Graduate Teaching Associate Program

Each year, the Department of Communication Studies invites applications for its Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) Program. The COMM GTA Program provides participating COMM MA students with training and direct, supervised experience in teaching college-level public speaking.

Table of Contents

Qualifications Duties
Training Salary & Benefits
Application Equal Opportunity



In order to be considered for the COMM GTA Program, applicants must have the following qualifications.

  • Admission as a classified student to the SJSU COMM MA program.
  • A baccalaureate degree in Communication Studies or a related field.
  • Successfully completed college-level courses in rhetoric, argumentation, and/or public speaking.
  • Awareness of and sensitivity to the educational goals of a multicultural population; interest in teaching students with non-traditional and/or ethnically diverse backgrounds.

GTA Duties

  • COMM GTAs are assigned to teach one section of COMM 20, Public Speaking. These sections meet in person or synchronously via Zoom for 2.5 hours per week. For this, GTAs are compensated for the 8 hours per week that are required to successfully prepare for, teach, and assess their courses.
  • As instructors of record, GTAs must follow departmental and university teaching policies and procedures, such as submitting a syllabus conforming to the SJSU accessible syllabus template; participating in GE assessment; holding regular office hours; providing feedback to students in a prompt manner; etc. For more information on current teaching policies visit the SJSU Academic Senate university policies webpage.
  • All GTAs must enroll in and successfully complete 2 units of COMM 285A in the Fall and 2 units of COMM 285B in the Spring. COMM 285AB is a credit/no credit course designed to provide GTAs with ongoing pedagogical training and support. All first year GTAs can reasonably expect to spend about 5-6 hours a week on COMM 285AB coursework.
  • Taking into account the hours required to teach one section of COMM 20, and the hours required to complete COMM 285AB coursework, all first-year GTAs can reasonably expect to spend about 14 hours per week on the GTA program.

GTA Training

COMM GTAs are required to complete a departmental training program in the summer prior to appointment.

Completion of SJSU's university-wide GTA training may also be required.

GTA Salary & Benefits

COMM GTAs are classified as Unit 11 Academic Student Employees. As such, they are covered by the Unit 11 bargaining agreement negotiated by their union, UAW Local 4123.

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

Included in the GTA benefits is a tuition fee waiver for up to 6.0 units for teaching one course. To learn more, visit this University Personnel (UP) webpage on the Teaching Associate Fee Waiver.

Additional information about GTA benefits is laid out in Article 3 (Benefits) of the Unit 11 bargaining agreement [pdf]

Application Process

To apply for the COMM GTA Program, email all of the following materials to the GTA Program Director, Dr. Tabitha Hart, at 

  1. Signed cover letter in which you describe your teaching experience, your qualifications, and your motivations for applying to the GTA program.
  2. Current resume or CV that highlights relevant skills and knowledge.
  3. Official transcripts for (a) all of your undergraduate coursework from all colleges and universities that you have attended, including SJSU, and (b) all of your graduate coursework from any colleges or universities you have attended, including SJSU. For SJSU transcripts only, unofficial transcripts downloaded from MySJSU will be accepted. All other transcripts must be official
  4. Three signed letters of recommendation in PDF format that discuss your qualifications and your potential for serving as a GTA. For confidentiality, please have your recommenders email in their own letters on your behalf.

Only complete applications will be considered. All complete applications will be evaluated on a competitive basis.

Applications for the 2021-2022 GTA program must be submitted via email by 11:58 p.m. on March 14, 2022 for consideration for Fall 2022 admission.

Final decisions will be announced in April 2022. 

Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Title IX

San José State University as a standing policy does not discriminate against individuals because of their race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, handicap, or status as Disabled Veteran or Vietnam Era Veterans. This policy applies to all University programs and facilities including, but not limited to, admissions, educational programs and employment. Such discrimination is prohibited by Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Acts, Title IX of the Education Amendments, Secs. 503 and 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Age Discrimination Acts of 1974 and 1975, Vietnam Era Veteran's Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, and other Federal and State statutes and regulations. Inquiries regarding the application of these laws and regulations to the University may be directed to the University's Office for Equal Opportunity.