fbpx Teaching Assistant Program | Harvard Kennedy School

What are Teaching Assistants?

Course Assistants, Teaching Fellows, and Course Coaches—TAs for short—assist faculty members with teaching courses at HKS.

Working as a TA is a great way to help your fellow students, form a close working relationship with an HKS faculty member, and get involved with the school community. It’s also an opportunity to further your own learning. There’s no better way to learn something than by teaching it to others.

Course Assistant (CA)

Duties vary by course, depending on a faculty member's needs and the course assistant's strengths, but may include:

  • Assisting the faculty member during class and tracking student participation
  • Holding office hours and responding to student queries
  • Giving the faculty member "first reads" for written assignments and marking problem sets
  • Maintaining the course Canvas page
  • Preparing course materials and arranging media services
  • Proctoring exams

CAs and faculty members should maintain open communication to ensure that duties are clear. Hourly commitment varies, but tends to average 8-10 per week. The CA pay rate is $18 per hour.

Teaching Fellow (TF)

TFs are responsible for teaching course review sessions in addition to the CA duties listed above. Review sessions generally meet on Fridays for 1.25 hours. TFs are paid a monthly stipend and do not submit hours. The TF compensation rate varies by course. Contact Academic Planning for more information about TF compensation.

Course Coach (CC)

In addition to the CA duties listed above, CCs work closely with students in courses that include negotiation, simulation, or coaching. CCs may run simulations, exercises, breakout sessions, and experiential elements within these courses. Similar to the TFs, CCs are paid a monthly stipend and do not submit hours.



Public leadership credential (plc) online TA

PLC is a new non-credit, non-degree professional development program open to learners around the world through fully online delivery. While similar in some ways to HKS degree courses, PLC is its own unique program with key distinctions. Notably, each course's TA team works directly with learners and is overseen by PLC's Online Learning Manager. Faculty are available to TAs on a limited basis for curricular support and guidance, but do not hold live lecture sessions or review assignments. TAs are responsible for engaging with the key weekly submissions of approximately 35 learners each, scoring these according to a rubric and providing written feedback on performance. Please visit the PLC website for more information about the program's design and structure.

Online TAs can expect an estimated weekly commitment of 10-15 hours at a per-course stipend of $2,700. Each TA team is led by a Senior TA who assists with organization and logistics for an estimated weekly commitment of 15-20 hours at a per-course stipend of $3,600. A full-semester commitment of two consecutive courses is preferred, though TAs are unable to work on two courses concurrently. Online TAs will report directly to Neil Patch, PLC's Online Learning Manager, and can contact him at neil_patch@hks.harvard.edu to learn more.  Please apply via Qualtrics here.