College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Professional Opportunities

Teaching Assistant Opportunities

The English MA program offers paid Teaching Assistantships in the fields of Literature, Composition, and Teaching English as a Second Language. Once selected, each Teaching Assistant will teach no more than one course per quarter, in the area for which he/she applied. A maximum of 15 Teaching Assistantships will be granted per academic year.

To qualify, candidates must be currently enrolled in the EFL graduate program and working toward the M.A. in English at Cal Poly Pomona. Candidates for the Literature pool must be declared in the Literature option or directed group of electives, candidates for the Composition pool must be declared in the Rhetoric/Composition option or directed group of electives, candidates for the TESL pool must be declared in the TESL option or directed group of electives.

In addition, candidates for the Literature pool must have successfully completely one of the following: ENG 587 (Teaching Basic Writing), ENG 588 (Teaching Freshman Composition), ENG 589 (Pedagogies of Reading), 590 (Pedagogies of Dramatic Literature) or be registered for ENG 587 in the Fall quarter following their selection as TAs. Candidates for the Composition pool must have successfully completed either ENG 587 (Teaching Basic Writing) or ENG 588 (Teaching Freshman Composition), or be registered for ENG 587 in the Fall quarter following their selection as TAs, or have completed an equivalent course elsewhere. Candidates for the ESL pool must have completed ENG 523 (Grammar for ESL Teachers) or ENG 525 (Teaching ESL Composition) or have completed an equivalent course elsewhere. Graduate students with conditional status are not eligible.

Graduate students in the TA program must maintain enrollment in two classes per quarter during the year of the award in addition to the TA Practicum (1 unit) course.

Please direct any questions about the TA program to the graduate coordinator.

Students may obtain an application by contacting the graduate secretary in building 24, room 207.

Applications are typically due at the end of April each year.

Graduate Symposium

In the Winter Quarter, Cal Poly Pomona hosts its annual symposium for the presentation of graduate research. Emulating the space of the professional conference, students practice and hone their presentation and critical thinking skills in front of an audience comprised of their peers, families, professors, and mentors. This academic conference functions as an inspiration to undergraduates aspiring to graduate study and constitutes a priceless experience for graduate student presenters as they prepare for the professional world.

The symposium is organized in concurrent panels of three presenters each, with representatives from all three MA options (Literature, Rhetoric/Composition, and TESL). Proposals are accepted for individual, paired, and group presentations, as well as for entire three-paper panels dealing with thematically related topics. Students interested in presenting should submit a title to the graduate coordinator by March 1st of each year. Undergraduate and graduate students alike are strongly encouraged to attend and support their peers. Roughly 25 students choose to present their work annually not only to add to their CV as employers and doctoral programs alike value this type of professionalization, but also to gain experience, to build confidence, and to partake in shared scholarship. For more information about the Graduate Symposium, please contact the graduate coordinator.

Teaching in China Program

MA students also have the opportunity to teach English oral proficiency in China during a 4 week summer program organized by EFL faculty members from Cal Poly Pomona. The program is open to undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at Cal Poly Pomona or at other institutions. Upon selection, students receive training during Spring quarter to teach English to middle-school Chinese students. These weekly training sessions allow students to develop cross-cultural awareness, acquire linguistic pedagogy, know how to conduct second language needs assessment and modification, learn interactive teaching techniques, and learn how to create appropriate lesson plans in a partnership with another student. Upon completion of their training, students embark on a 4 week-long summer trip to China where they typically teach in teams of 10 students.

This teaching program is designed to develop students' cultural awareness and sensibility while providing students with the enhanced professional opportunity to acquire experience in teaching non-native speakers of English. Participants in the China program learn classroom management, practice teamwork daily, and develop self-confidence as teachers and orators. Graduates of the program return from China with an increased understanding of English learners' needs, a comprehensive understanding of effective teaching methodology, and a recognition and appreciation of their self-development or growth as educators.