For or over twenty-five years, Michigan State University’s Teaching Assistant Program (TAP) has been working with graduate programs and faculty to provide a wide variety of professional development experiences in support of the teaching and learning of all MSU teaching assistants (TAs). This effort is particularly crucial because it is the teaching assistants at Michigan State that are often providing undergraduate students with their first exposure to core courses in a wide variety of disciplines. As such, teaching assistants play a crucial role in Michigan State University’s efforts to ensure academic success among the institution’s undergraduate population.
The Teaching Assistant Program (TAP) is a key component of a larger commitment that The Graduate School and Postdoc Office have to provide central support to graduate students and postdocs in their development as teachers, and in their preparation for teaching roles after graduation. Dr. Melissa McDaniels is Assistant Dean of The Graduate School and Director of Teaching Assistant Programs. She collaborates with her colleagues in The Graduate School and in the academic programs to generate excitement among graduate students and postdocs about their current and future teaching roles. The breadth of The Graduate School’s commitment to the pedagogical preparation of graduate students and postdocs for teaching roles can be seen on the teaching page of our Career Success web site (www.careersuccess.msu.edu).