A full teaching assistantship usually requires 20 hours per week to be devoted to teaching and to the related activities of class preparation, grading, and consulting with students. In general, teaching obligations are confined to the 12 weeks of the academic terms, excluding summer. A student may not be a teaching assistant for a course in which he or she is enrolled. Only teaching assistants with good oral English and who have fulfilled the Institute English proficiency requirement are permitted to teach sections.
All teaching assistants, including undergraduate students with teaching responsibilities, are required to attend teaching-assistant training before payment can be processed. Training sessions are conducted by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach (CTLO) and occur in the first week of the fall term, typically during orientation, and at least once per term. Teaching assistants must familiarize themselves with Caltech's policy on harassment and follow other policies related to teaching discussed in the required training. Classes should foster academic achievement in a "hassle-free" environment. Teaching assistants should not attempt to date a student in their class, and should disqualify themselves from teaching a section in which a spouse or current partner is enrolled.
Offices such as the Center for Teaching, Learning and Outreach and programs such the Caltech Project for Effective Teaching (CPET) offer workshops and seminars and are valuable resources for students interested in learning more about effective teaching styles and pedagogical techniques.
- Center for Teaching, Learning and Outreach
- Caltech Project for Effective Teaching (CPET)
- Hixon Writing Center
Full-time research assistantships require 20 hours per week during the academic year, but can be as much as 40 hours per week during the summer term. The specific duties are decided upon by the advisor.