Teaching Assistants

The Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites applications for Teaching Assistantships for the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters of the 2020-21 academic year.

To apply, complete and submit the following: the UCSB Black Studies Teaching Assistant application (link below), the academic information form (to be filled out by your Staff Graduate Assistant), a cover letter (limited to one page), a curriculum vitae, a writing sample (double spaced, 3-5 pages only), unofficial copy of undergraduate transcript(s), unofficial copy of graduate transcript(s), one letter of reference (must be sent by recommender to the Undergraduate Advisor using their university email), and copies of your course evaluations. 
 
 
 

Academic Information Form 2020-2021

 

Frequently Asked Questions

In addition to reading the information provided below, please be sure to read all instructions indicated in the application form.

General

Q: Do applicants apply to TA for a particular course, or do we simply apply for the quarter and then, if selected, get assigned to a course by the Department?

A: Applicants do not apply for a particular course, however we ask that applicants indicate on their application form what course(s) they would be most interested in working in (click here to see a list of all lower-division Black Studies courses). If selected to TA in Black Studies we will assign you to a particular course. *The Department reserves the right to assign courses, sections, and to make changes to course and section assignments based on departmental needs.

Q: Do you hire TAs for upper-division courses?

A: No, we do not hire TAs for upper-division courses.

Q: I am interested in applying for a reader position in Black Studies. How should I proceed?

A: Contact the Undergraduate Advisor (tharkness@blackstudies.ucsb.edu) if you are interested in a reader position. 

Q: How long are TAs hired for? Is it usually for one quarter or do you hire some for multiple quarters?

A: TAs are hired on a one-quarter basis. Each applicant is considered for the quarter(s) he/she applies for and can be selected more than once in an academic year.

Q: Is there an interview process when applying for a TA position in Black Studies?

A: Yes.

Q: Does the Department accept applications for summer TA positions?

A: Summer TA positions are reserved for those who have worked as TAs in Black Studies previously. If you are one such person, please email Theresa Harkness (tharkness@blackstudies.ucsb.edu) to indicate that you are interested in a summer position.

Q: Will incomplete applications be considered?

A: Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unable to review incomplete application packets. We recommend that you use the Application Checklist to ensure that your application packet is complete prior to submission.

Q: Can I submit portions of my application packet at separate times?

A: Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unable to accept portions of the application packet at separate times. 

Q: Do you accept late applications?

A: Due to the high volume of applications we receive each year, we are unable to accept late applications. If you miss our initial application period there may be an opportunity to apply at a later point. In the event that a TA position becomes available during the year those who applied during the initial application period will be considered first. If a suitable hire is not found, a general call will go out to the campus via email and those who missed the initial application period can then submit applications for the position.

Application Form

Q: Why does the Department request information about service quarters, GPAs, and academic standing on the application form?

A: Graduate Division has policies regarding permissions/exceptions that are required based on a student’s status. The Department collects this information to expedite the hiring process.

Q: Am I expected to check-off each item on the Application Checklist of the application form?

A: Yes! This will help you to ensure you are submitting a complete application.

Cover Letter

Q: Who should I address my cover letter to?

A: The cover letter should be addressed to the TA Selection Committee.

Curriculum Vitae

Q: What is A Curriculum Vitae?

A: A Curriculum Vitae (CV) resembles a resume in many ways but is more specifically focused on academic achievements. A CV summarizes educational and academic history, and may include details about teaching experience, publications (books, articles, research papers, unpublished manuscripts, or book chapters), and academic honors and awards. Taken from: http://www.pdfking.com/curriculum-vitae-guide/

Writing Sample

Q: Does the content of my writing sample have to relate to Black Studies?

A: No, the content of your writing sample does not have to relate to the field of Black Studies. Applicants must decide for themselves what they will submit as their writing sample.

Q: Can I submit a writing sample of a work that I co-authored?

A: This is at the applicant’s discretion. However, you should submit a writing sample that accurately reflects your writing style and abilities.

Q: Can I submit a writing sample that is longer than 3-5pgs?

A: No. Applicants must submit only 3-5pages of material, even if the sample submitted is only a portion of a larger work.

Q: Can I submit more than one writing sample?

A: Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are only able to permit one writing sample per applicant.

Transcripts

Q: Can I have my transcripts sent directly to the Department of Black Studies?

A: Since we ask for “unofficial” copies of your undergraduate and graduate transcripts it is unlikely that you will need to have your transcripts sent directly to the Department. Most colleges and universities have services that provide students with printable unofficial transcripts from the school’s website, and these are usually available free of charge. If you are unable to obtain unofficial transcripts from your school(s), check with your home department here at UCSB, as they received your transcripts as part of your application to the graduate program you are currently in.

Q: I am unable to obtain “unofficial” transcripts from my colleges/universities. Can I submit official transcripts as part of my application packet?

A: Yes.

Q: Am I required to submit transcripts that reflect every part of my undergraduate and graduate education, including city college transcripts, etc.?

A: Yes.

Q: I attended a college/university outside the United States. Am I required to submit these transcripts?

A: Yes.

Q: My transcript is in another language. Am I required to submit it?

A: Yes.

Letter of Reference

Q: Am I required to have a faculty member write my letter of reference?

A: No. Applicants can obtain a letter of reference from any individual they choose.

Q: Who should the letter of reference be addressed to?

A: The letter of reference should be addressed to the TA Selection Committee.

Q: How should I submit my letter of reference? 

A: The letter of reference should be sent by the recommender to the Undergraduate Advisor (tharkness@blackstudies.ucsb.edu) using the recommender's university email address.

Q: Can I submit more than one letter of reference for my application?

A: No. Applicants should only submit one letter of reference.

Course Evaluations (ESCIs)

Q: What are ESCIs?

A: The acronym “ESCI” stands for Evaluation System for Courses and Instruction.

Q: Should I submit written comments as well as ESCI scores if I have both?

A: Yes, you should submit both written comments and ESCI scores. 

Q: Should I submit original copies of my course evaluations?

A: No, we ask that you submit only copies of your course evaluations and that you maintain the original documents. 

Q: Can I submit more than 3 quarters of course evaluations?

A: No. Applicants are only permitted to submit 3 quarters worth of course evaluation material.

Q: I have been a TA or am currently a TA in Black Studies. Do I need to submit ESCIs from my Black Studies TA positions?

A: No. If you have been a TA in Black Studies during 2019-20 we should have your ESCIs and written comments. 

Q: Will I be penalized if I have never worked as a TA previously as I will not have any course evaluations?

A: Applicants will not be penalized if they do not have course evaluations because you have never before worked as a TA. Applicants will also not be penalized simply because they have never worked as a TA at UCSB or elsewhere.

Q: The current quarter is the first quarter in which I am working as a TA. Am I required to submit course evaluations even though the quarter has not ended?

A: No. The Department understands that applicants who are working as a TA for the first time during the application period will not have course evaluations to submit as part of their application packet. Please mark the check box that indicates you do not have course evaluations to submit.

Reapplying

Q: In years past, I applied for a TA position in Black Studies, but I did not apply for 2019-20. Do I need to reapply for 2020-21?

A: Yes, returning applicants will need to submit an application using the new online TA application.

Q: I have worked or will work as a TA in Black Studies during the 2019-20 academic year. Do I need to reapply for 2020-21?

A: Yes, returning TAs will need to submit an application for the 2020-21 academic year. 

The Selection Process

Q: What is the Department looking for in an applicant?

A: The Department is seeking effective and dynamic teachers - those who are good at communicating ideas and who can come up with discussion topics that reinforce the major themes and concepts discussed in lecture and in course texts. Though a background in Black Studies is not required, familiarity with the field is beneficial. Skills in writing and editing are strongly preferred.

Q: What is the selection process based on?

A: The selection process is based on a careful review of each applicant's packet. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer.

Q: Are there certain categories, like teaching experience, that are prioritized in the selection process?

A: We do not inform applicants of our priorities in making our selections.

Q: Do you typically select TAs from a particular department?

A: Each year we select TAs from various departments.

Q: When will I know if I have been selected as a TA for the quarter(s) for which I’m applying?

A: In the past, we have announced our Fall quarter selections in May and our Winter and Spring quarter selections in October. Tentatively, we hope to announce our selections around these same times for the 2020-21 academic year.

Q: How will I know if I have been selected for a TAship in Black Studies?

A: The Department will contact selected applicants to inform them of the status of their approved application. Those selected for a position will be given instructions to begin the hiring process. If you are not contacted within a month of submitting your original application, you have most likely not been selected.

Q: If I do not get selected initially, will I still be considered for a position if one becomes available at a later point during the 2020-21 academic year?

A: Yes, you will still be considered for a position if one becomes available at a later point during the 2020-21 academic year if the position is for a quarter for which you applied. Be sure to place a check-mark next to all quarters you wish to apply for on your application form.

Q: If I am not selected initially, do I need to submit another application to be considered for positions that become available at a later point during the 2020-21 academic year?

A: No. The original application you submitted will be maintained for review for any positions that become available throughout the 2020-21 academic year. Be sure to place a check-mark next to all quarters you wish to apply for on your application form.

Other Questions?

Q: I have a question that was not addressed above. Who should I contact?

A: Please contact Theresa Harkness at tharkness@blackstudies.ucsb.edu or via 805-893-7624