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. Some GTA appointments in Forensics may also be available.

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 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. For Forensics GTAs, experience with debate and/or forensics is required.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • First-year GTAs must enroll in and successfully complete COMM 285A in the Fall semester and COMM 285B in Spring. These 2-unit professional development courses are credit/no credit. COMM 285AB course meetings are held on alternating Tuesdays from 1:00-3:00 PM. The COMM 285AB assignments are highly applied and designed to help current GTAs as they navigate the process of becoming college-level instructors.

GTA Training

COMM GTAs receive rigorous departmental training, beginning in the summer that they are appointed. In addition, university-wide GTA training may also be offered.

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.

Application Process

Applications for the 2021-2022 GTA program must be submitted via email by 6:00 p.m. on date TBA for consideration for Fall 2021 admission.

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, qualifications, and motivations for participating in the GTA program.
  2. Current resume or CV that highlights relevant skills and knowledge.
  3. Official transcripts of all your undergraduate and graduate coursework. 
  4. Three signed letters of recommendation in PDF format that speak to your qualifications and your potential for serving as a GTA. For confidentiality, 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. Decisions will be announced TBA

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.