Future Educators Academy

The Future Educators Academy (FEA) is an innovative program designed for prospective Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs). Developed in collaboration with Academic Affairs, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL), and UMB schools, the FEA is committed to providing a tailored educational development experience for graduate students pursuing careers in education and research.

FEA Integration with UMB Graduate Assistantships 
The Future Educators Academy serves as an intermediary, establishing meaningful connections between GTAs, GRAs, and faculty and staff mentors throughout the university. Recognizing the dual nature of graduate assistant roles, it offers specialized pathways to cultivate the varied talents and aspirations of emerging educators and education researchers at UMB.

At the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), Graduate Assistants play a dual role as students and professionals, enriching their academic journey through research and/or teaching responsibilities under the guidance of UMB faculty and staff. This distinctive dual status requires a clear understanding of the responsibilities, requirements, and privileges associated with being both a student and a professional apprentice within the university.

Assistantship Status and Duties

A Graduate Assistantship at UMB serves as a study grant providing financial assistance to graduate students in exchange for specific services to the university. These services may include research, teaching, or a combination of both. While the United States Department of Labor exempts stipend-receiving graduate assistants from the Final Rule, assistantship status comes with benefits such as a tuition waiver for up to 10 credits per semester (excluding summer), a stipend, and student health insurance during fall and spring semesters. It's crucial to note that graduate assistants are not considered university employees; instead, they operate under the supervision of the program offering the appointment.

The assignment and duties of a graduate assistant are determined by the program director(s), executive committees, or faculty members overseeing the relevant course, laboratory session, or research project. These duties align with the university's teaching and research missions, emphasizing the diverse roles graduate assistants may undertake.

Dual Pathways: GTAs and GRAs within FEA

The Future Educators Academy (FEA) builds upon the foundation of UMB's Graduate Assistantships, recognizing the unique roles and ambitions of Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs). The FEA introduces specific pathways, each tailored to the distinctive responsibilities and mentorship associated with teaching and research.

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) in FEA:

GTAs within the FEA play a pivotal role in the teaching-focused dimension of the program. Responsibilities may include assisting faculty members, facilitating community programs or workshops, and actively participating in the administration of courses. GTAs have the opportunity to take on teaching responsibilities for laboratory sessions or discussion groups, enhancing their pedagogical skills under the close supervision of course directors. GTAs in the FEA also work with FCTL mentors specializing in teaching and educational development. This supplemental mentorship aims at developing GTAs into effective educators, enhancing their teaching skills and pedagogical approaches. 

Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) in FEA:

GRAs within the FEA focus primarily on educational research-related activities. Whether contributing to FCTL-led or FCTL-supported educational research projects or pursuing educational-related research that may align with educational-related theses or dissertations, GRAs benefit from mentorship and guidance provided by experienced education researchers. This research-intensive component complements formal coursework and contributes significantly to the academic and professional growth of GRAs. GRAs work under the specific supervision of FCTL mentors specializing in educational research and scholarship, ensuring a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to their research endeavors. 

Qualifications and Selection 
Eligibility for the Future Educators Academy extends to graduate students pursuing Ph.D. and M.S. degrees. As such, a graduate assistant must be a registered graduate student, enrolled full-time in a degree program, who is making satisfactory progress toward a degree.

All graduate students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. The appointee will hold an appropriate baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Appointments are normally given to those students who have shown superior aptitude in their field of study and who appear likely to render a high quality of service to the university through their teaching and research activities.

An assistantship appointment in the FEA may be either full-time (20 hours per week) or part-time (10 hours per week). FEA appointments are for 12 months, beginning on September 1st and concluding on August 31. Appointments are contingent upon the availability of funds.

Letter of Appointment

The official letter of appointment for a graduate assistantship in the FEA comes from the program director(s). Students must receive a letter of appointment or reappointment annually. This letter provides pertinent information on the terms of the assistantship, including:

  1. Stipend level and amount
  2. Remission of tuition and student health insurance
  3. The permissible level of course registration per semester
  4. Specific beginning and ending dates of the appointment and the date on which the graduate assistant is expected to report to the program
  5. Expected type of duties and the person to whom the student will report
  6. Estimated time commitment in terms of responsibilities to the program
  7. Acceptance deadline date and program director/PI and student signature

Note that the Graduate School and the Student Financial Aid office must be copied on all letters of appointment.

Additional Employment

Graduate assistantships are awarded with the intent of both providing financial support and contributing to the recipient’s professional development.  In all instances, it is understood that the graduate student’s priority should be his or her studies and research and that 100 percent of his or her effort will be devoted to this endeavor.  Graduate assistants whose terms of appointment include a work component are not, therefore, expected to work more than 20 hours per week on any project or set of projects not directly related to their dissertation research.  Other graduate assistants are not permitted to take on any work beyond their studies or research within or outside the university.  Therefore, graduate assistants are ineligible for additional awards that include a work component.

Please refer to the UMB Graduate School Graduate Assistantships for the most recent guidance.

Registration Requirements 
Graduate assistants must register as full-time students whether they are appointed to a full- or part-time assistantship. To be considered full-time, a student must register for a minimum of 9 credits per semester (not summer).

Graduate assistants must register for ABGA 900, 901, or 903 depending upon her/his designation (see graduate assistant categories below). BGA 900, 901, and 903 courses officially establish the student as a graduate assistant. If graduate assistants do not register for one of these courses, the Internal Revenue Service may not recognize them as working students and may tax them for Social Security (FICA). ABGA 900, 901, and 903 grant full-time eligibility for some purposes, but not for Federal, need-based aid. One needs at least 6 billable credits to be eligible for Federal need-based aid. ABGA 900, 901, 0-3 registrations are entered as ‘Pass’ (P/F) courses but do not count toward the tuition remission awarded as part of graduate assistant benefits and students do not pay for the course. Students may not use these credits to fulfill graduation requirements. Also, courses taken for Audit (AU) do not count toward the minimum credit requirement for degree completion. Courses that are graded AU are counted as attempted, not passed, or earned hours. No quality points are awarded for courses taken for Audit. Thus, courses taken/graded AU are not included in grade point average (GPA) calculations. Graduate School funded assistantships will not pay for courses taken for Audit. 

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)

A GTA is a graduate student whose main focus is assisting in a teaching program.  The specific duties of a GTA vary from one program to another, but for the majority of GTAs, assignments and responsibilities fall into the following categories:

  1. Administration of community programs, workshops, and so on
  2. Assisting a faculty member in the grading, advising, proctoring, and administrative duties associated with a course or courses
  3. Teaching responsibility for a laboratory or discussion session of a course, or
  4. Teaching responsibility for a classroom section of a multi-sectional course, under the close supervision of the course director.

GTAs must enroll in ABGA 901 (7 cr.) Graduate Teaching Assistant in each term they are employed in the position:

Fall Term – Section 01: CRN=90003 
Spring Term – Section 01: CRN=20003
Summer Term – Section 01: CRN=60003

Graduate Research Assistant (GRA)  

A GRA in the FEA is a graduate student whose primary focus is in education research. GRA duties vary according to the nature of the research project in which the student participates and the source of funding. The GRA's primary mentor is an education research and scholarship expert from within the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL). While other faculty members may contribute to the research project, they will not serve as the GRA's direct supervisor.

GRAs must enroll in ABGA 900 (7 cr.) Graduate Research Assistant in each term they are employed in the position:

Fall Term – Section 01: CRN=90001 
Spring Term – Section 01: CRN=20001
Summer Term – Section 01: CRN=60001

Stipends and Available Benefits 
GTAs and GRAs appointments in the Future Educators Academy are eligible to receive a stipend, tuition remission, student health insurance, and more.


In the Future Educators Academy, stipends for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) are as follows:

  • Pre-candidacy stipend: $32,250
  • Post-candidacy stipend: $33,325

Stipends for assistantships in the program are funded through various sources, including state funds, institutional funds, research grants, training grants, or external sources. All stipends must meet the minimum criteria outlined by the university, and there are two levels (steps) for the classification of graduate assistants, determining the minimum stipend based on experience and progress toward the degree. Stipend limits adhere to NIH principles, ensuring they are not unreasonably high.

It's important to note that graduate assistantships are considered a financial resource for need-based financial aid eligibility. Titles for GTAs and GRAs in the program are categorized based on their level and role, with specific codes assigned for payroll and administrative purposes.

Tuition Remission

Graduate assistantship appointment status determines tuition remission benefits. Full-time graduate assistants (20 hours per week) receive 10 credit hours of tuition remission in the fall and spring semesters. Part-time graduate assistants (10 hours per week) receive 5 credit hours of tuition remission and one-half student health in the fall and spring semesters, or 10 credits of tuition remission in the fall or spring only. Note: the Graduate School does not provide tuition remission for winter or summer sessions.

Procedures for Tuition Remission:

  1. Each semester, eligible graduate assistants must complete a tuition remission form by the first day of classes. Remission is not automatically applied to a student's account.
  2. The graduate assistant obtains a tuition remission form from their department/program coordinator, payroll representative, or Human Resource Services, presenting their letter of appointment.
  3. The student prepares and signs the tuition remission form. If taking courses on multiple campuses within the University of Maryland System, a form must be completed for each campus.
  4. The funding source and appropriate institutional chart string information are added and signed for approval. Signatories may include the program director, dean, department administrator, coordinator, the student's mentor, or Celeste Gerhart in the Graduate School.
  5. The form is approved by Human Resource Services.
  6. The approved form is submitted to Student Accounting, HS/HSL, 601 West Lombard Street, 2nd Floor (6-2930) for processing.
  7. These procedures ensure the timely and accurate processing of tuition remission for eligible graduate assistants in the Future Educators Academy program.

Student Health Insurance

It is the University's policy that all UMB students have health insurance. Graduate assistants without equivalent coverage must enroll in the university student health insurance plan, with premiums covered by their assistantships, depending on the funding source. Students with equivalent coverage may waive the campus insurance here. The plan covers prescription medications but excludes vision and dental claims. Optional dental and vision plans are available at the student's expense, including the option to purchase family coverage, not typically covered by the university.

Enrollment and Billing:

The university automatically enrolls and bills full-time students for the student health insurance plan, effective August 1 and February 1 for the fall and spring semesters, respectively. Students arriving before the semester or registering for fewer than 9 credits their first semester must self-enroll when they arrive on campus using https://www.gallagherstudent.com/UMB-Student Health. Once enrolled, charges will appear on the student's bill. If these charges are covered by a Graduate School-administered assistantship, students should obtain a signed health insurance charge-back form from Celeste Gerhart in the Graduate School (620 West Lexington Street, 5th Floor, 6-6794) or the award payer. These forms can then be returned to Student Accounting at HS/HSL, 601 West Lombard Street, 2nd Floor, to cover the premium.

Please review the Graduate Assistant Guide for a full description of all benefits available to graduate assistants.

GTAs and GRAs are provided with specific programming to support their pathway in the FEA, encompassing tailored activities that enhance their teaching and research skills, foster community building, and contribute to their holistic development as educators and researchers.

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)

In the FEA, GTAs will meet biweekly with program coordinators. The first synchronous meeting of the month is a topic-based discussion or short presentation by the coordinators or a guest(s) that is open to all GTAs and their faculty mentors. In these meetings, the GTAs, faculty mentors, and FEA coordinators share observations from their assignments and receive advice, support, and ideas on their teaching and instructional responsibilities. These meetings serve to build a community of student and teacher colleagues who are interested in learning more about teaching in higher, professional education contexts. The second synchronous meeting of the month is a workshop between the FEA program coordinators and the GTAs. In these meetings, program coordinators review supplemental asynchronous online learning activities in Blackboard with the GTAs, answer questions, and take a deep dive into relevant instructional tasks. In the fall semester, the programming focuses on developing an instructional unit (e.g., writing learning objectives, crafting assignment prompts, curating resources, and developing assessments). In the spring semester, the programming focuses on microteaching and developing teaching philosophy and equity statements. 

Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)

In the FEA, GRAs will have regular meetings with their direct supervisor in the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL). During these meetings, GRAs and their supervisor will engage in collaborative research activities aligned with FCTL-led or FCTL-supported initiatives, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), or specific educational research-related projects occurring in specific departments across UMB. GRAs will participate in the preparation and writing of research manuscripts and reports for academic conferences and publications, assist in developing research protocols, study designs, and questionnaires, and will be involved in various tasks, including experimental design, data collection, and analysis as part of research projects. Moreover, GRAs may provide support for educational scholarship learning communities and grant applications, and may also have the opportunity to attend conferences to present their findings and publish their research in academic journals.  

Eligible Degree-Seeking Programs 
Interested applicants must be enrolled in one of the following eligible degree-seeking programs:

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, MS
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, PhD
Biomedical Sciences, PhD
Cellular and Molecular Biomedical Science, MS
Epidemiology and Human Genetics, MS
Epidemiology and Human Genetics, PhD
Gerontology, PhD
Health Professions Education, PhD
Medical and Research Technology, MS
Medical Science, DMSc
Molecular Medicine, PhD
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, PhD
Neuroscience, PhD
Nursing, DNP
Nursing, PhD
Oral and Experimental Pathology, PhD
Palliative Care, MS
Palliative Care, PhD
Pathology, MS
Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, MS
Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, PhD
Pharmaceutical Sciences, PhD
Pharmacometrics, MS
Physical and Rehab Science, PhD
Social Work, PhD
Full-time (12+ credits/semester), JD
Full-time (12+ credits/semester), LLM

Application Forms


Application Process:

Ensure your application is submitted by May 15th to be considered for an appointment beginning in September of the same year. Keep in mind that the deadline is provisional, and extensions may be granted in specific circumstances.

Review and Notification:

Applications undergo an annual assessment at the end of the spring semester. Successful graduate assistant appointees to the Future Educators Academy receive their appointment letters via email every June. This is contingent upon university funding availability, identification of faculty mentors for GTAs, and the definition of research or scholarship scopes for GRAs. In some special circumstances, notifications may be sent after the June month.

Appointment Duration:

FEA graduate assistant appointments begin on September 1st (fall) and continue through August 31st (summer).

FEA Graduate Assistant Appointments

Since 2020, the Future Educators Academy has appointed 25 Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), comprising 17 doctoral students and 8 master's students. These appointments, fostering valuable faculty-student relationships, have originated from 12 distinct academic programs across six of the seven schools at UMB.


Appointment notification letters will be distributed in June 2024 for appointments beginning in September 2024. 


Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)

  • Jocelyn Robinson
  • Kylie Tomlin
  • Josie Rezende
  • Vashti Adams
  • Haelim Lee


Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)

  • Brittany Corbin
  • Nesreen Alissa
  • Michelle Finnegan
  • Yao Wang
  • Lena Grogan
  • Kaleb Watson


Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)

  • Shankia Mardenborough
  • Ji Hyang Cheon
  • Gracen Korfanty
  • Awawu Ojikutu


Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)

  • Sarah Pribil
  • Elvira Carias
  • Ioana Ghita
  • Riley Risteen
  • Sumiya Tabassum
  • Fadeke Agboke
  • Paige Zambrana
  • Juliette Obi
  • Annette Steinmann
  • Alexis Cirko