Undergraduate students who assist professors and students in selected courses are chosen by the professor, usually at the end of the semester preceding the one in which the course is offered. Teaching assistants (TAs) usually register for four credits of PSYC 391, Practicum in College Teaching, which is graded pass/fail, and are supervised directly by the professor. The specific responsibilities vary from course to course but may include keeping office hours to assist students with homework and other course materials, assisting with the conduct of laboratory experiments and assisting at review sessions.
Because TAs have learned the course material more recently than the professor and their understanding of the material is closer to that of the students, they can often provide an especially useful perspective to students having difficulty with the course material. Also, since TAs have recently been successful in the course, they may have suggestions and tips for students regarding study strategies or ways of thinking about the material that they have found helpful.
Students interested in being a TA for a course should have done well in the course, be willing to review the course prior to the beginning of the semester and be willing to devote eight to 12 hours per week to their responsibilities. However, a genuine desire to help others learn and the ability to treat all students with respect, regardless of their academic ability and motivation, are probably the most important requirements a TA can meet.
For more information, contact the professor who will be teaching the course that interests you during the semester before the course is offered.