Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You do not have to be a Teaching Assistant to attend. All current Western graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at any stage of their career are welcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to be a Teaching Assistant (TA), how do I become one during my graduate studies?

At Centre for Teaching and Learning, we do not appoint or have any role in appointing Graduate Teaching Assistants at Western. Please contact your department of interest. Each department appoints their TA's for courses at Western. They may also post current openings periodically on

Do I have to complete CTL TA Programming to be a TA or keep my TA appointment?

Professional development programming at the CTL like the Teaching Assistant Training Program (TATP), is completely optional during your graduate studies. They are not required programming, however they can help prepare for roles such as being a teaching assistant and build confidence in your teaching for other roles in your career at Western and beyond.

I am a Fall start graduate student, but my Western Connect isn’t working and I want to register for the Teaching Assistant Training Program. What do I do?

If you are a new graduate student at Western starting in the Fall term, your Western Connect account with graduate student access will not become active until August 1st (1 month) before the start of your graduate student enrollment. In the meantime, programming that we open for registration starting in July, a form is available where students are able to complete registration without Connect in the interim. Please see “Registration Instructions” on the TATP Webpage. For all other September programming, registration typically opens after August 1st. If your Western Connect is still not active after August 1st, contact connect@uwo.cafor support for your Connect account.

I want to register for an upcoming TA Program, but there doesn’t seem to be a date posted on the webpage. How can I find out when a program is offered?

On each program page, under “Program Information" is where you would find if a date has been released for an upcoming session. If a date is not posted yet or it notes, “No upcoming sessions are scheduled at present” you can learn more about a specific program and when they are typically offered on each program page on our Program Directory, see heading "Graduate Students & Teaching Assistants" to help with your planning. For example, in the Program Information section, under the heading "Offered" on each page, notes when the program is typically offered i.e., for TATP under the "Offered" heading "Six sessions will be offered in August and September. A session is typically offered in January as well."

I really want to participate in a program, how do I know when registration opens?

First, review the previous FAQ! Each program webpage will note when a program is typically offered during the academic year (September to April). Any CTL TA program updates, including registration (typically opens 1 month before a program is offered) will be made available 1) on our website 2) on the Western Connect 3) on our Twitter @WesternUCTL 4) our grad and postdoc mailing list. We recommend you subscribe to our Grad and Postdoc Mailing List to get the most up to date information about our programming for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. If you are an international or new resident graduate student or postdoctoral scholar subscribe to our International Graduate Student and Postdoc Mailing List.

I don’t know what TA programming I should take, what should I do, where do I start?

We encourage you to review our TA Program Overview Webpage, it details recommended programs and resources by role and other useful information like registration, our certificate programs etc. Whether you’re new to being a teaching assistant or have years of experience, there’s something for everyone! If you still have questions after reviewing this page, feel free to contact us at with your specific questions.

The academic year is done and I want to do some programming over summer break before next term starts again, what’s available?

Most of our TA programming is offered during the academic year (September to April), however we do offer some programs during the Spring/ Summer Term. Programming is subject to change based on scheduling:
Own Your Future: May Conference on Teaching (May)
Spring Perspectives on Teaching (May)
Teaching Assistant Training Program (3 sessions in August)

If you are working towards the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (WCUTL), we encourage you to use this time to work on your independent documents, Components 4) Teaching Dossier and 5) Written Project. See the WCUTL webpage for useful resources to help you effectively complete these independent projects.

Is there a fee to participate?

No, programming at the CTL is free to register, but you must be an enrolled graduate student or postdoctoral at Western to be eligible to participate. Please note: Our limited enrollment certificate programs require a deposit to complete registration, which is returned upon successful completion of the program. Please see each program page for more information and when a program is typically offered during the academic year. We may offer special programming that require a fee due to program materials, however this will be noted in the registration details if applicable.

I recently graduated and am now a Western alumni, am I still eligible to participate in CTL TA Programming?

As you are no longer a current Western Graduate Student and now an alumni, you no longer have access to CTL events, programs, or consult as these are only available to current Western Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars.

You can learn more about what Western Alumni has to offer here:

I want to learn more about the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning, where do I start?

Thank you for your interest in this optional certificate! We’re glad to have you join us for professional development and can register any time during your graduate studies or postdoctoral fellowship at Western.

We encourage you to review our Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (WCUTL) webpage, it details all the required 5 components (including useful links), how to register and how to access your attendance records in Western Connect, add information to your certificate record, and instructions on how to submit your completed certificate form. It also has a detailed list of frequently asked questions specifically on the WCUTL which might have the answer to one of your questions! If you still have questions after reviewing these resources, feel free to contact us at with your specific questions.

I am writing my Teaching Dossier (towards the WCUTL/ my own professional use), but I don’t have teaching experience or research experience – is it okay to leave these sections blank on my Teaching Dossier?

We understand that students that do not have TA-ship their "Evidence of Effective Teaching", "Educational Leadership" or "SoTL/Research on Teaching" sections are not a terribly robust section. This would not prevent you from submitting one towards the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (WCUTL)! Once you have completed all components and are ready to submit your written components 4 & 5, a feedback appointment is booked as the final steps towards earning the certificate. During this meeting the CTL staff member and yourself review your completions and can further brainstorm approaches during the certificate consult meeting on how to further develop this section. In fact, plenty of students who have had multiple TA-ships have relatively under-populated evidence sections. It's to be expected of teachers at this phase of career development.

If you are completing the WCUTL, all 8 sections of a Teaching Dossier are required. Avoid including blank sections, if you are currently unable to provide information for particular components, like the Educational Leadership. We recommend for these sections, to take the time to reflect on how you might acquire these data or experiences in the future (e.g., by asking your students to complete an anonymous survey at the end of the next term, developing discipline-specific teaching resources for the your department etc).

If you are not completing the optional WCUTL, you are still welcome to book a feedback consult for your teaching dossier, please email your draft dossier to Reminder: you must be an enrolled graduate student and/or postdoctoral to book the consult.

I am a Postdoctoral scholar at Western, can I take SGPS 9500: The Theory and Practice of University Teaching?

No, the graduate credit course SGPS 9500: The Theory and Practice of University Teaching is only available for Graduate students currently enrolled in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For current Postdoctoral scholars at Western, we recommend the Advanced Teaching Program (ATP).

Can I collaborate and/or work at the CTL during my graduate studies at Western?

Yes, we welcome graduate students as partners in our TA Programs! Over the last 5 years, Western graduate students have partnered with us to developed programs and resources for programming such as, the TA eLearning Series, Future Prof Series, Spring Perspectives on Teaching Conference, Own Your Future: May Conference on Teaching, and TA Day: Graduate Student Conference on Teaching.

Do you have an idea for a resource or workshop that would benefit TAs? Does your research or your personal experience offer a fresh perspective on teaching in higher education? We want to hear from you! If you are interested in partnering with the CTL to develop the teaching skills of graduate students at Western, email us at

We also hire Teaching Assistant Training Program Instructors each year! Teaching Assistant Training Program (TATP) Instructors are graduate students who are passionate about student-centered teaching and are eager to have an impact on the culture of teaching and learning at Western. We offer an information session typically in February to provide details on the TATP Instructor role, give an overview of the application process, and answer questions from attendees. Applications are expected to open in early March on Working at Western each year.

What TA Programs offer certificates of completion? Do I get a certificate for completing the Teaching Mentor Program and/or attending a Future Professor Workshop?

The following TA programs offer certificate of completions after successful completion of all program requirements:
Teaching Assistant Training Program (TATP)
Advanced Teaching Program (ATP)
Teaching in the Canadian Classroom (TCC)
Communication in the Canadian Classroom (CCC)
Exploring and Interviewing for Careers in Teaching (EICT)

For all other TA programs, for example programming that count towards the completion of the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning like the Teaching Mentor Program or Future Prof Credit eligible workshops, if you completed the requirements of the program attendance is updated in your Western Connect Event Registrations to “Attended” in 2-3 weeks after program completion, meaning you have earned the credit or completed the program.

I attended TA Day: Graduate Student Conference on Teaching and need proof of attendance for my department, how do I get it?

We recommend starting by asking your professor or department representative what they require as proof of attendance. Attendance will be updated in your Western Connect Event Registrations Dashboard to "Attended", 2-3 weeks after the event. Any proof beyond that is the responsibility of the student and professor.

To access your attendance records in Western Connect,
-Login to Western Connect with your Western username and password.
-From your dashboard, go to the tab at the far right labelled Event Registration. The Event Title, Event Date, Location, Date Registered, and Registration Status will be listed for each event.
NOTE: this tab will display all event registrations within Connect, so be sure to check that the "Module" column indicates Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Does attending and/or completing TA Programs at the CTL count towards Western's Co-Curricular Record or show up in transcripts?

No, programming completed at the CTL will not appear on your transcripts or Western's co-curricular record. The only exception is the graduate credit course SGPS 9500: The Theory and Practice of University Teaching can appear on your transcript if requested (Pass/Fail) to be eligible towards your graduate coursework requirements, please contact your department.