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Engage Program: Undergraduate Teaching Support for Online Education


The current COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges regarding course delivery and learning for all universities. At Virginia Tech, we know effective online education requires an investment in support to engage students. To answer the need, the Pamplin College of Business implemented an immediate program deploying a force of Undergraduate Teaching Assistants (UTAs) to serve faculty and students in the new blended learning environment.

The new Engage Program will partner top undergraduate students with faculty to incorporate the voice of the student into course development and delivery. All participating UTAs will receive training on effective online learning strategies, practice in the use of online platform tools and best practice approaches to student engagement, and online collaboration. The training and experience these UTAs gain will be a highly marketable skill set that is in demand in the workplace.

Access to Talent, Visibility, and Networking

The new Engage Program includes unique opportunities for corporate branding. By supporting this program, your company will have access to the UTAs, top students demonstrating comprehension of class concepts, communication skills, online interaction tool training, mentorship, professionalism, and responsibility. Sponsored UTA positions can be named, with named positions listed on course syllabi. Higher gift levels also allow for additional course presentation invitations as well as Sponsor Spotlights on VT Pamplin Media. Higher gift levels also include social mixers with department UTA groups. With the recruiting season now in virtual format, this program offers a unique way to reach over 5100+ undergraduate students in the following majors: Accounting and Information Systems; Business Information Technology; Finance; Hospitality and Tourism Management; Management; Marketing Management; Real Estate. 

Program Goals and Needs

UTAs will be allocated among Pamplin’s six departments (Accounting and Information Systems; Business Information Technology; Finance; Hospitality and Tourism Management; Management; Marketing Management) and the Program in Real Estate based on course needs. The program has received seed funding from the Provost’s Office; and seeks external funding to support the UTA’s positions. ENGAGE attracted high interest from our students with more than 300+ expressing interest for 100+ UTA positions. Private support from our industry partners and interested individuals is sought to sustain this valuable program. 

To learn more, reach out to us!

Dr. Michelle Şeref, Engage Program Coordinator (

Jennifer Tortora, Director, Career Services and Employer Relations (

Karin Clark, Associate Director, LINK Center for Advancing Industry Partnerships (

Hannah Landers, Career Services and Employer Relations Manager (