Be a Teaching Assistant

What is a SLTA?

Service-learning teaching assistants (SLTAs) make service-learning more meaningful and beneficial for both students and community partners. Service-learning teaching assistants are exceptional undergraduate or graduate students who are nominated by a VCU service-learning instructor to assist them with a service-learning course. As peer leaders, SLTAs develop new skills, work closely with faculty, develop relationships with community leaders and participate in a wide variety of community initiatives. SLTAs provide an average of five hours per week of teaching assistance throughout the semester, including ongoing group and individual supervision with Service-Learning Office staff.

Why be a SLTA?

As a service-learning teaching assistant, students have opportunities to work closely with faculty mentors and to learn alongside other highly engaged students. SLTAs will:

  • Gain real-world experience working as an educator and community liaison.

  • Enhance leadership skills and professional identities. 

  • Gain self-knowledge such as awareness of personal strengths and leadership styles.

  • Develop interpersonal skills such as resourcefulness, giving and receiving feedback, working with diverse populations, and listening without judgment.

  • Improve problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

  • Deepen understanding of civic and social structures and their impact on everyday life.  

  • Collaborate with a faculty member and mentor. 

  • Gain networking opportunities and build résumé credentials for future education or employment.

How to become a SLTA

Students who are interested in becoming service-learning teaching assistants must be nominated by a VCU service-learning instructor. All STLAs take academic courses and receive academic credit for their coursework as service-learning teaching assistants. To become a SLTA:

  • Service-learning instructors must nominate the prospective service-learning teaching assistant by filling out the online SLTA nomination form.

  • The nominated student then completes and submits the online SLTA/SLGTA Application.

  • Once their application is accepted, the SLTA must enroll in the appropriate SLTA seminar course: CMST 391 (PDF) for first-time undergraduate SLTAs; CMST 411 (PDF) for returning undergraduate SLTAs; CMST 691 (PDF) for graduate students.

Undergraduate Students
Graduate Students


If you have any questions about the SLTA program, please email Katie Elliott at