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IMPORTANT NOTE: To be eligible for this opportunity, you must be accepted into an MSU graduate program. You may apply before you are accepted, however, securing a position is contingent on successful admission for Fall.

Department Name: MontanaPBS/KUSM
Position: Graduate Teaching Assistant: Educational Media Specialist
Number of Positions Open: 1

Program Description

MontanaPBS is the state’s public television service based on the Montana State University campus and housed in the Visual Communications Building. The station produces, and broadcasts, high quality local and national PBS programming for Montana citizens. MontanaPBS also creates digital content for PK-12 classrooms published on the FREE website PBS LearningMedia A new pilot program will be implemented in the fall of 2021 hiring one Graduate Teaching Assistant to serve as an Educational Media Specialist from the School of Education to collaborate with a student in the MFA for Science and Natural History in Filmmaking program to create digital content and accompanying curriculum for Montana classrooms to be published on PBS LearningMedia. This content will be shared and distributed with educators using a strategy developed in collaboration with the MontanaPBS Education staff. This will be a 2-3-year pilot study and will seek to measure the impact digital educational media has on the achievement of PK-2 students in Montana.

Description of Opportunity

Position Duration

This position is for 19 hours/week for 10 months (AY) August 1-May 31

Roles and Responsibilities

This position collaborates with a student from the MFA in Science and Natural History in Filmmaking (SNHF) program as well as the rest of the Education team at MontanaPBS. The Educational Media Specialist will work closely with local pilot schools to gather information about early childhood classrooms and their unique needs. The person in this role will be responsible for creating support materials aligned to the media as well as a strategy for measuring the impact and use of these materials with the help of local teachers, administrators and MSU faculty. The Educational Media Specialist will also be responsible for training educators to use PBS LearningMedia as well as the materials created for this project.

  1. Instructional Research and Planning
    1. Work with a local pilot school to identify a content need for PK-2 classrooms that could be met with educational digital media
    2. Collaborate with local educators, SNHF GTA and MontanaPBS Education staff to prototype and test digital media materials for PK-2 students and teachers
  2. Curriculum Development
    1. Develop support materials to accompany digital media to be published on PBS LearningMedia
    2. Align support materials to national standards for early childhood education and relevant content areas
    3. Develop training modules for teachers to learn how to effectively implement the digital media lessons created for this project
  3. Instructional Assessment
    1. Develop and implement an instrument to assess the effectiveness of the digital media and support materials in PK-2 classrooms
    2. Share and present the results of this assessment to stakeholders in a variety of settings
  4. Collaboration
    1. Work with a SNHF GTA as a team to conduct this study and create materials
    2. Work with local teachers to create materials that are relevant and accessible
    3. Work with MontanaPBS Education staff to create materials that are aligned with the mission and brand of MontanaPBS
  5. Communications
    1. Use a variety of communication methods, in person and virtual to effectively communicate the purpose and progress of the work with all stakeholders especially the SNHF GTA project team member
    2. Keep MontanaPBS staff updated on the status of the project throughout the school year by attending scheduled staff meetings as well as meeting with various MTPBS staff informally
  6. Professional Development/Training for Educators
    1. Deliver workshops for educators sharing strategies for using PBS LearningMedia in a variety of settings
    2. Train teachers to use media resources in their classrooms, including those created during this project

Field-based skill description

The GTA in the Educational Media Specialist position will benefit from collaborating with a professional media organization to create educational media materials for children ages 4-7 based on a research-based content need specific to Montana PK-2 settings. The GTAs will be empowered to create a template that will inform future projects for MontanaPBS. The GTA will also learn to share best practices for using media in the classroom with educators.

Transferrable/portable skill description

This position will help the GTA develop facilitation skills for presentations and trainings, program development and management, interpersonal skills, problem solving, communication (verbal and written) skills, teaching strategies for incorporating media and technology in the classroom and understanding best practices in the field of public media education services.

Preferred skills/qualifications

  • Strong organizational skills
  • Oral, written, and/or nonverbal communication skills
  • Professionalism and maturity
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to collaborate with one or more team members
  • Ability to learn and utilize online tools with ease
  • Knowledge about teaching and learning in a public classroom setting
  • General understanding of child development for children ages 4-8
  • Confidence speaking in front of a group or in a collaborative learning setting
  • In addition, you will be expected to meet all of the Graduate School Qualifications:
    • Full-time, degree-seeking graduate student accepted into a graduate program at MSU
    • Maintaining term enrollment of 6 credits
    • Cumulative and program of study GPA of 3.0 or better
    • Making progress toward the achievement of their degree
    • Meet academic requirements of a GTA position


  • This position was developed in partnership with the Education and Adult & Higher Education programs
  • The most successful candidate for this program has experience in a classroom teaching setting, preferably in a PK-3 classroom

Performance and Feedback

  • The general philosophy of MontanaPBS is to provide feedback on an ongoing basis
  • Formal feedback also will be provided on an annual basis using the standard Graduate School GTA Annual Review form.


  • Stipend: $1,600 per month over a 10 month period, August to May.
  • The appointment is for no more than 19 hours/week.
  • Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, an additional payment of $130 per payment, during the Academic Year (Fall and Spring) only, to defray costs including, but not limited to, living and healthcare costs.
  • In-state tuition remission up to 6 credits/term are available for successful candidates.
  • The student is responsible for all university fees.
  • This position is part of the Graduate Student Union. As such, the GTA must pay monthly union dues or representation fees. If non-academic issues arise, the GTA may take concerns to their supervisor or the University’s Human Resource Department.

To Apply for this position please fill out this form.


You may contact,
Nikki Vradenburg,
Director of Education,
[email protected]