All nonnative English-speaking graduate and undergraduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) must demonstrate proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in English appropriate to the demands of their teaching assistantship.
Proficiency is assessed in one of the following ways:
- English Language Proficiency (ELP) rating earned through coursework with the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI);
- Speaking section of TOEFL iBT (internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language);
- Speaking section of IELTS (International English Language Testing System);
- SETTA (Spoken English Test for Teaching Assistants) test (Twin Cities campus) or alternative test chosen by Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester campuses.
This policy governs all TA appointments (Job codes 9511, 9512, 9513, 9515, 9517, 9518, 9519, 9571, 9574, 9575, and 2221) held by nonnative English-speaking graduate and undergraduate students.
All other graduate and undergraduate assistant appointments are excluded from coverage under this policy.
Proficiency levels and required scores for various types and levels of TA duties are found in Appendix: English Language Proficiency Requirements.
Departments may submit a request for exceptions to the Assistant Director of the Center for Educational Innovation for consideration and approval.
Reason for Policy
In support of high-quality undergraduate education, the University requires evidence of English language proficiency of its nonnative speakers of English employed as TAs. This policy also serves as a response to a request from the Minnesota Legislature to ensure that classroom TAs for whom English is a second language are proficient in speaking, reading, and writing English (see 1985 First Special Session Laws/ Chapter 11, Section 7 subdivision b).
This requirement engenders continuing cooperation of each academic department in maintaining high standards of English-language communication skills for all nonnative speakers of English who provide instruction at the University.