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Teaching Assistants and Residential Fellows

Summer 2020 Update

Vassar and area Community Colleges have worked together for over thirty-five years to give community college students the opportunity to experience being a student in a residential liberal arts college. Due to uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 we were asked if it would be possible to change our program to an online platform.   We feel that is not an option given the mission of the program.  Therefore, It is with a heavy heart that the administration for the Exploring Transfer Program has decided to cancel this year's program.  Vassar’s Exploring Transfer team will use this time to bring the program back next year better than ever.   We hope to see you then. 


We wish you and your loved ones a safe and healthy summer.


Teaching Assistants and Residential Fellows play essential roles in the Exploring Transfer Program. The Teaching Assistants provide support for students in their academic coursework while the Residential Fellows, who live in the dormitory with the students, enrich the quality of the students' residential experience. Together, the Assistants and Fellows facilitate the students’ successful passage through the program. 


Both tasks are important. As those in closest contact with the students, they are the eyes and ears of the program. From their vantage points (in the classroom, dormitory and dining hall), they have a unique perspective on the program, and therefore occupy the best positions from which to monitor and assess the quality of the students’ experiences.


As the Teaching Assistants and Residential Fellows respond to the various needs specific to community college students, they are required to demonstrate strong leadership and organizational skills. In their advisory capacities, they will often face issues for which a prompt and creative solution is required. Typically these issues are performance-related and stem from difficulties students face as they navigate the various intellectual, cultural and emotional challenges of the program. They must, therefore, possess intellectual as well as emotional maturity.  Both positions are demanding but rewarding.