ITA Department Information

In order to be eligible for a TA or AI appointment, non-native speakers of English must receive ITA English Certification.

The goal of ITA English Certification is to assess and enhance the skills ITAs need to be effective educators in the classroom. Certain exemptions apply, please see below.

The cost for the assessment is $80 per student. This is charged to the department for the first assessment and to the student for subsequent assessments. If your department does not wish to pay for the first assessment, put "student will pay" in the account number field in the database.

  • Notify prospective ITAs of English Certification requirements and procedures well before the semester of their potential appointment.
  • Give ITAs a description of what duties and responsibilities a TA appointment in your department entail.
  • Avoid putting newly arrived ITAs in freshman sections (rookies with rookies)
  • When possible, give conditionally certified ITAs a semester to work on communication skills, adjust to the culture and observe undergraduate classes before appointing them to positions with student contact.
  • If conditionally certified ITAs are given student contact positions, assign them a more experienced TA as a mentor or provide an upper-division undergraduate as a consultant.
  • Any graduate student who may eventually teach should be encouraged to take the Oral English Proficiency Assessment and finish the ITA Communication Workshop at the first available opportunity; please let your faculty and students know that English Certification is not just for those with pending appointments.
  • Have a pool of certified ITAs to make last-minute staffing easier.

Departments must register their student in the ITA database before they can begin the certification process.

The ITA database now requires individual accounts. Department Chairs, Graduate Advisors, and Graduate Coordinators may call the ITA Program at (512) 471-2482 or email mikesmith@austin.utexas.edu to request a username and password.

  • Access the ITA Program registration.
  • A window will appear for you to enter a username and a password. Department Chairs, Graduate Advisors, and Graduate Coordinators may call the ITA Program at (512) 471-2482 or email mikesmith@austin.utexas.edu to request a username and password.
  • Enter the student's UT EID in the blank field on the form.
  • Click on the "Add NEW Student" button.
  • Complete the Student Record.
  • All fields for "Student Record" and for "Account Information" are required in order to submit the form.
  • If you would like to request that a student be exempted from the Oral English Proficiency Assessment and/or the ITA Teaching Workshop, please fill in the appropriate fields in the "Exemption Request" section.
  • Make sure to fill in the account number to be billed and the departmental contact information. If your department does not wish to pay for the first assessment, put "student will pay" in the account number field in the database.
  • When you have finished entering all required information, submit the form by clicking on the "SAVE changes" button.
  • You can then either "Log Out" to leave the database or click on the "Find/Add New Student Record" button to add another student.

The first time you attempt to log into our system, you may get an error message that says "Secure connection failed." To resolve this error:

  1. Click on the link at the end of the “Secure Connection Failed” page that says “Or you can add an exception...”
  2. Click on the button “Add exception” to confirm your choice. This should open a new pop-up window.
  3. Click on “Get Certificate” at the top of the pop-up window, and then “Confirm Security Exception” at the bottom of the window. Make sure that you leave the box “Permanently store this exception” checked. That way, you’ll only have to go through this procedure once.

If you are still having trouble with Firefox, you might try using a different browser.

The first time you attempt to log into our system, you may get an error message that says "Your connection is not private." To resolve this error:

  1. Click on the link at the bottom left of the page that says “Advanced”
  2. Then click on "Proceed to 146.6.228.122 (unsafe)". This should bring you to the ITA database login page.

If you are still having trouble with Chrome, you might try using a different browser.

  • Access the ITA Program registration. See previous step for login and troubleshooting tips.
  • Click on "Register a New Prospective ITA or Check Status" (on the left-hand side of the page)
  • A window will appear for you to enter a username and a password.
  • Enter the student's UT EID in the blank field on the form.
  • Click on the "FIND Student" button.
  • Click on the "Certification" tab to see their certification status.
  • You can then either "Log Out" to leave the database or click on the "Find/Add New Student Record" button to add another student.

The following students are automatically exempt from the ITA English Certification process:

  • Native speakers of English from a country where English is the primary language, such as English-Speaking Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.

  • High school diploma or university degree (Undergraduate or Masters) from a US institution

  • English-medium schooling from elementary school through college (All subjects taught through English.) Most students from India are exempt based on this criteria.
  • A score of 25 or higher in the Speaking section of the iBT

  • A score of 7.5 or Higher on the Speaking section of the IELTS

These cases DO NOT require the hiring department to complete the online Exemption Requests section of the ITA/AI English Certification Registration page. These exemptions will be made automatically in the mainframe and can be checked in GSADM on the screen GS80. For access to GSADM contact the Graduate School.

The following students are NOT automatically exempt from the ITA English Certification process:

Exempt from Oral English Proficiency Assessment and ITA Online Workshop:

  • A score of 55 or higher on the TSE (Test of Spoken English)
  • Four semesters of experience as a TA/AI with student contact at a U.S. university

Exempt from Oral English Proficiency Assessment, but ITA Online Workshop is required:

  • Foreign Language TA
  • Two semesters of experience as a TA/AI with student contact at a U.S. university

These cases DO require the hiring department of complete the online Exemption Requests section of the ITA/AI English Certification Registration page.

Other exemption requests submitted by the Graduate Advisor or Department Chair will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact:

Michael Smith, Director ESL Services International Office
ITA Program 2400 Nueces Street, Suite B
(512) 471-2482
mikesmith@austin.utexas.edu