Virginia Tech®home

Engage Program: Undergraduate Teaching Support

Engaging Students in Learning

Pamplin recognizes the value of its undergraduate students in supporting teaching and learning in the classroom. In the Pamplin Engage Program, undergraduate teaching assistants (UTAs) work alongside faculty to facilitate and develop engaging materials, offering more “hands on deck” through their mentorship and leadership. While other departments across campus have undergraduate graders, the Pamplin Engage Program is unique in its TA Training Program and centralized management of UTAs among all Pamplin departments.

Pamplin Engage supports over 80 instructors across the college with more than 150 undergraduate teaching assistants (UTAs) as of the spring 2022 semester. 

Engage TAs receive four days of dedicated training at the start of the semester. Guests from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS), and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity facilitate sessions about a range of technology, teaching, and equity issues, from mentoring students to setting up virtual office hours to making classrooms more accessible to a diverse student body. 

Evidence of Success and Lessons Learned

Initial assessments provide convincing evidence that Pamplin Engage is delivering high value for faculty and students. Faculty are overwhelmingly grateful for the additional support, and highly complementary of the roles these students play:

 “My TA is AMAZING! I am a complete convert to this program, it's a game changer.”

“This program has allowed me to experiment with delivery and provide more student feedback generally, and more extensive feedback on the ‘big’ assignments.”

Pamplin Engage UTAs also find the program to be incredibly valuable:

“The best thing about this position is talking to students and helping them understand a topic that they didn't before. It is great to build relationships with the professor and see what’s on the other end of a course!”

Finally, these UTAs are making unique contributions to learning effectiveness, identifying improvements in teaching strategies to be implemented in future semesters.

Pamplin Engage Program: Building for the Future

With the program’s success and the continued need for teaching support, Pamplin wants to increase Engage to 200 UTAs to help approximately 100 faculty starting fall 2022. Pamplin is seeking private support from our industry partners and interested individuals is to sustain this valuable program. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

To learn more, reach out to us!

Email: pamplinengage@vt.edu

Dr. Michelle Şeref, Engage Program Coordinator (mmhseref@vt.edu)

Barbara Fraticelli, Engage Program Assistant Coordinator (bfratice@vt.edu)

Jennifer Tortora, Director, Career Services and Employer Relations (jcarty@exchange.vt.edu)

LINK: Center for Advancing Industry Partnerships (LINK@VT.edu)

Bonnie Gilbert, Pamplin Engagement Liaison (bgilbert@vt.edu)