an interest in teaching students with non-traditional and/or ethnically diverse backgrounds.


  • GTAs will be assigned to teach one section of COMM 20, Public Speaking. These sections meet in person for approximately 2.5 hours per week.
  • GTAs must follow all departmental and campus-wide policies and expectations pertaining to the courses that they teach, such as submitting an accessible syllabus that conforms to the SJSU template; participating in assessment activities each semester, holding regular office hours, providing feedback in a prompt manner, etc. (For more information on relevant SJSU Academic Senate policies see )
  • GTAs must enroll in COMM 285A (Teaching Practicum) for two units of credit in their first semester as a teaching associate, and COMM 285B for two units of credit in their second semester as a teaching associate. GTAs must actively participate in the COMM 285A & B course meetings, which occur twice monthly for two hours on Tuesday afternoons. GTAs must successfully complete all COMM 285A & B course requirements, which include teaching workshops in the Comm Center; conducting peer observations of other instructors and having their own instruction observed; developing a professional teaching portfolio, and other professional development activities.


The department provides a 5-day intensive training workshop in the week prior to the start of the Fall semester. Other shorter training sessions (typically 1-day) may also be offered earlier in the summer.


The term salary for GTAs teaching one course is TBD, subject to budget developments.

Teaching Associates also receive a tuition fee waiver for up to 6.0 units for teaching one course.


To apply for the COMM GTA Program, submit the following materials:

  1. A signed cover letter in which you briefly describe your teaching experience, your qualifications, and your reasons for wanting to be part of the GTA program.
  2. A current resume or academic CV.
  3. Official transcripts of all your graduate and undergraduate work. 
  4. Three signed letters of recommendation that speak to your qualifications and/or your potential for teaching and serving as a GTA. For confidentiality, have your recommenders email in their own letters in PDF format. For example, if one of your recommenders is Professor J. Doe, then have Professor Doe email in their letter on your behalf.

All applications for the 2020-2021 GTA program must be submitted via email by 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020 for consideration for Fall 2020 admission.

All GTA Program application materials, and/or any GTA Program related inquires, should be emailed directly to the Interim GTA Program Director, Dr. Tabitha Hart, at

All complete applications for the COMM GTA Program will be evaluated on a competitive basis. Decisions are typically announced in April. 


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