TA Resources

Ready for the Semester?

These items should help you prepare for the job ahead.


To Do List

Topics to Discuss with Instructors

Frequently Asked Questions

GRAD 5105: Practicum for Nonnative Speakers

Professional Development

Every mechanical engineering TA needs to continually improve, and one way to improve is to continually educate yourself in the art and craft of teaching. For that reason, TAs are required to invest in their professional development by completing several commitments. These commitments are listed below. All are to be submitted via the TA Canvas site before the last day of classes in the semester.

  1. Peer Observation — Will complete and report a peer observation before the last day of classes.
  2. Continuing Education — Will complete and report on one TA continuing education activity before the last day of classes.


Continuing Education
Example Activities:

Attend a workshop
Complete an online tutorial
Take an online course
Read a book on teaching methods
Watch a webinar
Listen to a podcast

Need a Place to Start?
Check out the Center for Educational Innovation. CEI has numerous offerings listed on their website.


Every semester TAs are to be evaluated by their course-enrolled students prior to the last day of classes. The compiled evaluation results will become part of their graduate record. All evaluations in ME are done through the Student Services Office. 

Job Commitment:  Be evaluated by the students of your course. This evaluation should not be confused with the course evaluation, which is separate and relates to the course instructor.

Award Opportunity

Goldstein Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award

TAs that make a significant differences in student learning can be nominated for this award. Nomination forms and more can be found here.


Current Evaluation Types

1. Evaluation of Teaching Assistants by Students Enrolled in their Course

Each semester, the ME Student Services Office will send an announcement when evaluations become available and/or links go live. Enrolled students should use the *ME form listed below or visit z.umn.edu/me-ta-evals to evaluate their TA(s). There are some cases where TAs may be exempt from this commitment. Please see the Process Flowchart to determine if you are exempt.  

*At this time we do not use the Student Rating of Teaching (SRT) that comes from the Office of Measurement Services (OMS) for our Teaching Assistants. 

2. Evaluation of Teaching Assistant by Course Instructor

The instructor for the course evaluates their TAs by completing the form found at the link below. 

Policies and Prevention

  • FERPA (tutorial)
  • Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences (link)
  • Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying and Other Concerns (link)
  • Equal Opportunity and Title IX (link)
  • UMN Policy Library (link)

Additional Resources

  • Mental Health Resources for Students (link)
  • Center for Educational Innovation (link)
  • Graduate Assistant Employment (link)
ME Headshot
Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Ernst Eckert Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Mechanical Engineering
Jennifer Dahal Headshot
TA Coordinator
Mechanical Engineering