Culture, Art, and Technology
Staff Contact: sixthTAcoordinator@ucsd.edu, (858) 534-6883
The Culture, Art, and Technology Program offers two opportunities for teaching assistants: the Core Sequence (CAT 1, 2 and 3) and the upper-division writing requirement (CAT 125). In their first year, TAs new to CAT are required to attend a weekly CAT 500 meeting to develop their teaching skills and attend CAT pedagogy workshops during Winter and Spring terms. Prior to Fall classes, all TAs are required to attend a mandatory one day orientation, focused on pedagogy and program expectations.
Our courses offer students varied scholarly opportunities centered on exploring and interrogating the intersection of culture, art, and technology. From the origins of civilization to the history of Hollywood and the future of the environment, students in CAT engage with big questions about where we’ve come from, who we are, and where we are going. We aim to teach students to think critically and creatively, while also preparing them for success in college and the world beyond.
Each quarter we offer a selection of interdisciplinary writing courses, which take a variety of approaches to thinking about the intersection of culture, art, and technology. CAT 1, CAT 2, and CAT 3 are Sixth College's core writing sequence and these classes foreground critical reading, argumentative writing, research, and collaboration. We think of writing as multimodal, moving beyond the traditional academic paper. Our upper-division CAT 125 course invites students to think about public rhetoric, practical communication, and writing after college.
CAT TAs lead discussion sections to help students understand the lectures, readings, and other course materials as they develop their writing, reading, and communication skills. Courses in CAT span a variety of disciplines, aiming to develop student literacy of many different media (often including, art, film, video, and music).
For all three quarters, TAs are required to grade student work, to hold regular office hours, to attend course lectures, to participate in weekly planning meetings with course instructor and fellow TAs, and to participate in person in a final TA meeting during finals week. These weekly meetings support TAs in their teaching, but also enable TAs to implement CAT curricular expectations and standards with fairness and transparency across all courses and quarters.
To this end, first year TAs will also participate in pedagogical training (teaching seminar) with the Director of Writing to build their skills and confidence in writing instruction.
A 50% appointment in CAT includes all the above responsibilities, in addition to holding discussion sections with students:
CAT 1 -- 2 sections of 17 students, 1 day/week (+ teaching seminar in first year)
CAT 2, 3, and 125 -- 2 sections of 16 students, 2 days/week
CAT 125R (online) -- 3 sections of 11 students, 2 days/week.