Graduate Student Professional Development

graduate student professional development

The Graduate Student Professional Development Program has two overarching goals:

  • to ensure that well qualified and trained engineering teaching assistants (TAs) promote the success and retention of undergraduate engineering students
  • to support graduate engineering students in the development of their teaching and academic careers

Engineering Teaching Assistant Certification

The Engineering Teaching Assistant Certification program provides professional learning opportunities in the fundamentals of engineering education, promoting student success and other aspects of fulfilling their responsibilities as educators and mentors. Certification is required for all new Cockrell School TAs during the first semester in which they are appointed. TAs who aspire to have a career in academia have additional opportunities to participate in a community of practice and attain an Advanced Engineering TA Certification.

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Continuing Professional Development for Engineering Graduate Students

Continuing professional development consists of workshops that provide advanced engineering teaching certification and other professional learning opportunities to support graduate students in furthering the development of their academic and research careers.

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"The TA training program not only helped me to develop my communications skills in a more active way, it also helped me to see the problems from a student's point of view, which improved my presentation skills. I am glad that we had such great training, and I hope the program continues for every new TA."

— Murat Karatas, certified teaching assistant, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

"In May 2013, I was still a fourth-year engineering student. In August 2013, I became an instructor for both third- and fourth-year engineering students — the TA training program smoothed this quick jump for me."

— Zeina Sinno, certified teaching assistant, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

"UT Austin places great emphasis on the integration of graduate students in the teaching process, and the Cockrell School's TA training program proves it. With its core and elective modules, along with microteaching sessions, the program turns the training process into an entertaining and valuable experience"

—Utku Eren, certified teaching assistant, Department of Mechanical Engineering

"The new TA training program was a unique way to gain insight on the important issues associated with higher education. Connecting with peers and learning from the teaching experience of instructors was an invaluable way to prepare for a career in academia."

— Jack Bringardner, certified teaching assistant, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


Thomas J. Connolly, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer, Director of Graduate Student Professional Development Program
Contact Dr. Connolly