Collaborative Academic Professionalization

Collaborative Academic Professionalization (CAP) Program

The 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.

Goals IconThere 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.

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