Abilene Christian University and the Department of Communication seek to meet a variety of goals. However, our most important goal is to create an atmosphere in which students can achieve academic excellence. Graduate Assistants play a vital role in this mission through teaching, scholarship, service, and collegiality.
To apply for a Graduate Assistantship, please complete and submit the GA application form.
Many graduate assistants work as instructors in the classroom and as consultants in the ACU Speaking Center. During their first year of study, GAs assist professors in teaching sections of COMS 211: Speech and Rhetoric. Those who demonstrate excellence in the classroom are offered the opportunity to teach independent sections of 211 in their second year. Experience working with students one-on-one in the Speaking Center and managing a classroom environment offer graduate students skills in training, conflict management, leadership, mentoring, and assessment that are easily transferable to a wide range of careers in both the academic and professional worlds.
Scholarship is an important part of any university and/or professional community. Some graduate assistants in the Department of Communication receive the opportunity to conduct research with a professor as part of their assistantship. These appointments are centered around specific projects such as work on peer reviewed articles, writing and obtaining grants, engaging in pedagogical research, and conducting workshops and presentations.
As part of their assistantship, GAs in the Communication Department are expected to participate in service that reflects the mission of the University. Each semester, graduate assistants serve as judges and hosts for our department public speaking contest, and in the spring, GAs help to coordinate regional and state academic contests hosted at ACU. These service events provide department staff with opportunities to both grow closer to one another and reflect the nature of Christ.
Collegiality is particularly important at a Christian university and is an essential part of graduate assistantships in the Communication Department. GAs are expected to develop a professional community in which they work together on projects and support one another as fellow educators, students, and Christians.