Orientation Information

Message for those Graduate Teaching Assistants Missing the January 20 Spring Orientation

The make-up session for the Spring Orientation Session for Graduate TA Training is scheduled for Wednesday, January 25, 5 to 6 p.m. in Nord 204.

At this session, you will learn about the Training options and will sign up for your training choice.

Questions: send an email to UNIV400@case.edu or call 216.368.5230.

Students will be registered for UNIV 400A, UNIV 400 B, or UNIV 400 C when they attend the orientation session. Students will complete drop/add forms to register for one of these courses when they attend the orientation. They should NOT register through SIS.


During the Graduate TA Orientation, international TAs will be asked to sign up for the CWRU Spoken English Test (SET). All testing will take place in Educational Services for Students (ESS), 470 Sears Building.

At the time of the SET, students are asked to bring their course schedules and the correct spelling of their advisor's name, email address, and phone number. SET test dates are the following:

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., January 23 through January 27.

Students who do not pass the CWRU SET will be required to take one of three English-as-a-second-language courses: UNIV 402 A (focusing on pronunciation), UNIV 402 B (focusing on fluency), or UNIV 402 C (focusing on presentations).

Course OutlineS for UNIV 400 A, B, and C
Standard Track - UNIV 400 A/B

You will be signed up for UNIV 400A/B when you attend your Orientation Seminar. Once that is complete, you will receive emails about upcoming seminars. This course is essentially just that: a series of seminars. Four of these will be Core Seminars: you have to come to all of these, and all are offered multiple times throughout the semester. Finally, there are two Elective Seminars; you will attend two elective seminars of your choosing. That makes six seminars in total.

For all six seminars during the two semesters, be sure to register for the seminar on MyTATraining and bring your Case ID to the seminar.

You have two semesters to complete UNIV 400A/B and all of its requirements.If you fail to do so, you will be given an incomplete (Rather than getting a passing or failing grade). This incomplete will be removed once you have completed the requirements in the second semester.

This will indicate what you need to receive a grade of Pass (P) for your UNIV 400 class.


As a native speaker of English, you will enroll in UNIV 400A and complete the following requirements:

  1. TA Orientation
  2. Experiential Learning
  3. Global Classroom, Part 1
  4. Global Classroom, Part 2
  5. Observation and Follow-up Meeting to Discuss the Observation
  6. Two Electives

As an International student, you will first take the CWRU Spoken English test to assess your proficiency with the spoken English you will need as a Teaching Assistant. Based on your spoken English, one of three recommendations will be made:

  1. If you are required to enroll in either UNIV 402A (emphasis on accent reduction) or UNIV 402B (emphasis on fluency), you will not enroll in UNIV 400B until you are given permission by Judith Olson-Hammer.
  2. If you are required to enroll in UNIV 402C (emphasis on presentations), you may concurrently enroll in UNIV 400B.
  3. If you pass the CWRU Spoken English test, then you may enroll in UNIV 400B or UNIV 400 C. UNIV 400 B has the same requirements as UNIV 400 A.
Future Professors Track - UNIV 400C


Training for graduate TAs who are planning to become professors: this ten-week seminar is held on Thursdays, 11:30 to 12:45 or 1: 00 to 2:15.

Students registering for UNIV 400C must be able to attend all 12 sessions and stay for the entire 90 minutes to receive credit. However, the last two sessions are held online in an asynchronous schedule. Students in these sessions will have reading assignments and weekly journals. Enrollment, limited to 15 students per section, is on a first-come, first-served basis. All students will be expected to participate fully in class discussions..

The free text for these sessions is How Learning Words: 7 Research-based Principles for Smart Teaching by Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett, and Marie K. Norman.

Questions about UNIV 400 C should be emailed to UNIV400C@case.edu.