Category Archives: Teaching Assistants (Blackboard English Assistants)

Teaching Assistants (Blackboard English Assistants) for Summer 2020

Starting this summer, and hopefully continuing each semester thereafter, we will be implementing a Teaching Assistant feature in the MA English program. Because the term “Teaching Assistant” is already a technical term at Mercy College with a number of implications and requirements and duties that are different than what we’re implementing here, we are going to differentiate this by calling what we’re implementing here a “Blackboard English Assistantship” (BEA).

BEAs will be placed inside of online undergraduate English composition classrooms to assist the instructor of record. You can read more about the BEA requirements, procedures, and responsibilities in the PDF linked here.

At this point we expect to be able to fund two BEAs with a $500 stipend, each, this summer. Each BEA would be responsible for assisting in one class this summer (the semester runs from May 27 through August 4).

Experience as an assistant inside of a college classroom can be a valuable line-item in a curriculum vitae. And assisting in a classroom will provide a first-hand look at how an actual college composition course unfolds over a semester. If the interest in BEA opportunities exceeds what we are able to fund, we will consider offering additional unfunded BEA positions to those seeking the experience.

Anyone interested in applying for a BEA for summer 2020 must email the following materials before the end of May 10 to the Program Director at

  1. Resume
  2. A recommendation from any MA faculty (This does not have to be a formal letter. It can just be a brief email from the faculty member expressing their support. You can forward that email to the Program Director)
  3. A short statement of purposes, just a paragraph or two (between 200 and 400 words) expressing why you are interested in being a Blackboard English Assistant in a Mercy classroom
  4. The completed activity linked here.

This current application cycle is only for summer 2020. We will put up a call for fall 2020 BEA applications later, during the summer, once we are clearer on what funding we will be able to provide. Please send any questions to Thank you.