The Collaborative Academic Professionalization (CAP) program provides support, mentoring,
supervision, and professional development for graduate teaching assistants in the
Department of English. The program has two primary goals: the continuous improvement
of undergraduate instruction in departmental course offerings, and the professional
development and preparation of Department of English graduate students.
There are four phases of the CAP program. The Pre-Professional Phase provides new graduate students with an introduction to the department and the English
profession, emphasizing general strategies for graduate school success and preparation
for work as a graduate teaching assistant. The Initial Development Phase provides support for all new departmental graduate teaching assistants during their
first two semesters of classroom teaching through an extensive program of course work,
mentoring, and small and large group professional development meetings. The Continuing Development Phase provides support for graduate teaching assistants who have successfully completed
the Initial Development Phase through continued mentoring and small and large group
professional development meetings. The Professional Preparation Phase provides experienced graduate teaching instructors advanced professional development
opportunities--including the opportunity to earn departmental endorsement for Teaching
Certification--as they near the completion of their graduate programs and prepare
to enter the academic job market.
GTAs are placed into cadres of five or six facilitated by a faculty mentor. Weekly
professional development meetings include practice grading sessions, teaching demonstrations,
and ongoing discussions of teaching matters and pedagogical research. Faculty mentors
conduct regular teaching observations to provide GTAs individualized assessment of
classroom effectiveness and strategies for further growth.