TCR Grad Blog

Graduate director's blog for the Technical Communication and Rhetoric Program at Texas Tech University

Archive for December, 2009

Spring Grad Notes

Posted by Joyce on December 26, 2009

Dear Grad Students,

I hope you had a pleasant Christmas and that your vacation is relaxing. If you find yourself sitting around with nothing to do, I’d like for you to take a look at the university’s official spring calendar at

For everyone, dates that matter are
Jan 29 — last day to drop
Mar 24 — last day to declare a course to be pass-fail (rather than a grade)
March 13-21 — spring break
April 5-20 — early registration for summer and fall

For those of you who intend to graduate:
Jan 29 — last day to file intent to graduate form with grad school
march 3 — last day for doctoral students to file a dissertation defense notification form
March 25 — last day for thesis and dissertation defenses
April 2 — deadline to submit final thesis/dissertation to grad school
April 21– last day to submit comprehensive exam reports for master’s students (that means we’ll have portfolios due before spring break to allow the faculty committee time to evaluate and give feedback)

Please plan accordingly by looking at your own calendar and by engaging your faculty WELL in advance of these deadlines. Just because the last day to defend is 3/25 doesn’t mean that ALL defenses may take place on that day. One committee member may serve on multiple committees and there’s only so many defenses you hold in one day.

In preparation for spring advising, f2f doctoral students will meet with their faculty committees in late Feb or early March for their annual reviews, and you can pick your classes at that point. (online PhD’s will do this in May) All students should look at the summer and fall openings in Jan/Feb, and talk with me and/or your committee in March so that you can have your permits in place when registration opens.

Please look at your spring feebills and registrations — we’re still experiencing glitches due to Banner, and if you see something odd, please let me or Christy know. Don’t panic because we’ll surely fix it. Pay your bills timely and don’t get dropped and we’ll correct amounts as we learn about them. Those of you taking distance sections (d21/22 and x21/22 are more likely to have fee problems, but those of you in 001’s and working for the department are more likely to see glitches with waivers of various sorts. We’ll sort these things out as we learn of them.

Looking ahead, we’ll host the online phd May workshop May 16 – May 29, and you’re all encouraged to meet these online students if you’re in town and you’re also invited to come hear our invited guests, Jeanne Fahnestock on May 20, and Michael Hughes on May 27.

That is all — enjoy your break and don’t forget to eat some black-eyes peas for New Year’s Day.

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Survey on Desire for Online Teaching

Posted by Joyce on December 6, 2009

Dear online phd students,

I would like to know how many of you, if any, would be interested in teaching for Texas Tech in some online, lower-division offerings we’re thinking of offering, beginning in the next 6-18 months. This email is not an offer, of course, but I’m trying to get a sense of how many people might be interested. The specifics are unknown, but I would imagine the pay would be something like $2000-$3000 per class and that you would NOT have to be a GPTI (and encounter the 9-hour registration rule). I also do not know if taking on such a job would grant tuition and/or fee waivers for non-Texas residents. I also do not know what sort of policy we’d employ to select online instructors, but I’m certain that you’d need to be ABD, holding no incompletes, and having the “OK” from your dissertation committee. I would also imagine that you would have had to take a pedagogy course (whether with us or via transfer is undetermined at the moment) and that you’d need to be supervised by a TTU professor during the tenure of your job and spend some of your time in May for training, assessment, and that sort of thing. I don’t think this kind of job would require you to quit your day job, but (especially for state of Texas employees) it might constitute some sort of contractual conflict with your employer. We envision the job to be supplementary to your day job.

So you can see that there is no policy in place, but quite a lot of movement towards something that would be very nice to be able to offer to you. What I’d like to learn from you is whether you would apply for such a position. I realize the easy answer for everyone is “yes” because there are no risks to saying ‘no,’ but I encourage you to answer as if you were applying for the position — good data about the likely numbers of potential instructors from your program is going to be very important as we take this concept further.

All of these caveats said, let me ask you to reply to me (not to the list) at if this type of job is something you’d apply for if we began offering it in the next year or two. If you can’t, you don’t have to write me anything. All I’m trying to do is get a sense of the percentage of online doctoral students who might seek this sort of support.

Many thanks for your participation at this very, very busy time of year,

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