TA & Graders
Teaching Assistant job descriptions, hiring criteria and the email of the coordinator are found at the bottom of this page. You are encouraged to approach the coordinator for more information. Teaching Assistant positions pay $2,782. for 1-credit labs/recitations (Basic Biology, General Biology, General Genetics, Human Physiology), and $2,886 for 2-credit labs (Human Anatomy, General Microbiology).
Graders will be paid an hourly rate of $17.29 for Spring 23 semester to meet minimum wage requirements effective 1/1/2023.
Graders are responsible for assisting the course instructor with grading/assessment activities. This can be photocopying, running scantrons, grading written work with the help of rubrics and/or answer keys, entering grades into Canvas. Graders do not interact with students in the course. Graders will submit timesheets in My Leave and Supervisors will approve time worked on a biweekly basis. It is recommended that as well as officially applying here, potential graders should contact the instructor directly for more information. Please read carefully all the information and follow the instructions that you are given. The ability to follow instructions is an important requirement for being a TA or grader.
- TAs and Graders must be enrolled in class for the entire semester they are employed.
- Undergraduate (at least sophomore standing) or post baccalaureate standing in Biology
- 3.0 GPA
- Applicants will be subject to a background check prior to hiring
Important notes on employment:
Teaching Assistant appointments are reserved for students actively enrolled and participating in an approved undergraduate or graduate program. Prior to assuming your job duties, you will be required to provide proof of enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate program to your employing department. If your enrollment status changes, please notify your department and supervisor immediately. Your enrollment status is subject to verification at any time. If you are found to not be actively enrolled, your appointment could be subject to immediate termination. Students must be making satisfactory academic progress towards their degree to be eligible for a TA position.
Students may work a maximum of 25 hours per week or 50 hours total per biweekly payroll period during the fall and spring semesters, provided that no single week in that period exceeds 40 hours. Work hour limits apply to all positions held at CU combined. You must disclose to your employing department any other employment you have with the University of Colorado.
The application process is open all the time. During the Spring semester, applications are for the following Fall semester. During the Fall semester, applications are for the following Spring semester. Faculty start to approach potential TAs and Graders in the second half of the semester in which they apply (Spring for Fall employment, Fall for Spring employment), so please submit your application early. Applications received in the summer break may used for last minute changes to the Fall semester. Applications received during the winter break will be considered for the next Fall semester.
As students must be enrolled in the semester in which they will work for the Department of Biology, potential TAs and Graders must reapply for each semester they want to be considered. To keep applications current and to protect student data, applications will be deleted at the end of each semester.
BEFORE YOU START:
If you already have a CU Denver/ CU Anschutz Employee ID number, please have that available.
Go into your portal to look for biology courses on offer in the semester for which you are applying, make a note of those that interest you, and contact the listed instructor to ask if they are looking for a grader. Note that graders are only used for the following high enrollment classes: BIOL 1550 - Basic Biology: Ecology and the Diversity of Life; BIOL 1560 - Basic Biology: From Cells to Organisms; BIOL 2010 - Organisms to Ecosystems (Gen Bio); BIOL 2020 - Molecules to Cells (Gen Bio); BIOL 3225 - Human Physiology; BIOL 3244 - Human Anatomy; BIOL 3411 - Principles of Ecology; BIOL 3445 - Introduction to Evolution; BIOL 3611 - General Cell Biology; BIOL 3654 - General Microbiology; BIOL 3832 - General Genetics
An ideal grader will have already done well in the course (A or B) and possess good organizational skills.
Please know the courses you are taking in the semester for which you are applying to TA.
Please have a single pdf of your transcript.
Please prepare answers to -
"Why are you interested in teaching? Please explain within in five sentences."
"What skills or past experience would make you a good teacher? Please describe within five sentences."
If your application is successful, you will be contacted by the instructor.
TA Job Descriptions for courses.
As a TA for Basic Biology, you’ll be performing the following duties...
- attend weekly TA meetings
- run weekly lab
- grade weekly assignments
- answer student e-mails
The ideal candidate for Basic Biology...
- an interest in teaching as a career
- have earned an A or B in General Biology and one or two biology core courses
- have an overall GPA for 3.0 or higher
- be friendly and approachable
Please contact Kimberly.Regier@ucdenver.edu for more details.
I. Labs in general
Labs meet once a week for 2 hours and 45 minutes and run daily from TAs are responsible for understanding content and logistics of labs, delivering short lectures of the content, and conducting demonstrations of lab techniques. There are research experiences built into the curriculum, so some research experience is desirable but not essential.
II. Expectations in general
TA qualifications/duties/expectations: Lab TAs must be comfortable and fluent with the material taught in the corresponding General Biology Organisms to Ecosystems of Molecules to Cells lecture courses and also the additional material covered in labs that might not be part of lecture curriculum. TAs must have had BIOL 2010 & 2011or the equivalent from a four-year University, and passed with at least a B. First time TAs are strongly encouraged to attend the lab section of an experienced TA for at least the first semester for the review opportunity this affords, and to ensure they are fully versed with the content and logistics/management of the lab. TAs circulate in the lab continuously, helping students with technical questions, making sure health and safety rules are being complied with, and answering content questions as needed. TAs have significant freedom in determining how to present the material, but the curriculum is defined by the respective lab coordinator and assignments cannot be modified except in consultation with the coordinator. On most days, there is a short “recitation” or orientation with the whole lab section (maximum number of students is 24), but the majority of the time, the TA works one on one or with smaller groups, so cannot rely on notes, which necessitates mastery of the material.
- TAs must be able to attend in-person mandatory weekly meetings on Friday afternoons.
- TAs must be willing and able to dedicate 8-10 hours per week to their teaching responsibilities.
- TAs must be willing and able to teach at least two semesters.
- TAs must be enrolled in at least 1 CH of class for the entirety of the semester in which they wish to teach.
- TAs must be available for a minimum of one office hour/week or at student request and as afforded by the TAs schedule.
- TAs must attend TA orientation the 3rd week of August, often coupled with a 5 hour GB TA orientation. This is effectively a full day the week before semester begins.
- TAs must complete all mandatory on-line Health and Safety, and HR/OIT trainings in a timely manner.
- TAs must answer student emails within 24 hours, and in a respectful manner.
- TAs must have patience, know their content and be dedicated to helping students succeed.
- TAs must maintain a Canvas shell for each lab section, and it is expected the TA will provide weekly announcements directing students regarding the topics to be covered in lab, to help student preparation. Lab coordinators create these Canvas sites, but the TA is expected to manage them on a day-to-day basis.
- TAs are expected to read and check every piece of content, including assignments, before making them available for student use.
- TAs are expected to grade student work fairly and equitably in accordance with the guidelines of the coordinator. All work must be graded or be given feedback within one week of it being submitted.
- TAs must communicate with the coordinator regarding any issues – student issues, personal issues – that affects their teaching. Without such communication, coordinators cannot provide support and assistance to the TAs.
- The TA’s primary responsibility is to make sure that health and safety polices are complied with including lab security.
- TAs must be available, extenuating circumstances aside, to teach all but one of their sections. One section can be covered by other TAs for ‘emergencies’ or for other academic opportunities such as conferences and meetings.
- TAs are expected to maintain a clean and tidy lab environment and ensure that the lab is in the condition it should be when a lab period has finished.
- TAs are expected to be able to respond to inquiries from the lab coordinator within 24 hours excepting weekends and holidays.
IV. Ideal candidate characteristics
- Enthusiasm for student learning and the material being delivered;
- Have good organization skills, be self-motivated, and reliable;
- Be competent with Google Drive and Microsoft Office products;
- Be an effective communicator;
- Exhibit willingness to be part of a teaching and learning community dedicated to acting as a team member; and
- Be familiar with the diverse UC Denver student demography and be committed to promoting an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion.B
For more information, please contact Dr. Erin Kelso for GB Molecules to Cells Labs and Mr. Andrew McDevitt for GB Organisms to Ecosystems Labs.
- TAs must attend a department TA orientation that takes place in mid-August.
- TAs must attend weekly TA meetings. These take place on Mondays, though the exact meeting time is negotiated each semester (it’s usually scheduled for some time Monday afternoon).
- TAs must grade weekly quizzes and lab write ups (these are pretty short and easy), plus 1 quiz, and 2 big lab practicals, in addition to the major research project/paper (though these are group projects, so there are only 6 to grade per lab section). Grading must be completed and posted to Canvas in a timely manner.
- TAs must guide 24 students/section through each lab, with a combination of recitation and one-on-one assistance.
- TAs must be available for a minimum of 2 office hours/week, which are held in the physiology lab on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
- TAs must complete all mandatory on-line Health and Safety training in a timely manner. TAs must answer student emails in a timely and respectful manner.
- TAs must have patience, know their content, be EXCITED about physiology, care deeply for the integrity of their students, AND the other TAs.
- TAs must maintain a Canvas shell for each lab section, and it is expected the TA will provide weekly announcements directing students regarding the topics to be covered in lab, to help student preparation.
- TAs must communicate with the coordinator regarding any issues – student issues, personal issues – anything that affects their teaching, to enable the coordinator to provide as much support as possible.
- TAs are responsible for the safety of the students, as well as the security of the lab and the data acquisition equipment.
- TAs must be able to troubleshoot the lab computers and the BioPac data acquisition system, so prior experience in the lab and with BioPac is strongly recommended.
For more information please contact Alex Moss
BIOL 3244 Human Anatomy TAing: The anatomy labs meet twice weekly, for 120 min on either Mondays and Wednesdays (MW) or Tuesdays and Thursdays (TR). If at all possible, TAs will teach 2 labs, back-to-back (for instance, you’d teach 7:00 am to 9:00 am, and 9:05 to 11:05 am on Monday and Wednesday). Lab sections are scheduled throughout the day, Monday through Thursday, so there are many options for scheduling. TA qualifications/duties/expectations: Anatomy TAs need to know a LOT of anatomy. TAs must have had BIOL 3244 or the equivalent (upper-division, cadaver-based anatomy), and passed with at least a C. Students who’ve repeated anatomy make GREAT TAs, as they’ve seen the material more than once, AND develop compassion for students who are struggling in the class. TAs are also required to have taken BIOL 4644/5644 Advanced anatomy before (or during the first semester of) TAing. First time TAs are strongly encouraged to attend the lab section of an experienced TA for at least the first semester for the review opportunity this engenders, to ensure they are solid with the content. TAs circulate in the lab continuously, helping students master identification and understanding of the structures of the human body. TAs have significant freedom in determining how to present the material. On most days, there is a little “recitation” or orientation with the whole lab section (maximum number of students is 18), but the majority of the time, the TA works one on one or with smaller groups, so has no powerpoint or “cheat sheet” to work from, necessitating mastery of the content.
- · TAs must be available to set up 4 practicals – the set-ups happen from 7 pm to 11 pm on 4 Tuesday nights.
- · Mandatory weekly TA meetings take place at 12:30 pm on Friday afternoons and last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, though rarely less than 1.5 hrs.
- · TAs must be available for a minimum of 2 office hours/week at student request.
- · TAs must attend TA orientation the 3rd week of August, often coupled with a 3 to 4 hour anatomy TA orientation.
- · TAs must complete all mandatory on-line Health and Safety training in a timely manner.
- · TAs must grade 4 practicals per semester, in a timely manner (within 1 week of the practical) and participate in a “grading meeting” during which all the TAs and the lab coordinator collaboratively decide how each answer option is graded.
- · TAs must proctor at least 2 lecture exams per semester (and sometimes 3).
- · TAs must answer student emails in a timely and respectful manner.
- · TAs must have patience, know their anatomy, care deeply for the integrity of the cadavers, their students, AND the other TAs.
- · Each semester, the humidors and lab are “deep cleaned”. All TAs are expected to participate in this extravaganza.
- · TAs must maintain a Canvas shell for each lab section, and it is expected the TA will provide weekly announcements directing students regarding the topics to be covered in lab, to help student preparation.
- · TAs must communicate with the coordinator regarding any issues – student issues, personal issues – anything that affects their teaching, to enable the coordinator to provide as much support as possible.
- · TAs are responsible for the safety of the students, as well as the security of the lab and the cadavers.
For more information please contact HANNAH.ANCHORDOQUY@UCDENVER.EDU
- Be available for a weekly meeting with all lab instructors/TAs, coordinators, and instructors on record for ~1.5-2 hours/week (these meetings usually fall on Fridays)
- Must be available for at minimum 1 hour/week to conduct office hours •
- Must attend a department orientation in August, followed by a separate General Microbiology orientation meeting
- Must complete all mandatory online trainings as well as an in-person training for EH&S purposes
- Must be able to work with live organisms (our labs work with BSL 2 level organisms) in a sterile, aseptic manner to minimize contamination and maintain safety
- Must be familiar with general microbiology media types and purposes
- Must be able to arrive to lab one hour prior to schedule section start time to prep all required supplies, materials, and bacterial culture aliquots
- Must be able to grade assignments given related assignment keys, rubrics, etc. • Must be able to develop two written exams throughout the semester
- Must be able to administer a practical exam throughout the semester
- Must be able to follow directions regarding Canvas shell set up, and execute Canvas related tasks weekly
- Must be able to answer emails in a timely manner (typically within 24-48 hours)
- Must be able to maintain student records, student documents of concern, and overall grades (including providing averages of section statistics as needed, and at weekly meetings)
- Must be able to communicate with the lab coordinator & preparator regarding any student issues, teaching issues, personal issues, or anything else that may affect your teaching experience
- Must demonstrate academic excellence (specifically with regards to microbiology) as well as maturity given the above mentioned responsibilities
- You are responsible for the safety of your students.
For more information, please contact the General Microbiology Lab Coordinator at Munira.Lantz@ucdenver.edu