Teaching Assistantships

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) offer the M.A. candidate a supervised teaching experience in the Public Speaking Course (COMM 1110) and Human Communication (COMM 1100) as well as paid tuition and a monthly stipend. Teaching Valdosta State University’s Public Speaking course requires a broad range of skills and abilities. Public Speaking is a course that instructs students and evaluates their performance in oral, nonverbal, and written communication. Essential functions of the instructor include the following: 

To prepare you for your role as a COMM 1100 or 1110 instructor, the course directors supply you with instruction on how to teach the course and a package of teaching materials which includes a common syllabus, text, examinations, and graded assignments. The availability of these teaching aids reduces the amount of preparation normally required to teach a course effectively.

Most of our graduate students are funded as teaching assistants (TAs). Valdosta State University requires that we certify the oral English proficiency for any non-native English speaking student before we can offer funding as a TA. The only evidence Valdosta State University will accept to document such proficiency before a student arrives on campus is a passing score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Exam or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Hence, if you are a non-native English speaker and would like to receive a teaching assistantship, you must take and earn a passing score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Exam or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Your score should be sent to our school along with your application materials.

We are pleased with our teaching assistantship program it is an opportunity to teach and give graduate students an opportunity to develop valuable skills for future academic experiences.

Teaching Load:

Students will teach only two sections per semester. The basic course syllabus is already designed for students, and there is extensive support and class materials available through course files, Websites, and weekly meetings. 

Debate Assistantship

Debate assistantships offer the M.A. candidate a supervised coaching experience as well as paid tuition and a monthly stipend.  Students have the opportunity to work with a nationally recognized debate program that has won National and State championships in the last several years.  

Work load:

Students will work with the Debate team throughout the year.  Some weekend travel will be required.  


Assistantships also provide graduate students with the financial resources necessary to pursue their degrees. This financial support—stipend and tuition waiter, as part of the University’s commitment to the success of our graduate students.

Renewal of Graduate Assistantships:

The graduate faculty awards graduate assistantships to deserving candidates and to those who have demonstrated excellence in their service to the department as a graduate assistant.  Students may work as graduate assistants for 2 academic years. However, graduate students are not automatically guaranteed a second year of funding. The graduate faculty members supervising the graduate assistants evaluate the overall performance of students throughout the year.  Students may be removed as graduate assistants or denied a second year of funding for inferior performance. Teaching assistants desiring a second year of funding must inform the Graduate Coordinator on or before February 1st about any intentions to remain another year as a graduate assistant.