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GradTeaching Overview

The Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation (OTEI), the Graduate School, and Clemson Online (CO) are pleased to announce a new professional development opportunity for graduate teaching assistants starting Fall 2019. This training opportunity meets new university requirements for “level one” training for all graduate teaching staff. (For this policy, see “Preparing graduate teaching assistants for the classroom” under the Assistantships and Fellowships section in the Graduate School Policies and Procedures Handbook). This program assists graduate students in understanding Clemson processes and ways that they can support students and their academic success.

In January 2018, the Graduate Academic Council passed a policy to ensure high-quality experiences for undergraduate students and graduate teaching assistants.  Graduate students who are first-time hires in any capacity related to teaching (graders, lab assistants, teaching assistants, and graduate teachers of record) at Clemson University will be automatically enrolled in the Tiger Training program entitled “GradTeaching: Preparing Graduate Teaching Assistants for their Teaching Role.” This program will satisfy this university requirement and provide graduate students with certified professional development for their curriculum vitae.  Supervisors will be notified automatically when students complete the program.

Any graduate student who wishes to complete the program and receive certification may also self-enroll by going to the Tiger Training website and searching by the program title: GradTeaching: Preparing graduate teaching assistants for teaching roles.

GradTeaching was initiated by a working committee consisting of a graduate student representative and staff from the Graduate School, OTEI, and Clemson Online. The GradTeaching program was created based on input from constituents including graduate students and course coordinators, utilizing listening sessions conducted in March 2018 and through further benchmarking, analysis of data, and discussions with stakeholders such as the unit contributors to the program. 

This training program uses current resources in the form of required training already existing in Tiger Training (FERPA and Title IX) as well as modules created in-house, regarding foundational knowledge and practices for first-time teachers at Clemson.

The intention is that this introductory training will support existing departmental pedagogy courses and other training and graduate professional development opportunities that graduate students may take, such as those offered by GRAD 360°.

The GradTeaching program in Tiger Training consists of a series of modules, or “courses,” listed below. The entire program is estimated to take three hours. For more information on Tiger Training, visit the Clemson HR information page:


Program course list:

1.     Introduction to GradTeaching

Includes an orientation to professional, educational development. Estimated time: 6 minutes.

2.     Bridges: Building a Supportive Community (Title IX)

It is important for both employees and students to receive Title IX training to be knowledgeable of the Federal Law prohibiting sexual discrimination, harassment, and violence; as well as to comply with policy regarding sexual misconduct. Teaching assistants need to know how to establish a supportive environment for their students and understand the process of reporting an incident and filing a Title IX complaint.  Estimated time: 35 minutes.

3. Student Advocacy and Success

This module provides a short overview of resources that you can contact for emergency situations as well as situations that are urgent or non-emergency situations. These Clemson resources are for students who are in distress and in need. Review of each, contact information and information on trainings are covered in this module.  Estimated time: 6 minutes.

4.     FERPA

FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment is a Federal law that applies to anyone who attends classes and/or works at Clemson University. This includes students, faculty, staff, and administrators. As a graduate student, it is important to know your student rights and how FERPA protects your student record. As a TA it is your responsibility to understand the privacy and disclosure rules pertaining to student’s education records and abide by the law. Estimated time: 27 minutes.

5.     Academic Integrity for Undergraduate Courses

As a teaching assistant, it is important for you to understand what academic integrity is and how to recognize possible violations in your classroom. Untruthful or dishonest behavior in the forms of cheating, plagiarism, and collaborating unfairly detracts from the value of a Clemson degree and is not tolerated. This course will review the standards and steps to take if you suspect/detect violations in your classroom, as well as the reporting procedure. Estimated time: 15 minutes.

6.     Student Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Defining student learning objectives and outcomes is vital to course development and assessment. This module addresses learner preferences, the importance of learning objectives and outcomes, and useful teaching tips. New teaching assistants need to have a foundational understanding of what these mean in order to teach effectively. Estimated time: 15 minutes.

7.     Introduction to the Academic Success Center

Dr. Sue Whorton, director of the Academic Success Center (ASC), presents about the services the ASC offers for undergraduate students.  The ASC supports more than 100 courses through four different services: peer-assisted learning sessions, drop-in tutoring, learning labs for math, chemistry and accounting and private tutoring.  Other services include workshops on a multitude of success strategies and personal success consultations.  This presentation also covers the Writing Center and Student Accessibility Services, both of which are housed in the Class of 1956 Academic Success Center building. Estimated time: 13 minutes. 

8.     Accessibility and Student Accommodations

This short course provides an overview of the student accommodation process at Clemson, the services provided by the Student Accessibility Services and information about accessibility from the Clemson Accessibility Portal. Estimated time: 8 minutes. 

9.     Introduction to Classroom and Lab Management Skills

In this course, you will learn the basics of both classroom and laboratory management.  You will learn helpful advice on how to plan your lessons and build your syllabus, how to keep students engaged for a smoothly-running classroom or lab, and how to appropriately deal with incidents so that you are prepared for a smooth transition as an instructor.  Estimated time: 20 minutes. 

10.  Teaching to Diversity and Inclusion for Improved Student Learning

Moryah Jackson, Diversity Education Director for the Office of Inclusion and Equity, presents a course on diversity and inclusion. Students come to the university classroom with different backgrounds, sets of experiences, cultural contexts, and world views.  It is important that teachers think through the concepts of diversity and equity to help foster inclusive classrooms and promote student success.   Estimated time: 12 minutes.