ITA Clearance Process

International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP): Purpose

The ITAP is designed to prepare graduate students who are non-native North American English speakers to take on teaching assistantships, including grading, holding office hours, leading discussion or lab sections, or teaching a class.

In order to receive the benefits of a Graduate Teaching Assistant position, Job Code 9416, ITA Clearance is required.

ITA Clearance has two requirements:

1) ITAP Spoken English Requirement

(not to be confused with Admissions Office requirement)

2) Successful completion of ITA Training

(held three times a year: the week before Fall Semester, the week of Fall Break, and the week of Spring Break)


Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution in the U.S. or Canada and meet the ITAP Spoken English Requirement (iBT speaking subscore ≥ 25 or VET ≥ 65) have the option to waive the ITA Training. Those who test below the score required will follow the same process as other ITA candidates.

Spoken English Proficiency

The following scores meet the ITAP Spoken English Requirement:

a) iBT (internet-based TOEFL) Speaking sub-score of 26 or higher;

b) IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Speaking band of 7.0 or higher

Students who have not taken the iBT or the IELTS within the two years before being registered into ITAP, or whose scores do not meet the ITAP requirement, are given the opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency via the SEE (Spoken English Evaluation), a computer-based test, which is given by the ITAP on campus. At the current time, there is no charge to the student or the department for this evaluation, however, if the ITAP agreement is not adhered to, the department may be responsible for reimbursing the ITAP for the costs incurred.

If the results of the SEE indicate the need for work on the skills necessary for successful TA work, a class or classes will be required, created and coordinated by the ITAP. Students who are required to take classes as part of their route toward ITA Clearance will be cleared for a limited assignment while taking the class or classes. In this way, they can get full benefits of the assistantship, i.e. tuition benefit and subsidized health insurance. Oversight of the classes by the ITAP assures content appropriate to the needs of graduate students and timing that accommodates their academic schedules.

ITA Training

The ITA Training is designed to increase general understanding of the educational system (and thereby) undergraduates, in the US generally and at the University of Utah specifically. It consists of reading & writing assignments, video viewing & reflections, and information sharing with other candidates. Details for a particular training is sent to participants upon registration by their home department.

Registering for ITAP

  • The student’s home department or program submits a request for students who need clearance. Interested students should contact the coordinator in their home department via email. If in doubt as to who your department contact is, write an email to the ITAP Manager.
  • The ITAP will contact the students after names are submitted.
  • Use of U Mail is required for receiving and sending email to the ITAP. It is advisable to have the students set up their U Mail as soon as possible after they accept admission.
  • ITA candidates must agree to follow-through before registration is official.

Contact Information

Please don’t hesitate to contact Diane Cotsonas, ITAP Manager, with any questions:

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