Supporting International Students and TAs

In the winter of 2015, the TATP committed to seeking out a better way of supporting students not familiar with the teaching context at U of T, while still highlighting the rich contributions they can make to teaching and learning at the University. Through an initial series of meetings with representatives from the School of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts & Science and the Centre for International Experience, the TATP sought ideas on how to approach a redesign of its programming and resources, in order to better meet the needs of international TAs and graduate students and fully include them in the institution’s teaching community. From this series of meetings, four key questions emerged:

  1. What do we know about supporting international TAs and graduate students? This entailed reviewing some of the relevant literature and identifying current issues and trends related to the support of international students, and particularly international TAs.
  2. What are others doing to support this student population? This included a scan of resources and programming at peer institutions that support students unfamiliar with the Canadian higher education context and who may have differing lingual, cultural and instructional competencies is needed.
  3. What are we doing already at U of T to support international students? We endeavored to gather in one document the broad range of resources and programming currently in place to support international TAs and graduate students.
  4. Where are the gaps in what we do, and how can we be more effective in supporting international students? Is it possible to draw on the above information and identify some possible steps forward to improve what we are already doing? Can we then be better at communicating this information to students and between various stakeholders?

To address these questions, the following report was drafted by former and current staff members of the TATP. The information gathered will provide a framework for rethinking and renewing TATP programming and resources.

Recommendations and Resources for Supporting International Students and Teaching Assistants at the University of Toronto (pdf)