The Graduate and Teaching Associates Development Program, also commonly known as the TA Program or the POS Program, is an exciting, growth-filled, and invigorating year of experiences and opportunities for doctoral students within Howard University. Through a rigorous selection process, students are selected as Teaching Associates (TAs) in the program and exclusively teach the Principles of Speech (POS) courses for all university students, which forms the foundations of the program’s commonly used names. The POS course is a basic communications course designed to assist students in the development of knowledge, attitudes, skills, and practices that strengthen their ability to communicate effectively with organizational colleagues, business and professional associates, as well as with family and friends.
The POS course is an essential component of the newly revised Undergraduate Core Curriculum of Howard University and is designed to ensure that undergraduate students acquire and demonstrate proficiency in three essential skill areas: (1) theoretical foundations of effective communication dynamics, (2) skills, practice, and confidence in public speaking, and (3) critical thinking and reasoning. The course is listed under the Department of Strategic, Legal and Management Communications within the Cathy Hughes School of Communications (CHSOC), and the Program Director, Dr. Tia C. M. Tyree, is a professor within the department.
The Graduate and Teaching Associates Development Program is a carefully designed and guided undertaking for the development of TAs for sustained and productive careers in the professoriate. Throughout its 40-year history as a training program for success in the Academy, Program Directors have worked to ensure TAs have the skills and knowledge to be excellent teachers. This occurs through meetings and workshops with top Howard University officials and professors, past TAs and others who can enhance their learning and growth. Overall, the goal is to have all participants substantively benefit from program experiences, become dynamic, knowledgeable committed instructors and, moreover, have a sustained contribution to the advancement and strengthening of the program.
Students admitted into the PhD program of the CHSOC’s Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS) and other graduate programs across the campus are eligible to apply. The window to apply is usually announced the February prior to the next academic year and closes at the end of March. All selected TAs are notified by the end or April, and they begin to orient themselves for teaching the course over the summer. The application process includes, but is not limited to, the submission of a letter of intent, academic transcript, letters of recommendation, teaching philosophy, teaching evaluations, and current resume or curriculum vitae.