Developing Professionals: Graduate Teaching Assistant and Tutor Preparation at Hispanic Serving Institutions
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This dissertation is a multisite case study exploring the preparatory experiences of graduate teaching assistants (TAs) and graduate writing center tutors who teach or tutor students placed into developmental education-level writing and reading courses at three Hispanic Serving Institutions in Texas. This study examined the indirect and direct influences the participating TAs and writing center consultants encountered as they were prepared to work with students who are placed into developmental education courses. Major findings of this study are that both pre-semester training sessions as well as formal, regularly-scheduled training sessions throughout the semester were important for the participants to feel engaged and prepared to teach or tutor students. Furthermore, coursework, peers, supervisors, experiences in the classroom, and their multiple roles were all indirect and direct influences that ultimately shaped how participating TAs and writing center tutors developed as instructors and tutors. The conclusions of this study are that while being prepared to teach or tutor, TAs and writing center tutors are impacted by a wide variety of influences that ultimately determine how they perceive and approach students and, as such, faculty of TAs or writing center tutors should be aware of the impact they have. Also, developmental education stakeholders as well as policy makers should apply the findings from this study to improve training for TAs and tutors as well as to improve professional development for developmental educators.